The showdown between the first-place Seattle Storm and the second-place Connecticut Sun highlights Sunday’s WNBA action.
Sunday will see four great WNBA matchups take place, highlighted by a battle between the top two teams in the league at 2 p.m.
The Seattle Storm (9-2) and Connecticut Sun (8-2) own first and second place in the standings, respectively and meet in Uncasville, Conn. This game won’t be the same, however, with Jonquel Jones away due to FIBA commitments. Nevertheless, the winner will still own first place and hopefully Connecticut’s other superstar, DeWanna Bonner (questionable), will be good to go.
All of the six other teams in action are good teams as well. The Washington Mystics, who are finding a way to salvage the Elena Delle Donne-less portion of their season, take on the Atlanta Dream, who started hot at 4-2, but have now lost four in a row. The Dallas Wings, winners of three in a row and losers of only close games, will face a tough test in the loaded Las Vegas Aces. Lastly, the New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury will both try to get back when they square off at night.
Seattle Storm (9-2) vs. Connecticut Sun (8-2)
When: Sunday, June 13 at 2 p.m. ET
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT
How to watch: Facebook or JoeTV
Key to the matchup: Seattle’s big three. If Breanna Stewart, Jewell Loyd and Sue Bird have one of their signature big three performances, the Storm should be able to coast to victory against a team that will be without Jonquel Jones, who had to carry the Sun in the first meeting between theses two teams, a game Connecticut still lost. Bird scored 21 points in that contest, which is tied for a season high for her. Seattle will gladly welcome 21 points from Bird, while that scoring total is more expected from Stewart and Loyd. The latter two could be the best one-two punch in the league right now. The Storm are struggling to get major contributions from the rest of their roster, but Stephanie Talbot had one of her three double-digit scoring efforts this season in the last Sun game.
Storm injury report: none
Sun injury report: Jonquel Jones (out; FIBA), Alyssa Thomas (out for season; Achilles), DeWanna Bonner (questionable; back)
Washington Mystics (4-5) vs. Atlanta Dream (4-6)
When: Sunday, June 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Gateway Center Arena in College Park, GA
How to watch: NBATV or Bally Sports South or TSN2
Key to the matchup: Myisha Hines-Allen. She’s going to be the key in a lot of Mystics games this season as she has the talent to put Washington over the edge into the contender category. Ariel Atkins and Tina Charles got the job done in the Mystics’ win over the Sparks on Thursday, but they can’t afford to forget about getting Hines-Allen involved if they want to continue their hot streak. She had just 10 points against LA. On the Atlanta side, Courtney Williams is the star that needs to have a big game. She had just eight points on Wednesday before bouncing back with 19 on Friday.
Mystics injury report: Elena Delle Donne (out; back), Sydney Wiese (out; ankle), Natasha Cloud (probable; hip)
Dream injury report: Chennedy Carter (doubtful; elbow)
Dallas Wings (5-5) vs. Las Vegas Aces (7-3)
When: Sunday, June 13 at 6 p.m. ET
Where: Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas, NV
How to watch: MYLVTV or BSSW+
Key to the matchup: Isabelle Harrison. Dallas is on a roll, but if they want to compete for a championship this season they can’t get complacent against a team they aren’t expected to beat. A loss to a great Aces team after a period of great success wouldn’t be heartbreaking like so many of their other losses have been. But their drive still has to be there and a win would really have people talking. Dallas’ backcourt can roll with anyone so again it will be on Isabelle Harrison to hold her own in the post and that won’t be easy going against A’ja Wilson and Liz Cambage. Can Charli Collier help out at all and continue her development? Can Harrison provide the timely defense and occasional offense she is capable of?
Wings injury report: none
Aces injury report: Angel McCoughtry (out for season; knee)
New York Liberty (5-4) vs. Phoenix Mercury (5-5)
When: Sunday, June 13 at 6 p.m. ET
Where: Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix, AZ
How to watch: Bally Sports AZ+ or YES or TSN2
Key to the matchup: New York’s mental focus. The Liberty have lost three in a row, but they should feel like they can still be one of the top teams in the league when Natasha Howard returns and even possibly before that. They are in fourth place right now and after the top three elite teams, the league is wide open. Without Howard, they are more of a scrappy team as opposed to a favorite, but they have had success as a scrappy underdog so far and Betnijah Laney is a big reason why. She has played with something to prove and it has benefitted the Liberty. New York just needs to regroup and realize that, in addition to Laney, their perceived role players (such as Michaela Onyenwere, Sami Whitcomb and Rebecca Allen) are capable of stepping up and making them successful. They can still steal some more wins without Howard. Phoenix, on the other hand, needs to keep pounding the ball in to Brittney Griner and have Skylar Diggins-Smith continue to be a poised leader. They got beat bad by the Wings on Friday and will be hungry to bounce back.
Liberty injury report: Natasha Howard (out; knee), Jocelyn Willoughby (out; Achilles)
Mercury injury report: Bria Hartley (out; knee), Diana Taurasi (out; sternum)