Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx – Cruising in WNBA

The Sparks and Lynx look to improve to 7-0 this week while Phoenix hope to fade poor start.

The Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx remain the only undefeated teams in the WNBA at this point. Both sitting at 5-0, the Sparks beat the Connecticut Sun 77-72 on May 26th while the Lynx beat the Indiana Fever 74-71 on May 27th. Entering this week both teams will look to remain undefeated.

Los Angeles have a two-game home-and-home series coming up against the San Antonio Stars. The Sparks will host the first game of the pair from the Staples Center on June 2nd. A couple nights later the teams will meet again at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. So far this season, the Stars have not been able to win with any kind of consistency. They are just 1-3 on the year and thus are not strong candidates to end Los Angeles’ run of strong form. 

Candace Parker, averaging 20.8 points per game, leads the way for the Sparks, however L.A. are a team with some impressive depth. They’ve played at least 10 players in all five of their games and there isn’t a single player that plays that doesn’t contribute. That’s allowed Parker to keep her minutes down as she’s just 25th in the league in logged time on court per game. Other teams’ stars like Seattle’s Breanna Stewart and Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi are much more relied on for big minutes – something that could cause injury or fatigue problems as the season progresses.

The Lynx will face the New York Liberty in a game from Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. The Liberty are off to a disappointing start at just 2-2 on the year – with two home losses. On the weekend, Minnesota will host the Dallas Wings a team that enter this week 3-3, but behind two straight losses.

Maya Moore has been the best player for Minnesota so far. She’s averaging 21.8 points per game and recently won her conference’s player of the week award.  Nine-deep when it comes to their depth slot, the Lynx have emerged as the favorite to win the WNBA title at this early point in the season (source: William Hill).

Part of the reason for that certainly has to do with the Phoenix Mercury’s very slow start. Phoenix just won their first game over the weekend to improve to 1-4 on the year. However, Mercury head coach Sandy Brondello did claim that the team found an “identity” in an earlier loss to Minnesota. Perhaps the Mercury located something that carried over into their 16-point win over Washington. If Phoenix can hang on to whatever they found then, with a game against Connecticut on Monday, they should be able to start fading their slow start.

Shane Lambert