With the WNBA Playoffs upon us, the staff at High Post Hoops gathered ’round the campf- our Slack to talk predictions, storylines, and more
Howard Megdal: Hello all, and welcome to the High Post Hoops WNBA Playoff Preview Chat Extravaganza!
We’re going to start conversationally, then move around the room to some of our correspondents who are blanketing the league with coverage like a media Alana Beard
So let’s start with a segment I’ll call JUMP BALL, after the thing they do in basketball (synergy).
WHO IS THE MOST UNDERESTIMATED TEAM IN THESE WNBA PLAYOFFS AND WHY?
Open to all, go!
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Brendon Kleen: Not to simply pick the team with the lowest seed, but to me it’s the Wings. As we were talking about the other day, Howard, Dallas possesses an advantage, especially in an elimination game, with the scoring upside of Liz Cambage.
Lindsay Gibbs: The Mercury have looked terrifying the last few games. If I had to pick one of the bottom four teams, that’s my pick. After Sancho went down I thought there was no way, but moving Bonner to the four has been a game changer, literally.
Howard: It feels to me like the short list of players who can win a game by herself is limited to upper seeds, but there’s also Cambage and Maya Moore at 8 and 7. (But the Lynx are my pick because there’s muscle memory there in any close game like no other team has, four titles!)
Lindsay: I guess it’s hard to ever think of the Sparks and Lynx as underrated, even this year.
Lindsay: (For me, at least)
Ben Dull: Washington. This team has so many active defenders and maybe more importantly, a better cast of shooters around Elena Delle Donne. Win one game and they’re back in a series, where if they want to, they can go back to that well with Delle Donne and force teams to play her straight up or risk giving up an open three.
Howard: It’s funny to think of a 3 seed as underrated, but we were talking about how they really haven’t been as big a part of the convo as they should be.
Lindsay: If Washington survives the three-seed curse, they’d play Atlanta in the semis, and they could definitely win that.
Howard: I love Vegas, I love a lot of their parts, but think about how much more attention the Aces got than the Mystics this year. They even crushed the Storm when they last played (to be fair, at a game that started 8 AM Seattle body clock time, but still)
Lindsay: They’ve only lost one game since All-Star! And that was to the Lynx with their reserves in the second half.
Howard: In a game they trailed by 5 with 32 seconds left but didn’t foul, to boot
So yes, I’m ready to discount it
Ben: Delle Donne has a much better MVP case than some care to give her credit for.
Howard: Concur! Clear case to vote for her. I had her second.
Mitchell Northam: I think it’s the Atlanta Dream. Despite getting the No. 2 seed, I feel like no one is seriously considering them as a team that can win the title. Angel McCoughtry going out likely has a lot to do with that, but top to bottom, the Dream have a roster that can get it done.
Lindsay: We’re stretching the definition of “underrated,” lol.
Howard: Yes, but everyone has them losing ahead of the finals! And there’s an efficiency case to be made for their roster without Angel, but that’s a whole other discussion. Plenty of offensive firepower to get it done. I really liked Ben including Imani McGee-Stafford on his Jantel Lavender All Stars, Dallas needs to look at her for 2019 if Liz Cambage doesn’t return.
Rachel Galligan: To me, the Wings are the most underestimated team in the playoffs. They are a bit of a loose canon and certainly are limping into it, but we all know they have a the firepower to beat anyone any given night. They are completely unpredicatable. Skylar Diggins-Smith tweeted out “0-0” the other night, if they can approach the playoffs with the right mindset, who knows what they can do!