In the second round of the 2018 WNBA playoffs, the Washington Mystics defeated the Los Angeles Sparks 96-64, and the Phoenix Mercury topped the Connecticut Sun 96-86.
With that, the semifinal matchups are set. Third-seeded Washington will face the Atlanta Dream, and the Mercury will take on the Seattle Storm.
In this edition of the Locked On Women’s Basketball Podcast, host Ben Dull is joined first by Lindsay Gibbs of High Post Hoops to discuss Sparks/Mystics, including:
- how the Mystics were able to seize control of the game and build on their lead in the second and third quarters
- walking the line to both discuss how difficult the playoff schedule is on teams playing in the opening rounds without discounting Washington’s dominant performance
- the impact and improvement of LaToya Sanders and Natasha Cloud
- a look ahead to how the Mystics will match up with the Dream
Gibbs wrote recently about Sanders and the big season she’s having for the Mystics:
With newfound energy and efficiency, center LaToya Sanders is the x-factor for the Washington Mystics in the WNBA playoffs.
Also covered later in the episode:
- quick thoughts on Mercury/Sun
- the dominance of Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner complemented by DeWanna Bonner’s seamless return
- how Stephanie Talbot and Briann January add so much value as complementary players in Phoenix’s starting five
- how Phoenix matches up with Seattle
- predictions on both semifinal series
The Mystics beat the visiting Los Angeles Sparks 96-64 in round two of the WNBA playoffs, and to be honest, it didn't even feel that close.
Both semifinal series will begin on Sunday. Atlanta will host Washington in the first game of the day (3 PM ET, ESPN2). Seattle will then host Phoenix (5 PM ET) in the second Game 1 of the day.
The Dream and Storm will host Game 2s on Tuesday before their respective series transition to Washington and Phoenix, respectively.