Your Day in Women’s Basketball, September 21: COVID scare for Seattle

Storm-Lynx Game 1 canceled due to COVID concerns; Sun shock the Aces

The Wubble had its first COVID scare over the weekend, as multiple players on the Seattle Storm received inconclusive COVID tests, leading commissioner Cathy Engelbert to postpone Game 1 of the semifinals. The league will likely receive conclusive results at some point in the next 48 hours.

This is certainly shocking for the league considering how much time, effort, and money it has invested into creating a bubble. No players or staff have tested positive since arriving in the bubble, and we hope these inconclusive results are an anomaly and turn negative.

The Minnesota Lynx, who were supposed to line up across the Storm on Sunday, hope to reverse their 0-2 regular season woes against Seattle. They’ll probably need a healthy Sylvia Fowles to do so. While Fowles is questionable to play in this series, her presence will be key for a Minnesota squad that lacks a Breanna-stopper.

If anyone can pull a wild card out of their sleeve though, it’s Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve. Reeve’s squads have made six finals and won four championships, and her tactical adjustments could have Seattle in for a rude awakening, much like Las Vegas had on Sunday in its loss to Connecticut.

Do not count Las Vegas out, though. The Aces dominated both regular-season matchups against the Sun, with Las Vegas’ offense and defense firing on all cylinders.

The matchup is a stalemate on the defensive end. While the Aces possessed the second-best defensive rating in the regular season, the Sun had the most potent defense over their last 10 games and in large part carried them to a semifinal appearance.

Connecticut is an interesting opponent for Las Vegas due to their plethora of defensive options. Alyssa Thomas, DeWanna Bonner, and Brionna Jones all have the size and strength to make Las Vegas uncomfortable.

“This is how we’re built. When we went in free agency and knew we couldn’t bring some of that core group back that got us to the finals. We set out a goal in mind to bring in some championship pedigree, and more veterans, and that’s what we’re built for. We’re built for this time. They’ve won, they’ve been here, it’s not too big for them,” Connecticut head coach Curt Miller said.

Before we forget, though, the Aces still have the best player in this series in A’ja Wilson. Wilson collected the MVP award this past week, earning 44 out of 47 first-place votes. The Aces will also have much to look forward to off the bench, with two-time 6WOY Dearica Hamby snagging her second consecutive Sixth Woman award.

The Aces also picked up Emma Cannon in the last week of the regular season, which could add valuable depth to the Las Vegas roster. Cannon can become a valuable stretch big for the Aces in the series, as Las Vegas is not built to beat you from three-point range.

The Aces made just 4.2 threes per game this season on a league-low 11.5 attempts. Compare that to a team like the Dallas Wings, who averaged nearly 9 treys a game on 27 attempts, and you begin to see the disparity in shot tendencies. The Aces have never needed the 3-ball to win, but the signing of Cannon certainly makes their offense more dynamic.

Now is as good a time as ever to look back at the Olympics (remembered when those didn’t get canceled?), particularly the 2000 U.S. Olympic team. Read this great story on their trials and tribulations, and all the WNBA legends, here. It’s a hell of a look back.

The New York Liberty re-signed Kiah Stokes through 2021, and as always, Jackie Powell puts the decision through the wringer to decide whether or not it is the right move, and what is next. If you ever want to learn more about the game, read Jackie Powell. I promise you will come away from the piece smarter than before. I know I always do.

The Next blessed us with an All-Deserved-Better team, and as such we must read away.

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