Analysis: Contemplating the unpredicted

So this happened: The Shock upended the Lynx, 86-78. Skylar Diggins lead the way with 26 points.

The box score doesn’t always tell all, but it does in this case: Tulsa dominated and shut Minnesota down. Several Lynx players didn’t score and/or get in, while the Shock’s Tiffany Jackson-Jones and Odyssey Sims didn’t play due to injuries. Wow.

The Liberty ran past the Dream, 73-64. New York rookie Brittany Boyd had a career-high 18 points in the process.

The Sun came from behind to beat the Sparks, 76-68, with Alex Bentley putting up 21 for Connecticut.

The Mercury pulled away from the Storm, 84-72.

That leaves the standings like this:

Eastern Conference

Connecticut Sun, 6-1

Washington Mystics, 4-2

New York Liberty, 4-3

Chicago Sky, 3-3

Atlanta Dream, 3-5

Indiana Fever, 3-5

Western Conference

Tulsa Shock, 6-1

Minnesota Lynx, 5-2

Phoenix Mercury, 3-3

Seattle Storm, 2-4

Los Angeles Sparks, 0-4

San Antonio Stars, 0-6

Not what was predicted, right?

Not to mention that some of the more successful teams – the Sun, Liberty, Lynx and Mercury – are playing without personnel, who are either overseas, injured, not back to full speed or suspended.

It goes to show that predictions are only ever best guesses, and sports predictions are perhaps worse than meteorology.

Sun:

I might be the only media member not surprised at how well they’re doing, even without Chiney Ogwumike, who is out for the season with a knee injury. The Connecticut team I saw last year was youthful, but so full of potential, and oh-so-close to being legitimately dangerous. They figured it out in a hurry. Even more scary is what they will be like when Ogwumike can play again.

Mystics and Liberty:

Both teams built themselves well after the draft. Washington coach Mike Thibault is known for carefully crafting good teams. New York is still without Eurobasket-playing Epiphanny Prince, and will be that much better when she returns.

Sky:

When Sylvia Fowles didn’t re-sign, and there was no one to take her place, fans knew the team was in trouble. Elena Delle Donne is arguably the best player in the league, but she can’t do it all.

Dream:

Many are surprised the Dream isn’t doing better, after having been picked to top the conference. For whatever reason, I am not one of the shocked ones.

Fever:

My only head tilt is here. I thought Indiana would be doing better.

Shock:

This team has grown and matured into its present incarnation, which is a poised group that can handle adversity well. They have really persevered, and my hat is off to them.

Lynx:

I still think the former champs just need to remember who they are, and they’ll get that trophy this season. When they clicked into another gear last week here against the Sparks, it was an awesome thing to witness, because it seemed effortless for them. If they can tap into that every game, other teams are in trouble.

Mercury, Storm and Sparks:

….are doing about how I expected. All of them basically rebuilt their teams. They need time to adjust.

And no, I don’t see Los Angeles magically (no pun intended) transforming into a championship team when Kristi Toliver and Candace Parker return. They need time to adjust.

Stars:

Is it time for a coaching change? Just asking.

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