Reversal of fortunes

So let me get this right: Eastern Conference first-place Indiana is on a two-game losing streak, while last-place New York just won their second in a row.

In the Western Conference, Los Angeles is solidly in third place after a big win over Atlanta today that puts them at 13-13. They are two games ahead of both San Antonio and Minnesota, both of whom lost today and have 11-16 records.


The biggest change in the league is with the Sparks, who have won five in a row after dropping a home game Aug. 14 to Sacramento. The night after that they beat the Monarchs at their house, and in back-to-back games last week, the Sparks took care of Washington and Minnesota. Still, I didn’t want to say anything or get too excited in case what seemed to be a comeback wasn’t for real.

But then they beat San Antonio Friday night – the first time they’d won there since 2006. And the win moved the Sparks into third place. I started to believe in the comeback. Now today’s win over Atlanta, in which Candace Parker put up a season-high 23 points, while four other players scored in double figures. That looks like some team basketball. (Mad props to the Dream, too – especially Iziane Castro-Marques and Angel McCoughtry).

QMcCall at RethinkingBasketball says the Sparks are setting the stage for a hero narrative if they keep it up, because team members have had so many obstacles thrown at them this season. I agree that the hero’s comeback is a theme that’s missing from women’s sports.

Game story here from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Love this:

“”It was funny,” Parker said, “I was standing at the free throw line and one of my teammates shot the ball and I swear I could hear Pat in my head saying, ‘Go to the boards’. She didn’t say anything on the sideline, but I could hear her in my head. And I ran up there knowing what she was thinking.”

I guess we’ll see if any other teams want to attempt a comeback, and we’ll see if the Sparks can keep theirs up. They play the Chicago Sky on Tuesday.

Edit to add: Shelden Williams just twittered wife Candace Parker to say he’ll never doubt her again. That she’d said they’d win the next four games but he had his doubts because of the way the Sparks played earlier this season. Now, he says, he’s a believer.

That’s deep.

I wonder what Candace thinks about the next four games.