Lynx, Sky and Sparks clinch playoff berths

Joining the Lynx in the playoffs this season are the Chicago Sky, whose 82-64 win over the Liberty put them there for the first time in franchise history.

The Shock inadvertently helped the Sparks by beating the Silver Stars, 73-67. San Antonio’s loss puts Los Angeles in.

Other games tonight:

The Mystics defeated the Dream, 74-64.

The Storm upended the Mercury, 81-73. Seattle sweeps the series against Phoenix this year, 4-0.

Team news:

Sun….the injury-plagued team has signed Sydney Carter to a seven-day contract.

Liberty….one on one with Essence Carson.

Tomorrow’s game previews:

Fever at Lynx

Sky at Dream


  1. Thought Pennell's comments about Griner were pretty interesting. He said he wasn't calling her out and then proceeded to call her out. He's right. She doesn't box out and her rebounding is weak given her abilities. Five boards, Five turnovers and one block aren't real stellar. For all of the hype about her defensive intimidation factor she didn't seem to bother Thompson or Little very much. That said Seattle has looked great recently.

    One thing about a coach with as much experience as Pennell, he's not intimidated by Griner's press clippings coming into the league. As an interim he's not coaching for his job. It's about what she can actually do and if she is coachable or not. His comments almost sound like frustration with her. I'm not sticking up for Gaines but maybe she is difficult to handle. Then again maybe she's just a rookie with tons to learn. Kinda like Diggins. Not only is she not living up to the hype but she's clearly the second best 6'8" baller in the W. Cambage has come into her own. Will interesting to watch them actually go at each other.

    If Griner starts moving her feet, boxing out and can average 30 minutes a game she should be a double double machine.

  2. In a basketball sense, Griner's been going through a sort of culture shock. She'd been playing with a rebounding machine (Destiny Williams) and one of the most clever and skilled point guards around. Moreover, it was a team designed first and foremost to play lock-down defense.
    She ended up with a team built to play 100 miles an hour.

    I never heard of Pennell prior to this gig…and I know nothing of his or the team's long-term intentions. (Though he did replace an assistant or two, right?)
    But it seems to me that this should be his job to lose. The difference in the team's defensive numbers is striking already.

  3. No doubt. Her challenge was compounded when PHX slowed down their game to start the season to accommodate her style then lost three straight and subsequently went back to their run and gun comfort zone, a style she didn't play in college. That's when she started getting hurt also.

    This is Pennell's first pass at coaching the woman's game. Will be interesting to see if he wants to continue and PHX wants his around after the season. He seems to be a strong basic basketball coach. Interesting that DT hasn't been doing her normal technical foul act since he became coach.

  4. True fans knew that EDD should have gone first in the draft, as her skill set eclipses Griner's by far. Griner was also not as good as advertised.

    Anonymous 5:39 p.m., excellent points: yes, Griner started getting injured when they changed the style and yes, DT hasn't incurred a tech since the coaching change.

    My question: does the Mercury wish they'd have taken EDD?

  5. Totally agree with you on EDD's superior skill set and basketball IQ. Coachability and maturity are also off the charts. Seems like every time she plays she comes off more impressive.

    I think Phoenix was in a box on drafting Griner. Everyone had been singing her praises for so long. If they hadn't drafted her and things had gone poorly if they had taken EDD instead they would have been crucified by the press and fans. It's starting to feel a little like when Michael Jordan got drafted 3rd in 1984 and after a while teams 1 & 2 became infamous for missing out on him.

    That said I think PHX could well have run away with the title if they had drafted EDD. She would have fit perfectly with their then current approach to the game and probably Gaines would still have a job. Can you imagine how scary EED and DT would have been on the same team? That would have been something.

    Speaking of EDD a link to an interesting piece on her off season plans follows. I'm glad to see she is going to stay home and work on promoting the league and her personal brand. That's what the W needs from it's stars if it's going to grow.

    I'm not particularly down on Griner I just think EDD is that good right now. With Griner's physical frame if she can put on 20 or 30 pounds and get a fire in her belly to rebound and play defense she could be nearly unstoppable on the block on both offense and defense. She's just a longer term project than most of the "experts" thought.

  6. Everyone forgets Grinder has only been playing basketball since her freshman year in high school. I also think her coaches (in college especially) did her a disservice by not emphasizing fundamentals. Her learning curve is pretty steep and the W is a tough place to learn. She'll continue to have an opportunity in the pros as long as she can still put butts in the seats because she can dunk (dunking still being a novelty in the women's game).

  7. I agree bekcat, Mulkey didnt prepare her for the Pris at all. I aways stated that BG didnt have any hands for rebounding, her height compensated for everything. Sometimes I sit and think about what Geknow and CD could've done with her. Smh Scary

  8. I wish this debate a long and healthy life, with equal parts contention and good spirit.

    By the way, did anyone else see the "Not on My Watch, Honey" block that Riquna Williams laid on Shemika Christon the other night?
    Holy Cow!! (though what came from my mouth at the time wasn't exactly "holy")