The Storm’s work is done when it comes to setting up for the 2010 WNBA Playoffs. Tuesday’s victory in Atlanta guaranteed the Storm home-court advantage for the duration of its playoff run. Now, the lingering question is the Storm’s opponent in the opening round. With a week and a half left in the season, three teams are still battling for the last two spots in the Western Conference playoffs.
Last night’s Minnesota win over San Antonio was crucial. It moved the Lynx into the third seed while dropping San Antonio to fourth, a game ahead of the Los Angeles Sparks (who lost at home to Indiana).
Here are the remaining schedules for each team.
vs. Los Angeles
vs. San Antonio
at Los Angeles
The Lynx has the toughest slate of games ahead, finishing the season with three games on the road. Minnesota also plays three of the league’s best teams and will have a lot of travel. However, the Lynx have matchups with the Sparks and Silver Stars at home, and winning both of those games will put them in the driver’s seat. The Minnesota-San Antonio game is especially crucial because it will decide the tie-breaker between the teams, who split their first four meetings.
The Silver Stars will be at home, but three tough teams roll into the AT&T Center down the stretch. One factor worth watching – will any of them be resting starters by that point? The Fever may clinch No. 1 in the East by the final weekend, while Phoenix will almost certainly be locked into the second seed in the West by that point.
The Sparks blew a golden opportunity to help their playoff hopes by losing at home to San Antonio on Sunday. Not only did that cost them a potential two-game swing in the standings, it also ensured the Silver Stars the head-to-head tie-breaker. Now Los Angeles badly needs to win both of the upcoming matchups with the Lynx. There’s only one other likely win (at Tulsa) on the schedule.
Right now, it looks like the most likely opponent for the Storm is San Antonio, with Minnesota hanging on to the third seed and the Sparks missing out on the postseason. However, plenty can change in the coming days. Stormbasketball.com will keep you updated with the latest.