Jordan’s WNBA Picks 52-48-4
Seattle Storm at LA Sparks
Sunday, September 15, 2019 – 03:00 PM EDT
It’s an early game out West as the Sparks play host to the Storm, who were able to hold off the Lynx in the first single elimination round. LA has been banged up and without key players for most of the year, but they are healthy heading into this win-or-go-home game.
That being said, the Storm are a dangerous team, even without their two best players this entire season. Natasha Howard, the league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year is going to be a problem for whoever is guarding her, as well as whoever she is guarding.
During the regular season, both of these teams showed they can lock down others defensively. LA, in particular, had the league’s best home-court defense, coming in with an impressive 89.7 defensive rating when they play at Staples Center.
Considering LA had some impressive attendance numbers this season, I’m assuming that despite the noon West Coast start time, Staples Center and this game may have the most fans of any playoff game so far.
Now that the Storm are going from playing at home against the Lynx to the road against LA, they could see a serious downgrade in their offense throughout the entirety of the game.
However, the Storm have more players that can beat LA other than Howard, and if LA comes out doubling Howard to start the game, which I could see, the Storm have the firepower to find buckets in other areas.
That being said, while I think the Storm will hang on earlier in this game, by the time we get to the fourth quarter, the Sparks are going to be too much to handle. I’m laying the points in this one.
Chicago Sky at Las Vegas Aces
Sunday, September 15, 2019 – 05:00 PM EDT
If you haven’t watched much women’s professional basketball and you’re looking for an entertaining game to watch on Sunday afternoon, look no further than the Sky and Aces.
These two teams both have a ton of offensive firepower at their disposal and both play very different styles.
While the Sky push the pace with their superior guard play, the Aces use their strong defense and imposing front line to create open shots for everyone. I am really excited to see this game for several reasons.
The Aces took the last two regular-season matchups to lead the season series 2-1, but don’t count out the Sky. Guard-play wins in the playoffs and the Sky have a pair of guards who are going to create headaches for the Aces.
Courtney Vandersloot and Diamond DeShields should get plenty of fast-break opportunities and along with Allie Quigley, if the Aces are turning the ball over constantly, the Sky are going to win this game.
I think Las Vegas knows this, and they also know about their superiority on the glass and down low. If I were Bill Laimbeer, I would slow this game down to a grind and force the Sky to defend all four minutes in the half-court. Playing fast is only going to help Chicago.
Laimbeer should use his length and athleticism to force the ball into the post, play pick and roll, and get a ton of shots near the rim. The more long-range shots the Aces put up, it’s better for the Sky because those long rebounds will likely fall into the hands of a Sky player who will immediately take the ball downcourt before the Aces’ bigs can recover downcourt.
Even though these two teams have played fast for all of their regular-season matchups, this is the playoffs, so defense should be engaged. The Sky’s defense isn’t great away from home, but I think the pace will slow considerably for both teams.
The Sky played fast in the first round after Brittney Griner went out with injury and at home, they just took complete control. That won’t happen against the Aces. While I do think the earlier parts of the game could be high scoring, the latter half is going to be a grind if the game stays close. I’m taking a shot on the under because of these factors.