Jordan’s WNBA Picks 54-49-5
LA Sparks vs Connecticut Sun
Game 2 (Sun Lead Series 1-0)
Thursday, September 19, 2019 – 06:30 PM EDT
This matchup is about as close as they come. The Sun gets things done by sharing the ball and working the ball inside to their frontcourt. Both teams have quick and dynamic guards and after the Sun won Game 1, the Sparks are going to have to come with a huge effort here if they want to avoid facing eliminating back home on Sunday.
However, while I’m not sure who will come away with the victory in this one, I am pretty sure the Sparks are going to come out with a big first-half effort.
Since getting back to full strength, the Sparks have been a tough team to stop in the first half. Add in their very good defense and this team could hold Connecticut down early as we saw in Game 1.
It didn’t help them win the game, but I doubt Derek Fisher will make some of the same mistakes twice as he did in Game 1.
The Sparks have now held the Sun below 40 first-half points in three of their four meetings this season and while I’m on the other side of this play for the first quarter, I think the Sparks are the play here at +1.
So far through two playoff games, the Sparks own a 90.1 defensive rating in the first half, which is over a four-point improvement on defense per 100 possessions compared to their full game defensive rating.
The Sun is a really good team, but I think they’ll be behind at the half in this one. Connecticut posted an offensive rating of just 80 in the second quarter of Game 1, so if they go cold again as the game wears on, I see the Sparks having the lead at halftime.
Las Vegas Aces vs Washington Mystics
This series could have very easily been the WNBA Finals as well, that’s how good both these teams are. The Aces, however, could not overcome the Mystics’ second half firepower and the young Vegas team faded in the last 20 minutes.
That being said, I think the Aces have a great shot at keeping this one close, however, with the Mystics’ experience and the Aces’ lack thereof, I just can’t trust the Aces enough to take those 10 points.
In fact, I’m going the opposite direction and going back to the Mystics in the first quarter.
Washington has proven to be one of the most efficient offenses in WNBA history, and they do a lot of work on that end in the first and third quarters.
If it wasn’t for the Mystics falling apart in the last two minutes of the first quarter in Game 1, they would have easily cashed the -3. Now here they are again and the steam on this one is leaning towards the Mystics’ first quarter.
Washington had an offensive rating of 124.7 in the first quarter of the regular season and their offensive rating in Game 1 was 136.4. Compare that to Vegas, who has now given up a combined 59 first-quarter points in two playoff road games and you get where I’m going with this one.
Lay those points with the Mystics and take the over on their team total in the first quarter too.