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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

August 3, 2007 at 9:53 AM

Seizing the postseason

So, Phoenix could join Detroit as the second team to clinch a postseason berth if Los Angeles losses at Houston tonight. Should the Sparks win, then the Mercury could clinch with a win at KeyArena on Saturday in the Storm’s second game of their final back-to-back set of the summer. The Mercury set themselves up nicely for their first berth since the 2000 season with a win against San Antonio on Thursday, also overtaking the Silver Stars for first in the Western Conference.
This is interesting for the Storm because Phoenix and all of its close ties to Seattle appears to be a better first-round matchup, if the Storm can hang on to their current fourth-place standing. The series is tied at one game apiece with each team winning on its homecourt — Phoenix during so against a Sue Bird-less Seattle on July 17.
But don’t forget what happened last summer when the Storm believed it could pick a solid opponent to get past in the best-of-three opening round, thinking L.A. was a better matchup than the then No. 2 seed Sacramento. Seattle, which won the 2006 L.A. regular-season series 2-1, gained the advantage by defeating the Sparks 84-72 in the opener at KeyArena, only to get badly swept in Los Angeles. It was the second consecutive year the Storm was booted in the first round.
Phoenix has finally learned a little defense can back up all of that potent offense and the team of superstars, as the Storm’s Lauren Jackson calls them, is jelling like Detroit’s lineup of All-Stars. The Mercury will be just as scary as San Antonio. Or Sacramento, tonight’s Storm opponent. All are currently within 1 1/2-games of first. The Storm is 4 1/2-games out with seven remaining.

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