WNBA Playoffs: Round One Continues

Did you see what happened last night? No? Well, no spoilers here, but I will put video highlights at the end of this post. So if you don’t want to know, don’t peek.

Tonight, the New York Liberty faces the Indiana Fever at Madison Square Garden in a match-up that could determine who faces Seattle in the championship. I know that’s quite a few games away, but I think the Liberty and the Fever are the two teams that want the title the most. Plus, I love watching Anne Donovan and Lin Dunn coach — talk about a study in contrasts.

If one player is the key to the Liberty’s performance, it’s Cappie Pondexter. I don’t know the whole story behind Phoenix trading her to New York, but Pondexter didn’t miss a beat. She has turned in an MVP season and often seems to elude every defender on the court.

Taj McWilliams-Franklin provides veteran leadership and has upped the Lib’s inside game along with Pleanette Pearson and Janel McCarville (!).

For a lot of the season, Indiana looked like the team to beat in the East. Tamika Catchings just keeps getting better, which seems impossible, with Fever veterans Tammy Sutton-Brown, Katie Douglas and Tully Bevilaqua providing the leadership and consistency to keep the Fever winning.

In the West, San Antonio at Phoenix will be a brawl — just as it is every time the two teams meet. Phoenix is the defending champ, of course, but kind of lost momentum at the end of the regular season. Still, Diana Taurasi was the highest scorer in the WNBA and the team’s confidence probably got a boost from her contract extension this week.

The Silver Stars’ Sophia Young has been a scoring machine recently, but Becky Hammon’s performance probably will determine how far San Antonio gets in this series. She plays well against the Mercury and if she starts dropping threes, Phoenix is in big trouble — even without Chamique Holdsclaw to contend with.

Indiana and New York play at 7:00 ET on NBA-TV and WNBA Live Access; San Antonio and Phoenix are at 9:00 ET on ESPN2. (Baseball is more important to ESPN2 than WNBA, so check ESPN360 online if the start of the game is preempted again.)

As promised, here are highlight reels from Wednesday night’s games. If you comment on the outcome, please alert us to spoilers in your title. Thanks!

 

 

Let us know what players you’re watching in the series — we’ll talk about our favorites next week. And don’t forget to enter our drawing for a trip to the WNBA Championship!

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