Dishin & Swishin 08/08/14 Podcast: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble! Minnesota and Phoenix square off for final time in regular season
With all due respect to the rest of the teams in the WNBA, no matchup has the intrigue, the charisma, or the excitement of the Phoenix Mercury versus the Minnesota Lynx.
On this week’s Dishin & Swishin podcast we look at these two teams, with some very special guests.
First, ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo returns to the podcast to look at both of these teams, what makes them so special, in anticipation of Saturday night, when the first and second place teams in the Western Conference will face each other for the fourth and final time of the regular season.
|Minnesota @ Phoenix
August 9, 2014, 10:00 pm ET
Radio: BOB 106.1 FM
Lynx tandem Lindsay Whalen and Janel McCarville join us for the first time on Dishin & Swishin. From Minnesota Gophers to Minnesota Lynx, the pair has a tremendous, almost innate knowledge of what the other will do and where the other will be on the court. It is great to talk to them about their team’s success.
Unfortunately, due to the compressed schedule of the WNBA, we were unable to coordinate scheduling this week with anyone from the Mercury; hopefully we can get someone from Phoenix during the playoffs.
As for Saturday night’s matchup, there is a great deal on the line! Here are just a few:
With a 25-4 record, Phoenix sits atop the West, but second place Minnesota has a 24-6 record, 1.5 games back in the standings. A win by Minnesota obviously reduces the margin to only half a game, and it is difficult to say who has a more difficult the remaining schedule. Phoenix plays three of their remaining four on the road, including a trip to New York and Atlanta, a combined 19-9 at home this season, and versus always tough rival Los Angeles. Minnesota plays two of three at home, but all three of their games are against teams fighting for a playoff spot.
Phoenix won the first two games of the series, Minnesota the third. The first tiebreaker for playoff seeding is winning percentage in head-to-head matchups. Obviously, the Lynx need this game to even the series and force the teams into the next level of tie breakers. The second tiebreaker, winning percentage in conference is also up in the air, and a victory by Minnesota makes that even closer.
Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore have pulled away from the pack and are the frontrunners for the league’s Most Valuable Player award. Moore, the league’s leading scorer at 24 points per game and the ridiculous eleven games with 30 points or more may have a slight lead. Taurasi, leading the league in assists and averaging 17 points per game, is not far behind. Taurasi struggled mightily last meeting, shooting 5-for-21 from the floor; does anyone really think that will happen a second time?
Saturday night they face off. The matchups are fantastic; virtually and All-Star versus an All-Star at every position. McCarville and Rebekkah Brunson versus Brittney Griner and Candice Dupree, Whalen versus Taurasi, Seimone Augustus versus DeWanna Bonner, and Moore versus the rejuvenated Penny Taylor.
The benches contribute on both teams, Minnesota led by Monica Wright and Devereaux Peters, Phoenix led by Erin Phillips and Mistie Bass.
Finally, the coaches, Cheryl Reeve of Minnesota and Sandy Brondello of Phoenix, should both merit strong consideration for Coach of the Year honors.
So grab a beverage and snack and set your television to NBATV Saturday night. For now, enjoy the podcast, and get pumped for this game with our great guests on this week’s podcast!
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