WNBA; LA Sparks’ playoff hopes are fading after three-straight losses

With 4 video games remaining, the Los Angeles Sparks have every part to play for. However earlier than we preview the ultimate video games, let us take a look at how we obtained right here.

Three-straight losses for LA

Los Angles began the week off with a loss to the Connecticut Solar 83-68. The loss ended a six-game profitable streak for the Sparks, their longest of the season. Azurá Stevens had an environment friendly sport, main the workforce with 17 factors on 5-for-13 capturing. Nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient, as Connecticut pulled away early within the second quarter and by no means appeared again.

The matchup in opposition to Chicago was the most important sport of the season. Each groups are preventing for the ultimate playoff spot, with Chicago getting into the competition 1.5 video games behind LA. Chicago took management within the third, occurring a 17-6 run to finish the quarter. The Sparks fought again, taking the lead after a Karlie Samuelson 3 with 34.3 seconds left within the sport. Then, Kahleah Copper put the Sky on her shoulders and carried her workforce to victory, scoring Chicago’s ultimate eight factors, together with the game-winning layup. The victory put Chicago only a half-game again of LA within the playoff standings.

On Thursday night time, Los Angeles held their final regular-season house sport at Crytpo.com Area, internet hosting the Seattle Storm. LA’s guards have been ice-cold, with Jordin Canada, Zia Cooke and Jasmine Thomas capturing a mixed 3-for-25 from the sphere. With such poor capturing, the Sparks could not management the sport and took their second house lack of the week, falling to Seattle 72-61.

With the defeat, the Sparks are actually tied with Chicago within the standings at 15-21. However with Chicago profitable the season sequence 3-1, they personal the tiebreaker and at present maintain the eighth seed.

Wanting forward

The Sparks start their ultimate week of motion in opposition to the red-hot Washington Mystics on Sunday. Now absolutely wholesome, Washington appeared spectacular beating the Minnesota Lynx and Las Vegas Aces final week. Profitable on Sunday on the Galen Heart at USC shall be a troublesome problem for the Sparks. Can LA get higher manufacturing from their guards? Will they be capable to comprise Elena Delle Donne, Brittney Sykes and Natasha Cloud? They need to, in the event that they need to preserve their playoff hopes alive.

On Tuesday, the ultimate street journey begins in coach Curt Miller’s outdated stomping grounds in Connecticut. Holding the third-best file within the league, the 25-11 Solar have flown beneath the radar because of the WNBA world’s obsession with the New York Liberty and Las Vegas Aces. Make no mistake about it although, Connecticut is legit. Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner are lots to deal with; Nneka Ogwumike, Dearica Hamby and Stevens should discover a approach to cancel them out or, on the very least, decrease their impression on the consequence.

Chicago Sky v Los Angeles Sparks

Can Nneka Ogwumike and Curt Miller lead the Sparks into the playoffs?
Photograph by Meg Oliphant/Getty Pictures

The Sparks make a ultimate journey to the Large Apple on Thursday, the place they’ll face the Liberty. New York has received 9 of their final 10 video games. With their completely stacked roster, beating the Liberty requires a near-perfect efficiency out of your roster, from prime to backside. Sabrina Ionescu has been computerized from 3 and Breanna Stewart wreaks havoc on defenses. The Sparks should sluggish the sport down, get bodily and frustrate the Liberty. If New York dictates the tempo of the sport, issues will not finish nicely for Los Angeles.

The ultimate sport of the 2023 marketing campaign shall be on the street in opposition to Seattle. It is all about guard play versus the Storm. The Sparks cannot let Jewell Loyd go off and they’ll want offensive manufacturing from their guards with the intention to shut out the season with a W.

Closing ideas

It should be an uphill battle for LA to make the playoffs. They should win out and get assist from Chicago’s opponents. As a result of three of the Sparks’ 4 remaining video games are in opposition to groups above them within the standings, the good cash is on Chicago to take the No. 8 seed as a substitute of Los Angeles.

There isn’t any use crying over previous video games, however that is why Tuesday’s house loss to Chicago was so devastating. You had an opportunity to tug away in a head-to-head sport and failed. The Basketball Gods aren’t merciful to groups that do not handle enterprise. Nonetheless, LA isn’t lifeless and buried but. Los Angeles nonetheless has a spark of life (I do know, I do know, I could not resist) and may keep away from lacking the playoffs for a 3rd season in a row.