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Former MVPs A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart Soaring in WNBA

Four Teams Still Undefeated Heading into This Week

The WNBA attendance numbers are soaring thanks to the arrival of dynamic rookie Caitlin Clark while former scoring champion Arike Ogunbowale of the Dallas Wings is one of 10 players averaging more than 20 points in the early portion of the season.

The WNBA predictions listed two-time defending champion Las Vegas and 2023 runner-up New York as the favorites coming into the season. Right on cue, the Aces and the Liberty are two of the four remaining undefeated teams.

Former MVPs A'ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart Soaring in WNBA
Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever | Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

Minnesota is the only undefeated team still perfect against the WNBA spreads this season.

Five of the seven favorites won outright over the weekend but only two of them covered against the Las Vegas odds.

When looking at our WNBA lines, the Aces (+100) and New York Liberty (+250) have the best odds to win the WNBA title, while A’ja Wilson of the Aces and New York’s Breanna Stewart are among the players to watch in the MVP race.

 

Something Has to Give

There are four undefeated teams and three others yet to win a game heading into Monday’s action.

Both of those numbers are sure to shrink by the end of the week with two matchups between undefeated teams and two others between squads still looking for their first win of the 2024 season.

It gets rolling on Tuesday when Ariel Atkins and Karlie Samuelson lead the 0-3 Washington Mystics against Dearica Hamby, Kia Nurseand the 0-2 Los Angeles Sparks.

A pair of 2-0 teams square off when Minnesota and Connecticut meet up on Thursday. Former Connecticut Sun guards Courtney Williams and Natisha Hiedeman return to Connecticut, with Hiedeman playing in her first game at Mohegan Sun Arena as a visiting player.

Rachel Banham, who spent the previous four seasons with the Minnesota Lynx, is expected to miss the game due to a concussion.

There will be more on the showdown between 0-3 Indiana and 0-2 Los Angeles later in this report while 3-0 New York heads to Minnesota in another matchup of undefeated teams. Former UConn stars Breanna Stewart of the New York Liberty and Napheesa Collier of the Minnesota Lynx will be the headliners in that matchup. Keep an eye on the player prop bets for Stewart and Collier in this matchup.

 

 

Rookies Caitlin Clark, Cameron Brink To Collide

The top two picks in the 2024 WNBA Draft will share the court when Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever goes up against Cameron Brink and the Los Angeles Sparks.

If last year’s results are any indication of what might transpire, go with Indiana to get the best of the Sparks.

Indiana and Minnesota had the top two picks in the 2023 WNBA Draft and the Fever, led by No. 1 pick Aliyah Boston, won three of the four games.

No. 2 pick Diamond Miller missed the first of the four meetings against the Fever with an ankle injury. She had 23 points and six rebounds in the other three games.

Three of Boston’s 12 double-doubles as a rookie came against the Lynx as she averaged 16.5 points on 68% shooting and 11.3 rebounds.

Clark, Indiana’s second consecutive No. 1 pick, leads all rookies in scoring with an average of 17.0 points per game. She also has committed the most turnovers in the league.

Brink is averaging seven points, five rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots per game.

 

What Happens in Vegas …

The WNBA has started an investigation into $100,000 payments by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to each player for the Las Vegas Aces in both 2024 and 2025.

The concern is whether such a deal would allow the Aces to offer contracts below market value since the annual sponsorship money would make up the difference.

After the Aces beat the Los Angeles Sparks, Las Vegas coach Becky Hammon was asked to comment on the investigation and she did her best impersonation of Sgt. Schultz on the 1960s TV show “Hogan’s Heroes” – best known for his character’s “I know nothing, I see nothing” catchphrase. Hammon said that neither she nor the team had a role in the sponsorship deal.

Whether the deal violates the collective bargaining agreement or perhaps violates the spirit of the CBA is another matter for those conducting the investigation to consider.

The WNBA took away a first-round pick from Las Vegas after a separate investigation found that the Aces were in violation of the salary-cap policies based on options in former Aces forward Dearica Hamby’s contract talks. Hamby alleged that the team traded her because she was pregnant.

Stay tuned.

 

Player of the Week: Kahleah Copper, Phoenix Mercury

Phoenix is playing without center Brittney Griner while the WNBA’s career scoring leader, Diana Taurasi, is still looking for her shot so key offseason acquisition Kahleah Copper took a starring role in leading the Mercury to their first win of the season.

Copper had 38 points on 11-of-20 shooting and six assists in the 88-85 win over Atlanta. She is averaging 28.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

 

Rookie of the Week: Caitlin Clark, Indiana Fever

The turnovers are a concern but it is hard to argue with 22 points, six rebounds and eight assists against arguably the best starting lineup in the WNBA.

Clark leads all rookies in scoring (17 points per game), 3-pointers (three per game) and assists (17 in three games).

 

Game of the Week

Minnesota Lynx at Connecticut Sun

  • Thursday, May 23, 7 p.m. ET

There are some new faces on both teams since they met in the 2023 playoffs.

Napheesa Collier is back to lead the Lynx while Alanna Smith has been a revelation in the early portion of the season. Meanwhile, DiJonai Carrington has stepped into a key offensive role for Connecticut after the loss of two of Connecticut’s top perimeter scorers from a season ago.

This will be Natisha Hiedeman’s first game at Mohegan Sun Arena as a member of the visiting team after her trade to Minnesota.

 

Injury Update: Griner Among Missing Players

Nneka Ogwumike of the Seattle Storm, Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury, Satou Sabally of the Dallas Wings and Chelsea Gray of Las Vegas Aces are among the prominent players currently sidelined.

Seattle is also waiting for rookie guard Nika Muhl to be granted a visa so she can suit up for the Storm.

Dallas looks to be without Sabally, Natasha Howard, and Jaelyn Brown heading into Tuesday’s matchup with Atlanta while the Dream is without guard Jordin Canada.

Brittney Sykes and Shakira Austin are sidelined for the winless Washington Mystics and Los Angeles is looking to get Azura Stevens back.

 

Nationally Televised Games Feature Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese

  • Connecticut Sun at Indiana Fever, Monday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN): When the teams met in Connecticut in the season opener for both teams, the Sun cruised to a 21-point win. Expect a closer matchup this time.
  • New York Liberty at Minnesota Lynx, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS): A pair of undefeated teams get together with MVP candidates Breanna Stewart of New York and Napheesa Collier of Minnesota leading the way.
  • Connecticut Sun at Chicago Sky, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network): Rookie Angel Reese could be tested by Connecticut’s dynamic frontcourt led by 2023 MVP runner-up Alyssa Thomas.
  • Indiana Fever at Las Vegas Aces, Saturday, 9 p.m. ET (NBA TV): No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever head to Vegas to meet up with A’ja Wilson and the two-time defending national champions.

 

 

Questions Of The Day

Which team leads the WNBA in scoring offense this season?


The New York Liberty leads the WNBA with an average of 92.7 points per game followed by the Minnesota Lynx at 92.5.

How many teams have yet to play a road game in the WNBA this season?


The Connecticut Sun and Dallas Wings will each play on the road for the first time this week while the first road game for the Las Vegas Aces is on May 29.

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