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What’s Up in the WNBA: No More Undefeated or Winless Teams

The two top teams in the WNBA split a pair of games with the Las Vegas Aces taking the first game on the road before the Connecticut Sun won the rematch. They remain front-runners when it comes to the WNBA predictions.

With Connecticut’s win over the Aces and Seattle defeating Los Angeles, there are no more undefeated or winless teams in the WNBA.

What’s Up in the WNBA: No More Undefeated or Winless Teams
Jordan Horston #23 of the Seattle Storm | Steph chambers/getty images/afp

When looking at the WNBA news, there wasn’t much drama on a busy Sunday with Phoenix’s come-from-behind win over Indiana finishing as a one-score game. The six games played on Sunday saw the visiting team with three of them. Five of those affairs went over the WNBA odds total.

When looking at the WNBA picks, the Aces (+110) and Liberty (+140) have the best odds to win the WNBA title while the Aces’ A’ja Wilson and New York’s Stewart lead the way in the odds for the WNBA Most Valuable Player.

Airport Issue Concern WNBA

The last thing the WNBA needs is any more off-the-court drama involving Brittney Griner.

However, while Phoenix was waiting to board a commercial flight in the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Saturday morning, somebody described as a “provocateur” by the WNBA shouted questions at Griner and her teammates.

Griner, who made headlines after being imprisoned in Russia before the U.S. government intervened and negotiated her release, has been approved to fly charters during the WNBA season. It is uncertain why that was not the case in this incident.

Griner did not allow the incident to impact her performance in Sunday’s win over Indiana as she had a season-high 29 points, with eight of those points coming in the fourth quarter.

All in the Family

The Sabally sisters squared off for the first time in the WNBA. Satou Sabally had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Dallas Wings in Sunday’s loss to the New York Liberty.

Her younger sister, Nyara Sabally, had four rebounds in nine minutes for the victorious Liberty.

The sisters have never faced each other in an official game until Sunday. Satou was one of nine players to score in double figures in a 102-93 offensive showcase that easily went over the WNBA betting lines total.

To the Rafters

Two of the best players in WNBA history had their jerseys retired on Sunday.

The Minnesota Lynx retired No. 34 in honor of center Sylvia Fowles. Fowles played her final eight seasons with Minnesota. She was a two-time WNBA champion and two-time WNBA Finals MVP to go with her four WNBA Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Fowles is the WNBA’s all-time leading rebounder and is second only to former teammate Rebekkah Brunson in offensive rebounds. She is also fourth in blocked shots and 10th in career scoring.

Seattle retired Sue Bird’s No. 10. Bird set the WNBA records with 3,234 assists and 580 games played. She is also third in steals and, along with her former UConn teammate Diana Taurasi, is the only WNBA player with at least 1,000 career 3-pointers. She played her entire career in Seattle and was a part of four WNBA title-winning teams.

Both ceremonies were rather poignant with former teammates paying tribute to the sure-fire Hall of Famers. Minnesota did something that Seattle didn’t do: It won the game when honoring the recently retired WNBA legend.

Napheesa Collier led four Minnesota players scoring in double figures with 24 points while Nnkea Ogwumike led Los Angeles with 27 points.

Minnesota rallied from an 11-point deficit to pick up its second win of the 2023 season. The Lynx were one of two teams listed by the sportsbook as an underdog to win on Sunday.

Seattle trailed 46-21 at halftime to a visiting Washington Mystics team playing without MVP candidate Elena Delle Donne. Natasha Cloud had 19 points and five assists for the Mystics. Jewell Loyd led five Seattle players scoring in double figures, but was just 6 of 22 from the field.

Player of the Week

DeWanna Bonner, Connecticut Sun: Other players had better numbers during the week. However, Bonner gets the nod thanks to her 41-point effort as the Sun handed reigning WNBA champion Las Vegas its first loss of the season.

Bonner was 16 of 23 from the field, 5 of 7 on 3-pointers and made four of her five foul shots. She added 15 points as Connecticut went to Atlanta to come away with the 89-77 victory to remain second in the WNBA standings.

Rookie of the Week

Jordan Horston, Seattle Storm: Horston scored in double figures in all three games for the Storm. She averaged 11.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in a win over Los Angeles and a pair of losses to Washington.

Horston’s shot continues to be a work in progress as she shot 39% from the field in the three games.

Indiana’s Aliyah Boston’s run of winning the award was snapped despite a game with 25 points and 11 rebounds on Tuesday against Chicago. She had a combined total of 14 points and 18 rebounds in the other two games during the week.

Boston is still listed by the Las Vegas WNBA odds as the favorite in the WNBA Rookie of the Year odds.

Game of the Week

Los Angeles Sparks vs Dallas Wings

  • Wednesday, June 14, 1 p.m. ET

This is not a week bursting with compelling matchups so let’s do with the midweek game between the 4-4 Sparks and 5-4 Wings.

Los Angeles will be missing veteran guard Layshia Clarendon for a few weeks and it is uncertain if Chiney Ogwumike will be back for that game.

Satou Sabally is emerging into one of the WNBA’s breakout stars this season for the Wings and it should be fun seeing her match up with Sparks top scorer Nneka Ogwumike.

Injury Update

The biggest name to miss action last week was former MVP Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics due to a neck issue so keep an eye on her status.

Los Angeles will be without Clarendon for multiple weeks and it is uncertain when Chiney Ogwumike will return to the court.

The Dallas Wings continue to play without rookie Lou Lopez Senechal and key offseason acquisitions Crystal Dangerfield and Diamond DeShields due to knee injuries.

Diamond Miller, the No. 2 pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, is sidelined with an ankle injury that is expected to keep her out of action for a while for the Minnesota Lynx. Forward Aerial Powers is also sidelined for Minnesota.

Dana Evans returned for Chicago, but Rebekah Gardner and forwards Morgan Bertsch and Isabelle Harrison continue to miss time. Phoenix won on Sunday despite being without guards Shay Peddy and Moriah Jefferson

Nationally Televised Games

  • Atlanta Dream at New York Liberty, Tuesday, June 13, 8 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network): Rookie of the Year Rhyne Howard continues to put up the points. Will Atlanta have enough to contend with Breanna Stewart and the New York Liberty?
  • Seattle Storm at Phoenix Mercury, Tuesday, June 6, 10 p.m. (CBS Sports Network): The Seattle-Phoenix games have featured former UConn teammates Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi on opposing teams for years. With Bird’s retirement, the focus will be on Seattle’s Jewell Loyd and Brittney Griner of the Mercury.
  • Seattle Storm at Dallas Wings, Saturday, June 17, 2 p.m. ET (CBS): There will be plenty of rookies to watch in this game with Jordan Horston among Seattle’s top players and Maddy Siegrist and Ashley Joens still figuring things out for the Wings.
  • Phoenix Mercury at New York Liberty, Sunday, June 18, Noon ET (CBS): The matchup in the paint could be fun to watch with the Mercury’s Griner and the Liberty’s Stewart among the current MVP candidates.
  • Atlanta Dream at Indiana Fever, Sunday, June 18, 4 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network): The last two No. 1 overall picks are the headliners with Atlanta led by second-year wing Rhyne Howard and rookie forward Aliyah Boston running away with things in the Rookie of the Year odds.

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