The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is taking a month-long vacation for the Summer Olympics. I thought it would be a good time to check in with the country’s biggest women’s professional sports league.
The Mystics: A couple of weeks ago, the Washington Mystics had a record of 9-8 (nine wins, eight losses) and looked like a strong contender for a playoff spot. Then the Mystics went on a long western road trip that included games in San Antonio, Texas; Los Angeles, California; and Phoenix, Arizona.
They lost all five games on the road and two more at home. Now the Mystics have a 9-15 record and look like a long shot to make the postseason. Maybe the team can use the month off to regroup for a comeback in the final 10 games.
Super teams: This season, the WNBA features two dominant teams: the Los Angeles Sparks (2016 record: 21-3) and the Minnesota Lynx (21-4). Those two teams are so good, they have already clinched spots in the WNBA playoffs.
The Sparks are led by forwards Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike . The dynamic duo has combined for 36 points and more than 16 rebounds per game.
The Lynx are looking for their fourth WNBA title in six years. Maya Moore, who averages 19.4 points per game, leads Minnesota. But the well-balanced Lynx have eight players who average at least seven points a game.
Look for either the Lynx or the Sparks to win it all this season.
Breanna Stewart: Stewart led the University of Connecticut to its fourth consecutive NCAA basketball title in April. A month later, the 6-foot-4-inch forward was playing for the Seattle Storm.
Stewart showed right away that she’s a star in the pro ranks. The Number 1 pick in the 2016 WNBA draft is scoring more than 19 points per game while grabbing 9.3 rebounds and dishing out 3.5 assists.
Summer Olympics: Just because the WNBA is taking a month off doesn’t mean all the players are putting their feet up.
The United States women’s Olympic basketball team is loaded with WNBA stars. The squad is a dream team of veterans such as Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings and Diana Taurasi as well as young talents such as Stewart, Elena Delle Donne and Brittney Griner.
The United States is not the only team with WNBA standouts. More than a dozen players from the league will be trying to help teams from Australia, Brazil, Serbia, Senegal and other countries earn Olympic medals.
The WNBA may be on vacation, but there still will be plenty of hoops action this month.