WNBA League Pass Alert: Must-Watch Games (June 26 - July 1)

A preview of select WNBA games for the week of June 25, 2018.

Disclaimer: All stats are courtesy of the official WNBA site. Opinions are solely those of the author. Get WNBA League Pass for only $16.99 for the entire season. Don’t @ me.

Tuesday, June 27, 2018

Seattle Storm at Minnesota Lynx

8:00 pm ET

League Pass, FSNTH GO (local)

The Minnesota Lynx are finally over the .500 for the first time this season, after their Sunday win over the Las Vegas Aces. The Seattle Storm--which surprisingly lost to the Aces last week--bounced back with wins over the Dallas Wings and Indiana Fever. This will be their first meeting this season. With Sue Bird back in the starting lineup for Seattle, it’s going to be a battle of great teams and conference foes.

Wednesday, June 28, 2018

Atlanta Dream at Chicago Sky

12:00 pm ET

League Pass

This is an early game, but you can watch at least the first half on your lunch break by signing up for WNBA League Pass. The last time these teams met was on May 23, and the Dream won.

The Dream is getting things together in the absence of All-Star starter Tiffany Hayes (will she be back in the lineup for this game?); the return of bench spark Brittney Sykes really helped their recent win over the Connecticut Sun, along with the emergence of rookie Monique Billings and the grit and grind of Damaris Dantis. The Sky is fresh off a win over the Phoenix Mercury (!), which saw Stefanie Dolson back in the starting lineup and rookie Alaina Coates showing why she was a first-round draft pick in 2017.  Both teams are hoping to ride momentum toward a second straight win.

Dallas Wings at Las Vegas Aces

10:00 pm ET

NBA TV, League Pass, ATTSN-RM (local)

Dallas just got smacked by the Seattle Storm on Sunday (and at home, no less), so all that pissivity has to be channeled somewhere...and that somewhere may just be Las Vegas rookie A’Ja Wilson, who has looked very tired over the past two games against very physical teams. Expect Dallas’s Kayla Thornton, Glory Johnson, and Liz Cambage to make life very uncomfortable for Wilson, as they did when these teams first met in Dallas on June 15 (Dallas won, BTW).

The Aces had a much-needed day off on Monday so hopefully, they are refreshed and ready to rumble. The main question is: can the rest of the team step up and shoulder some of Wilson’s load? Did they learn from the mistakes they made in the previous game? It worked against Seattle (Aces won); not so much against Phoenix (Aces lost again). 

Thursday, June 29, 2018

Los Angeles Sparks at Seattle Storm

9:30 pm ET

ESPN2

The last time the Sparks and the Storm met on June 7, Seattle trounced Los Angeles on their home court.

Seattle has won its last two since losing to the Las Vegas Aces, and the Sparks bounced back with a win over the New York Liberty after losing to the Dallas Wings. These are two of the top three teams in the league, so it’s always a treat to see them play each other. The star power alone should be enough to tune in: former league MVPs, former Finals MVPs, and All-Stars -- all under one roof. The fact that it's being aired on an ESPN channel should tell you how popular this game is anticipated to be.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Atlanta Dream at Minnesota Lynx

8:00 pm ET

NBA TV, League Pass, FSNTH GO (local)

Both the Dream and the Lynx are trying to gain purchase in a slippery slope of teams that are also clawing their way toward the playoffs and that coveted double-bye (where the top two ranked teams get to forego the first two rounds of the playoffs and go straight to the Semifinals). These teams last met on May 29 and Atlanta squeaked out a win, 76-74, at home.

By the time this game rolls around, Atlanta and Minnesota would have each already played a game earlier in the week. How those games turn out will have an effect on the momentum of this game, though the Target Center (the Lynx’s home court) boasts one of the best fan atmospheres.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Phoenix Mercury at Washington Mystics

7:30 pm ET

League Pass, Monumental (local)

The Mercury are determined to get their fourth franchise championship this year; so much that their determination sometimes gets the best of them (e.g., Brittney Griner’s ejection from the game against the Chicago Sky). Washington is also coming for the throne, and seem to have gained some stability in their starting lineup. These teams last played each other on May 30, and Phoenix got spanked at home by the Mystics. 

Kristi Toliver has been hot the past few games, and Elena Delle Donne is always good for double-digit scoring. I’m still not sure who on the Mystics can contain Griner, but it’ll be fun to watch.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Minnesota Lynx at Dallas Wings

4:00 pm ET

League Pass, FSSW+ (local), FSNTH+ (local)

This is the third meeting this season between the Lynx and the Wings, and the Lynx have won the previous two.

Is the third time the charm for Dallas? Minnesota seems to have figured some things out, while Dallas has been in a slow spiral after beating the Los Angeles Sparks. Still, the Wings have been getting quality work out of Ariel Powers lately, so that may be the tipping point that was absent in these teams’ previous two games.

Las Vegas Aces at Los Angeles Sparks

5:00 pm ET

League Pass, SPECSN (local)

This will be the second of back-to-back games between the Aces and the Sparks (they also play on Friday, June 29, in Las Vegas, for their first meeting of the season). While the general expectation is that the Aces will lose both games, I’m listing this game because I am curious as to whether the Aces will learn from the previous game against Los Angeles. If the Aces somehow win on Friday in Las Vegas, will they be able to keep it together to eke out a road win against the 2016 national champions? If the Aces lose, will they be able to learn from their mistakes and eke out a win? Can A’Ja Wilson get enough rest to handle the likes of former MVPs Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker (and whoever else they put on her, like Essence Carson)?

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