Wednesday WNBA: O'Sullivan picks Sky at Wings, Lynx at Mercury, Aces at Sparks, rips Liberty coach
You’re a head coach in the WNBA. Your team is down by 2 on the road in Atlanta with 24.3 seconds left. Your opponent will be inbounding the ball at midcourt. Before play resumes, do you instruct your team to:
Go for a quick steal, and if you don't get it, foul immediately. Even though that will give your opponent the chance to score two more points, it’s the ONLY CONCEIVABLE WAY YOU CAN GET THE BALL BACK WITH TIME ON THE CLOCK.
Play good, solid defense. The WNBA shot clock is only 24 seconds, so if you defend well, you’ll get the ball with .3 seconds left, more than enough time for a shot (EXAM EYE ROLL).
Kinda sorta you know do a wishy-washy halfway quasi-thing between (A) and (B)., allowing ten seconds or so to elapse before FINALLY fouling and putting your opponent on the free-throw line. (EXAM RETCHES)
Make sure that, post-game, the team explores the many fine restaurants in Atlanta.
Before you answer, full disclosure: this test question is culturally biased against New York head coach Walt Hopkins or anyone who had the Liberty +2.5 last night. (seethes)
Seattle O’Sullivan so far: 46-37-1
Chicago Sky at Dallas Wings, 8 pm EDT
The Pick: Dallas +2 (-110)
Home dog alert. I’m not giving up on my Dallas Wings just because they’re playing a team that’s won seven of their last eight. My loyalty (and idiocy, perhaps) is bigger than that. Yes, Chicago is playing very well of late, but Dallas has won six of their last nine themselves, and is 4-2 against the spread at home. The Wings make two more three-pointers per game than the Sky (8.7 vs. 6.7) and turn the ball over more than three per game fewer (13.1 vs. 16.2). Chicago is good and playing better, but the Wings will have something to prove. I’m sticking with Dallas tonight because I don't just look around for something better, y'know?
Minnesota Lynx at Phoenix Mercury, 10 pm EDT
The Pick: Phoenix (-160)
Diana Taurasi’s been chomping at the bit to get back into action for over a month now. I don’t think scoring 25 points in the one game last Sunday was enough to sate her. She’ll be the best player on the floor tonight, and a continued shot in the arm for Phoenix. Both teams have won two in a row. Although the Mercury is better defensively, allowing 79.9 points per game against the Lynx’s 83.5, most of the statistical analysis is pointless here, as it is incomplete information without Taurasi. Sometimes it’s not any more complicated than that.
Las Vegas Aces at Los Angeles Sparks, 10:30 pm EDT
The Pick: Los Angeles +11.5 (-110)
Home dog alert, and then some. Las Vegas is the better team, to be sure. To be frank, however, they should’ve lost to Seattle on Sunday. In their past two games, they’ve looked less than rock-solid. Ace A’ja Wilson has scored points but hasn’t looked quite herself this past week. They’re also 2-4-1 against the spread on the road. Also, once again, I point out Los Angeles’s defense, which is third-best in the league giving up only 79.4 points per game. Now, whether or not that’s strictly the Sparks defense, or also includes the natural raggedy-ness of the games in which they involve themselves, I can’t say with certainty. But I can appreciate their attitude. Los Angeles guards Erica Wheeler and Brittney Sykes fight, and fighters at home getting 11.5 points touch my soul. It’s too many points.