What an awesome first week of the season! Opening night was a living basketball dream with Sabrina Ionescu (who also made history by being the first player in Liberty history to record a triple-double Tuesday night) and Diana Taurasi both netting game winners/buzzer beaters, and players as a whole making strong season debuts (hello Betnijah Laney and Charlie Collier). We had fun giving you guys a Friday preview last week, so let’s run it back shall we?
WNBA Friday Games To Watch
Ready for another fun weekend of hoops?
Atlanta Dream vs Indiana Fever, 7pm EST
Atlanta and Indiana have both had rough starts to the season, but one team will get their first win of the year. ATL showed flashes of their capabilities, in their game against the Chicago Sky, and Courtney Williams has been on a tear to start the season averaging 19 ppg so far. Chennedy Carter isn’t too far behind her with the 21 she brought in against the Sky Wednesday night, and the Dream look like a team that could capture the W tonight.
Now with Indiana, they’ll be looking to bounce back from a pretty rough loss to the Connecticut Sun on Wednesday night, and hopefully being back on their home turf will help them out a bit. Indiana is going to have to get their offense going, and we did see some of their potential against the Sun during the game (at one point they had the lead). For the Fever, it’s about sustainability, but it’s still quite early in the season. We know what Kelsey Mitchell can give, and be on the lookout for Danielle Robinson too. She had a solid game on Wednesday night, and it will be cool to see what she does this year.
New York Liberty vs Washington Mystics
The Liberty are kicking butt to start the year, and we reckon Betnijah Laney and Sabrina Ionescu may have a little something to do with that. Can we talk about Laney for a second? She was the WNBA’s Most Improved player last year, and it already seems like she’s even better just three games into the season. Laney is the truth, and this is only the beginning. Of course Ionescu made history Tuesday night against the Lynx as the youngest player to ever record a trouble double. The Liberty are off to a great start, and could end up notching their fourth win of the season tonight.
As far as the Mystics, they too are having trouble to start the year, but it’s important to note the injuries of Elena Delle Donne and Alysha Clark. Of course Delle Donne didn’t play last year due to Covid precautions, and she is currently recovering from the back surgery she got over the off-season.
As far as we know though, she is expected to make her return later this season (and play in the Olympics), but right now it’s clear that she is missed. The veteran Mystics will have their hands full with the youthful Liberty, but could scrap it out.
Connecticut Sun vs Phoenix Mercury
This should be a good one! Both teams have been playing well to start the season, and when these two met this past Sunday, it was pretty evenly matched. DeWanna Bonner and Jonquel Jones have been hot to start the season for the Sun, and Bonner took over completely during Sunday’s showdown. Expect for her to do the same during round two
On the flip side, the Mercury are finally at home after opening up the year with three straight games on the road, and it was a solid trip for Phoenix as they went 2-1. Being at home (though home is still a little different with the crowd capacities due to Covid) seems to always give the Mercury new light, and DT appears to be turning back time leading the team in scoring. Again this should be a fun one to watch.
Los Angeles Sparks vs Las Vegas Aces
The Sparks have only played one game this year (which was a loss to the Dallas Wings), so instead we’ll take this time to acknowledge and honor the legendary career of Seimone Augustus. The four-time champ, Olympic Gold Medalist, and eight-time All-Star announced her retirement last Thursday, confirming that she would be joining the Sparks’ coaching staff. Congrats Seimone on an incredible career, and we are looking forward to all of your future accomplishments!
The Las Vegas Aces are 1-1 to start the 2021 campaign. The Aces suffered a pretty bad loss against the Seattle Storm in their season-opener, but got their revenge three days later when they beat the Storm 96-80. The Aces are still settling into the season, but of course having A’ja Wilson leading the pack is always helpful. The Ogwumike vs Wilson showdown should be a super chill way to start the weekend.
We're enjoying the start to the season! Make sure you grab your league passes if you haven't already, and enjoy the games!