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ONE37pm’s WNBA Preview for the Weekend of June 4th

It’s hard to believe that we are officially in weekend number four of what has been an eventful start to the new campaign. Right now we are sort of in this space of the season still being new, but not brand new anymore if you know what I mean. Unfortunately there have been some key injuries to players such as Candace Parker who is still out with a nagging ankle injury, and Diana Taurasi who has also missed time, but there have been plenty of bright spots as well. Kia Nurse hit an incredible half-court buzzer beater in Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago Sky, and Betnijah Laney and Brittney Griner rightfully earned Player of the Week honors for their performances last week. The Liberty as a whole look good to start the year, and it will be interesting to see their season evolution alongside some of the other teams who have had good starts like Connecticut, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Atlanta. We’re in a good groove.

This week’s roundup of Friday night games are slightly different compared to the previous three we’ve done thus far because there are only two games as opposed to four, which is a little sad because we definitely enjoy a full Friday night schedule. This looks to be the case for the next couple of weeks so maybe we’ll experiment with throwing a couple of Saturday previews in the mix. Let us know if that is something you would be interested in. For now though, this is what we have to look forward to.

Atlanta Dream vs Minnesota Lynx

Minnesota was having a tough start to their season, but to be fair, they weren’t able to fully find their cohesiveness as a unit due to roster changes, injuries, and as we mentioned last week, missing key players Naphessa Collier and Kayla McBride through training camp and these first couple of weeks due to them being overseas. However things are starting to look up as the Lynx got their first win of the season this past Sunday in an overtime effort against the Connecticut Sun. That victory was a team effort with Sylvia Fowles being her usual dominant self scoring 24 points, and McBride and Collier both bringing in 11. Damiris Dantas added 9 points, new addition Layshia Clarendon scored 12 points, and the Lynx were able to take down a Suns team who had been previously been rolling. If they have a similar performance, they could very well get the win in front of their home crowd.

Now onto ATL. The Dream themselves are coming off an overtime victory against the New York Liberty, and have looked good these first couple of weeks. Courtney Williams went off with an incredible statline of 31 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists, and had the help of her teammates with Chennedy Carter, Tiffany Hayes, and Elizabeth Williams all bringing in 12 points. The Dream seem to be clicking with their two losses being the first two games of the season thus far. I’d say the Dream and Minnesota are pretty evenly matched now, and this could end up being a close game that goes down to the wire.

Prediction: Minnesota will get the win at home.

2. Dallas Wings vs Seattle Storm

Moving on to Dallas vs Seattle. Tonight is the first of a back to back matchup between the two teams. Dallas is coming off a win against the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night, and while they only have one other win at the moment (which was also against the Sparks), there have been some positive signs even within their losses as all of those games were decided by less than ten points. Tyasha Harris was the leading scorer that night with 18 points, and many of the Wings players also hit double figures as well including Kayla Thorton (15 points) and Arike Ogunbowale (14 points). If the Wings can manage to split their series with Seattle, that could give them some momentum for their back to back matchup against the Phoenix Mercury (which is also on the road).

Now over to the Storm. Noelle Quinn’s coaching debut was a success Tuesday night as Seattle defeated the Indiana Fever in the third night of their five game homestand. Seattle hasn’t lost since their May 18th matchup against the Las Vegas Aces, and are winning pretty handily. The Storm are super tough to beat in general, but that task is especially difficult when they are at home. The usual suspects (Stewie, Jewell Loyd, Sue Bird) have been at it again this season, and while it is still way too early to throw in postseason predictions, the defending champs are making it clear that they are going to be hard to dethrone.

Prediction: Seattle also gets the win at home

You can catch all of the weekend games on League Pass, so make sure you get your if you haven’t already.

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