PHO vs NYL Dream11: The WNBA has been heading into a crucial category and soon we are going to learn which teams are going to square off in the first round. The last three spots are still up for the grab but Dallas Wings are gripping the sixth slot with a firm hand. Then we have the New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury, two teams that are still in the race and will square off here.
The Mercury is in the middle of a terrible season, having a tough time. They have lost 19 and won just 13 games. They are on a three-game losing streak and in the last game, they lost to the Sun 64-77 despite a 16 points performance by Skylar Diggins-Smith
On the other hand, the Liberty has almost a similar record to the Mercury with 13 wins and 18 losses. But currently, they are on a three-game winning streak and in the last game, they defeated the Sparks 64-61 as Sabrina Ionescu sprinkled 20 points and made the game-winning shot.
The Liberty and the Mercury have met twice and have won one each. This is an important game to decide the series.
Home: Phoenix Mercury
Visitors: New York Liberty
Match Timing: 7 August, @ 07:30 AM (+05:30 UTC)
Venue: Footprint Center
Liberty clicking but can fall back to old habits
The Liberty look plugged in lately but overall, their returns have been thin. While they have won three in a row, these wins have been against teams that are struggling. Apart from that, Liberty has forced the issue and their defense can also take a huge hit at times, lacking the ability to take care of both inside and outside.
For all heroics, Sabrina Ionescu has the tendency to overshoot the ball. Natasha Howard is having another fantastic season but apart from these two, the team has received inconsistent performances. The upcoming schedule is against teams that have been in hunt for the Playoffs spots so they have entered a crucial window. Can Marine Johannes unlock her earlier form?
The Mercury has fallen apart in numerous ways and their season has been surely below expectations. Tina Charles didn’t even play for them one season and without Griner, the team’s defense has been horrendous. The team chemistry has been abysmal overall and perhaps a host of changes are required at this point with Griner not in sight anywhere.
Skylar Diggins-Smith has been off her game lately whereas Sophie Cunningham’s breakout season has come amidst such turbulent times. The Mercury has run a four-guard rotation as starters and because of that, they have been outsized as even Brianna Turner as the tall player is more of a Forward than a Center.
Highest scorer: Sabrina Ionescu: 26
Highest rebounder: Sabrina Ionescu: 11
Top assists maker: Sabrina Ionescu: 8
Score Prediction: Liberty: 87 Mercury: 76
New York Liberty Team News:
Liberty Expected Starting Five
Athletic Forward: PF: Natasha Howard
Physical Presence: C: Stefanie Dolson
Expert Ball-Handler: G: Crystal Dangerfield
Off-The-Ball Guard: SG: Rebecca Allen
Leading All-Around Ball-Handler: PG: Sabrina Ionescu
BENCH: Sam Whitcomb, Marine Johannes, Jocelyn Willoughoby, Michaela Onyenwera, Xu Han, Betnijah Laney, DiDi Richards.
Phoenix Mercury Teams News:
Mercury Expected Starting Five
Post-Defensive Forward: F: Brianna Turner
Defensive Threat and Off-Ball Shooter: F: Sophie Cunningham
Two-Way Energy Bunny: G: Shey Peddy
Isolation Scorer: PG: Skylar Diggins-Smith
Playmaking and Long-Range Guard: PG: Diana Taurasi
BENCH: Megan Gustafson, Reshanda Gray, Jennie Simms, Kaela Davis, Sam Thomas.
Skylar’s production has been a bit off but she is experienced to bounce back as an electric two-way player. I believe she will be in 19-25 points, 4-6 assists, and 3-5 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 31-41
Guard Sabrina makes a huge dent in a lot of ways and she has also shown the ability to take over the game late. I believe she will be in 20+ points, 7-11 rebounds, and 6-10 assists range. She can be selected as a Star/Pro Player in the Dream 11 Prediction scenario.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 38-52
Guard Peddy has shown incredible resolution on both ends of the floor and her responsibilities have increased significantly. I believe she will be in 11-16 points, 4-6 assists, and 4-6 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 18-30
Forward Howard has been in incredible touch throughout the season and has brought both proficient scoring and rebounding. I believe she will be in 14-21 points and 5-9 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 28-40
Guard Sophie can get it done as a shooter and she is having a great season, certainly a candidate for Most Improved Player award. I believe she will be in 14-19 points range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 20-35
While Johannes is not having the same impact as last month, she continues to be a sharpshooting and playmaking threat. I believe she will be in 9-15 points and 4-6 assists range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 16-24
PG: S Diggins-Smith(PP), C Dangerfield, S Ionescu(SP)
SG: M Johannes
SF : R Allen
PF: S Cunningham
C: S Dolson, M Gustafson
PG: S Peddy, C Dangerfield, S Ionescu(SP)
SG: M Johannes
SF : D DeShields
PF: S Cunningham, N Howard(PP)
C: M Gustafson
Can Sabrina Ionescu win four in a row as she takes on Skylar Diggins-Smith? You can catch this amazing battle on the WNBA League Pass an avenue to get hold of all the live games and you can also watch the full-game replays. To know the scores, news, and stats, go to the official website of the WNBA. Highlights are available on the official YouTube channel of the WNBA.