So last night, the real stuff got underway in the WNBA. You play the whole regular season to make the playoffs, and now they’re here. Screw it up now, and you might as well not have bothered. It’s time to put up or shut up, go hard or go home, and any other cliché you can remember that I’m forgetting. This is what it’s all about.
The first game saw Indiana hosting New York in the #1-#4 matchup out East, which you’d think ought to make the Fever strong favourites. But the Eastern Conference has been so tight this year, and the Liberty finished just two games behind their first round opponents – in reality this was arguably the most unpredictable playoff series of the four. For what it’s worth, Indiana lost five of their final seven regular season games, and New York two of their last three, but you can typically throw form out the window going into the playoffs. Everyone starts 0-0, and history doesn’t count for much.
Indiana were back to what’s become their regular starting five, with Tamika Catchings returning after sitting out the final regular season game and point guard Erin Phillips back after recovering from her ankle sprain. The only player out was reserve guard Shavonte Zellous, who sprained her own ankle in the last game against Atlanta. New York had their standard five out to open the game as well, with Cappie Pondexter reportedly still rehabbing her ankle but ready to play regardless. It’s the playoffs – if you can walk, you can play.
The early stages of the game belonged to Indiana. Continue reading