Friday, August 17, 2007

Playoff scenarios still unsettled

The Sun play at the New York Liberty tonight (7:30 p.m., Madison Square Garden), and stand one game back of the Indiana Fever for second place in the East. If Connecticut, which can’t finish any lower than the No. 3 seed for the WNBA playoffs, hopes to catch the Fever, one of two things has to happen:

Connecticut has to win both of its final games (tonight and Sunday at home vs. the Washington Mystics) and the Fever have to lose on of their final two (tonight at San Antonio, Sunday vs. Detroit). If the Sun win just once, Indiana has to lose twice. Connecticut swept the season series between the two teams so it has the tie-breaker.

New York, meanwhile, stands a half-game back of Washington for the fourth and final playoff spot. If New York wins both of its final games (it hosts Chicago Sunday), it’s in because even if Washington wins on Sunday, the two teams would tie with a 15-19 record and the Liberty won the season series, 3-1, giving them the tiebreaker. If New York loses tonight, however, they’ll move a full game back of the Mystics and would need to win in the regular season finale and for Washington to lose.

Also, dates for the first round were released on Friday. The Sun-Fever series, a best-of-three event, kicks off Thursday, Aug. 23, at the home of the lower seed and continues on Saturday (Aug. 25) and, if necessary, Monday (Aug. 27) at the home of the No. 2 seed. Locations, of course, are still to be determined.

No matter their opponents, Detroit opens its best-of-three series Friday (Aug. 24) on the road and will host games on Sunday (Aug. 26), and if necessary, Tuesday (Aug. 28). The winners of each series meet in the conference finals, which is also a best-of-three series.

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