Sunday, August 31, 2008

Playoff Picture: Aug. 31

After the Storm's loss today in Connecticut, here's how things look in the Western Conference.

Team           W   L    GB  Storm  Conf   H/A  500+
San Antonio 19 10 0 1-2 8-10 3/2 5/0
Seattle 18 10 0.5 12-5 2/4 3/3
Los Angeles 17 12 2.0 1-1 9-7 3/2 4/1
Sacramento 16 13 3.0 3-0 7-8 2/3 4/1
Minnesota 14 13 4.0 2-0 8-7 2/5 3/4
Houston 14 14 4.5 2-1 9-8 4/2 4/2
Phoenix 12 16 6.5 3-1 4-12 3/3 5/1
After briefly taking over first in the West by percentage points with San Antonio's loss last night to Los Angeles, the Storm drops a half-game off the pace with the loss. Los Angeles has now moved within 1.5 games of the Storm for home-court advantage in the first round, while Sacramento got a big head-to-head win over Houston, which has dropped into sixth place.

The Storm's magic number to clinch against Houston dropped to two, but is still three against both Minnesota and Sacramento and overall.

The good news is, though the Storm could not pull out a tight game in Mohegan Sun, if the team plays like this the next two games, that should translate into victories. Even without Lindsay Whalen, Connecticut is a very dangerous team. Right now, the Sun has to be considered the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference and maybe even to win it all.

The only other game scheduled today features two East teams, so the playoff picture won't change until tomorrow, when Minnesota visits L.A. in a big game in the West standings.

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