September 11, 2023 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: 2023 WNBA playoff preview

Missy and Gigi Speer discuss the top contenders and storylines headed into the postseason

The 2023 WNBA Playoff field is set and Missy Heidrick scouted each of the eight teams on the latest episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball. Gigi Speer, a New York Liberty beat reporter for The Strickland, joined Missy to discuss some of the biggest storylines ahead of Wednesday night’s first set of games.

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Missy and Gigi started with the middle of the bracket with the No. 4 seed Dallas Wings. They will start with a best-of-three series against fifth-seeded Atlanta in the first round.

“Their key players are people that I’ve followed for a couple of seasons now and they are people I can always expect to show up in game time, in crunch time,” Gigi said. “Natasha Howard is a player that doesn’t get enough credit. She can consistently put up double-digit points, double-digit rebounds as well. I think that they could be super dangerous.”

On the other side of the bracket, No. 6 Minnesota will face No. 3 Connecticut and No. 7 Washington will face the second-seeded New York Liberty. Gigi said the Lynx, and their turnaround have impressed her from the middle of the WNBA Playoff field.

“When you start that poorly, 0-6, a lot of people are writing you off and it’s really hard not to go with them as well,” Gigi said. “But man, Napheesa Collier, I love watching her style of play and I think that’s something that you can see reflected in the stat sheet because of how much of an offensive presence she is.At games too, she seems to be firing up her team that’s on the court and the team that’s on the bench and they’re all working together.”

In the second segment, Missy and Gigi turned their attention to the Liberty who finished with a 32-8 record in the regular season.

“If teams aren’t buying into every aspect of the program and they’re not trusting each other, it’s never gonna work,” Gigi said. “I think that the quick and early labeling as a ‘super team’ which I did because you can’t help but do it, is only justified if there’s clear direction and clear focus. I think that’s what really stood out to me early on was Sandy Brondello‘s commitment in building up.”

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Written by The Next

1 Comment

  1. RM Williams on September 12, 2023 at 6:43 am

    Unfortunately, Gigi, the Lynx did not find a way to win the last two games. These were games that they should have won, but failed to follow a solid game plan. The greatest weakness came off the bench. Against Chicago, the bench scored 1 point, and against Indiana, 8 points. In both games, they essentially allowed Chicago and Indiana to do whatever they wanted. What is most frustrating is that when you look at their wins they were gritty and played hard. The lack of consistency has plagued this team all season. In their lone win against Connecticut, the bench scored 28 points. That game was without Collier and Banham (no loss) as well, so there is a good example of what the Lynx are capable of when they follow the plan. It is also interesting that they had a better road record than home record. If that is any indication of anything, it may be that playing on the road against Connecticut adds as little more fuel to the fire, assuming the fire is there. These next two games should give Coach Reeve and GM Claire Duwelius a good idea of what to look for in free agency and the draft. I see five spots, but I’m an optimist. Who knows? Perhaps the Lynx will put on the big Cinderella costume and take the Sun? But whatever happens, nothing should obfuscate the need to continue to build this team around Collier, McBride, Miller, and Juhász. That’s the future, and to paraphrase the X Files, the rest is out there.

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