Storm hope coaching change can lift team; Lynx lead AP poll
NEW YORK (AP) Struggling Seattle hopes the coaching change last week to replace Jenny Boucek with Gary Kloppenburg helps the team turn things around.
Kloppenburg got off to a good start with the Storm winning at Phoenix in his first game in charge. The Storm are still on the outside of the playoff chase, tied with Chicago for the eighth and final postseason spot. The teams will meet twice more this season, including in the regular season finale.
While Seattle and Chicago vie for a postseason berth, Connecticut clinched its first appearance in the playoffs since 2012 last week. The Sun, who are ranked third in The Associated Press WNBA power poll, are the surprise team of the season. After starting the year 1-5, they have won 16 of their 20 games.
POWER POLL: San Antonio moved out of the 12th spot for the first time this season. Here’s a look at this week’s WNBA poll.
1. Minnesota (21-4): The Lynx have struggled without injured point guard Lindsay Whalen. The good news is she’s on the mend and could be back soon.
2. Los Angeles (19-8): The Sparks followed up a big win in Minnesota with a loss in New York.
3. Connecticut (17-9): Now that the Sun have clinched a playoff berth, they can focus on trying to get the No. 2 seed.
4. Washington (16-10): A leaky roof almost forced the Mystics to postpone another contest. Fortunately a tarp was able to stop the leak and the Mystics held on for a win against Indiana.
5. New York (15-12): Three straight wins for the Liberty appear to have put them in the mix for a first-round bye in the playoffs.
6. Phoenix (14-13): Brittney Griner didn’t miss a beat in her return from injury. Unfortunately she didn’t have much help in loss to Seattle.
7. Dallas (13-16): The Wings are scoring a lot of points, but lately can’t get the stops necessary to win games.
8. Chicago (11-16): It’s a seven-game playoff chase for the Sky.
9. Seattle (11-16): Can the Storm continue to play inspired basketball for their new coach?
10. Atlanta (10-18): Seven straight losses have dropped the Dream from playoff contention. They are running out of time to turn things around.
11. San Antonio (7-22): The Stars are out of the cellar in the poll and continuing to play well.
12. Indiana (9-19): The postseason streak of 12 straight playoff berths appears to be over barring a perfect run to end the regular season.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Storm at Sky, Sunday. The first of the two remaining regular season meetings between these teams with both games in Chicago. The Sky won the first meeting so Storm need to sweep to gain tiebreaker.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jonquel Jones, Sun. Averaged 19.5 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks to help Connecticut go 2-0 this week and clinch a playoff spot.
DANCE PARTY: With the Fever-Mystics game delayed at the half because of a leaky roof, the teams had an impromptu dance-off to entertain each other and the fans.
SO LONG ERIKA: The San Antonio Stars waived center Erika de Souza, who suffered a lower right leg bone bruise during the team’s practice on Aug. 8. She asked to be waived so that she could return home and spend time with her family. De Souza averaged 3.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in 27 games with the Stars this season.
To find the poll online: http://collegebasketball.ap.org/ap-wnba-power-poll-week-14
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