The last time that the Wings' franchise won a playoff game, Dallas rookie guard Allisha Gray had not yet started college. And though they have yet to clinch a berth, the Wings look primed to make their second trip to the playoffs in the last eight seasons. The ESPN WNBA Basketball Power Index (BPI) gives Dallas a 96 percent chance to finish the regular season as one of the league's top-eight teams.
Furthermore, the WNBA BPI predicts that the Wings can make the deepest postseason run among the teams still on the bubble. Dallas currently boasts a 50 percent chance to reach the second round and a 23 percent chance to advance to face the Lynx or the Sparks in the semifinals.
The Mystics, who clinched a playoff berth on Aug. 20 and sit 2½ games ahead of the Wings, have roughly the same chance to follow suit. The WNBA BPI, however, gives Washington a 40 percent chance to face Dallas in the first round. That's bad news for the Mystics, who lost two of three to Dallas this season, including both home games.
New York rising
While the Storm and Wings are locked in a battle for a playoff berth, the race for the third overall seed is heating up with the Liberty riding an eight-game win streak. The WNBA BPI currently rates the Liberty as the third-best team in the league, and would expect New York to beat an average opponent by more than eight points per game on a neutral court.
While Connecticut leads New York by a half-game in the standings, BPI predicts that the Sun are just two points per game better than the Storm, who have yet to clinch a playoff berth. Should New York finish as the No. 4 seed, BPI would expect the higher-seeded first-round winner to play a closer game against the No. 3 seed than it would against New York.
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