Culver City Observer -

By Steve Finley
Sports Reporter 

First place Sparks play two home games on Sunday and Tuesday


George Laase

Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike and the rest of the Sparks will host New York on Sunday at 2 p.m. and Dallas on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

The Los Angeles Sparks continue to play some of the best basketball in the WNBA. At press time they were in first place with a record of 8-2 followed by the Phoenix Mercury at 10-3 and the Seattle Storm is holding down the third spot in the 12 team league with a record of 8-3.

On Friday, June 22, Los Angeles travels to Dallas before they return home to the Staples Center on Sunday for a 2 p.m. game against the New York Liberty. On Tuesday they stay at home to face Dallas again at 7:30 p.m.

Now that star forward Candace Parker is rounding into shape after sitting out the first few games of the year with back problems the Sparks are looking like a championship caliber team once again.

The good news for the Sparks is the WNBA got smart and changed the playoff format last season. Instead the top team in the west facing the top team in the east like the NBA the WNBA decided to put the best eight teams in the league into the playoffs and that makes the women's league playoffs more balanced and competitive. Right now the four best teams in the league are all in the west.

When center Jantel Lavender starts to play like she has the past few years the Sparks will be even harder to beat. Lavender, who started the season with tired legs because she played overseas also missed the first few games of the season. With the 6'4" Parker and the 6'4" Lavender, along with the 6'2" Nneka Ogwumike in the front court other teams will have a hard time exploiting the Sparks major weakness, rebounding.

Their back court is solid with Alana Beard, Chelsea Gray, Odyssey Sims, Riquna Williams and Cappie Poindexter. Other players that can also help the Sparks are Essence Carson. Maria Vadeeva and Sydney Wiese.


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