Culver City Observer -


Sports Editor 

Playoffs Start on Sunday for the WNBA Sparks

 

September 12, 2019

George Laase

Point guard Chelsea Gray of the Sparks drives to the basket against Odyssey Sims of the Minnesota Lynx in the Sparks 77-68 win last Sunday at home. The Sparks play a second round playoff game Sunday at 12 p.m. at the Staples Center.

The Sparks will start their quest for a WNBA Championship when they play their first playoff game Sunday at the Staples Center at 12 noon. Their opponent will be Chicago, Minnesota, Phoenix or Seattle. All four of those teams will face off in the first round in single elimination games. Sunday's Sparks game is also a single elimination game in the second round.

Going into the playoffs Sparks head coach Derek Fisher is looking for veteran leadership and overall team talent will help them advance. "I like the fact that all 12 players are able to help us," said Fisher last week. "I think that's a strength we are going to have to rely on."

Fisher continued to talk about the playoffs, praising his playoff-experienced team.

"I like the fact that we have a handful of players that have real good deep postseason experience. They have been through a lot of battles before," Fisher said. "I think they we be able to hold us to a high standard when get to that point. We still have to go play the games."

The Sparks have one of the best starting line ups in the WNBA and they have a lot of good players coming off the bench. The starters are Chelsea Gray and Riquna Williams playing guard and the three forwards are Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker.

The players coming off the bench are Alana Beard, Alexis Jones, Marina Mabrey, Maria Vadeeva, Chiney Ogwumike, Kalani Brown and Sydney Wiese.

Beard, the Sparks veteran guard, said success in the playoffs for the team is playing unselfishly.

"You have to put your ego to the side," Beard said. "We are playing with a special group. You have to understand that it is not about you. With this team we have a lot of talent. If we just continue to jell together as a team both offensively and defensively, I think we have a good shot at making it to the finals."

 

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