by Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello)
(photo credit: AP)
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Sparks wrapped up their regular season this past weekend with their 14th straight home win in a 77-68 victory over the Minnesota Lynx, clinching the third seed, a first round bye, and home court advantage in a single-elimination playoff game.
While all of those things are well and good, the more important aspect was the Sparks (22-12) got some reps against two potential playoff opponents in the Lynx and the Seattle Storm.
It is unknown if the Sparks will face either team after their bye round, however, it’s still valuable to have that familiarity with recent games against either squad.
“It’s huge,” Nneka Ogwumike said about facing the Lynx in the regular season finale. “It’s definitely a playoff atmosphere, and if we get to see them again next week, then we will have recent tape to look over and to see what we could do to execute a game plan.”
Guard Riquana Williams also spoke about treating the end of the regular season as a tune-up for the playoffs.
“The last four games we came into the mindset of ‘we may be playing this team in a week or so,’” Williams said. “It’s definitely a playoff feeling we want to keep it up.”
Candace Parker spoke about focusing on themselves going into playoffs.
“We know we want to be at home, which we did our work to be the third best team,” Parker said, who recently received WNBA Player of the Week honors. “It doesn’t mean anything when the ball is tipped; it’s one game which means we got to play that much harder.”
The Sparks are in a wait-and-see situation. They’ll be watching the first two playoff games and whether it’s the Lynx, Storm or someone else, the Sparks will prepare accordingly and be ready next week.