After being upset at house to start their first-round playoff collection, the No. 2 Chicago Sky made it as much as the house crowd with a wire-to-wire win over the No. 7 Liberty on Saturday. The Sky set the WNBA document for margin of victory in a playoff recreation (remaining rating: 100-62!) and crushed a Liberty crew that turned the ball over typically and couldn’t even do a lot with the ball after they had it. The subsequent day, the six-seed Dallas Wings evened up their very own first-round collection in opposition to the three-seed Connecticut Solar with a win in Connecticut. So the weekend outcomes imply two deciding Video games 3 … in New York and Dallas.
Final November, when the WNBA introduced it was disposing of the single-elimination early rounds and as an alternative making the primary spherical a best-of-three collection, one provision of the brand new guidelines intrigued me: “The deliberate change for the first-round collection video games will embody a 2-1 format by which the upper seed will host Video games 1 and a pair of and the decrease seed will host Recreation 3 if crucial.”
That is fairly humorous. Humorous as a result of I at all times believed home-court benefit to matter most in the decisive recreation. Your season could be on the road, however at the very least you performed nicely sufficient within the common season to make an inherently uncomfortable state of affairs barely extra snug. I wasn’t alone on this perception. Sky head coach James Wade didn’t but know his crew can be taking part in a decisive highway recreation when he advised reporters every week in the past that he didn’t like the way in which the primary spherical had been structured. “You at all times need the deciding recreation, if there’s a Recreation 3, to be on the larger seed’s house,” Wade mentioned then. He waved the difficulty away after the win Saturday, insisting his crew may win “on the moon” as long as they continued to play nicely, however the attention-grabbing puzzle stays. Ought to a best-of-three collection go (1) higher-lower-higher; 2) higher-higher-lower; or 3) lower-higher-higher? It most likely is dependent upon what you perceive “home-court benefit” to imply. The second, present association sees it a better assured quantity of house video games, however it additionally takes as a right that the third recreation isn’t any extra essential than the primary two. The WNBA’s personal definition has advanced. Again when the WNBA Finals had been best-of-three, earlier than shifting to best-of-five in 2008, the league used the third association, letting the decrease seed host the primary recreation in order that the upper seed may at all times win all of it at house.
The primary association makes for extra industrial air journey, which WNBA gamers are likely to dislike. The second association fails to account for the stakes of every recreation. The third would possibly warp the momentum. My proposal: Let the upper seed CHOOSE which format they need. This might power coaches to do recreation concept, to disclose their values, to deal with the drawbacks of every format, and to probably get owned if their alternative in some way backfires! The video games in New York and Dallas this week would possibly increase some questions of equity, relying on how they go, however the reply might be so simple as this: For those who actually are the higher crew, it is best to simply win your property video games.