SBN Arizona has a full photo gallery of the Storm’s win that put them within one win of tying the WNBA’s record for wins in a season.
However, tomorrow night’s game against the Los Angeles Sparks still has playoff implications, although only indirectly for the Storm. Although the Storm have said they haven’t been thinking about their first round matchup much, you have to imagine that the Sparks might care.
With their win tonight against the Minnesota Lynx, the Sparks have clinched a playoff spot due to tiebreakers but the seeding in the Western Conference is still uncertain, as described by Kevin Pelton of StormTracker. What it comes down to is that although the Sparks don’t entirely control their own destiny, beating the Storm in KeyArena tonight would significantly improve their chances of not having to return to Seattle when the playoffs begin. If the Sparks are feeling ambitious this year and interested in making it out of the first round, avoiding the Storm is in their best interest.
Although they’ve lost to both teams four times this season, the Sparks have played the Mercury much more closely throughout the season, including a six point loss this past Tuesday in Los Angeles. Given the Storm’s dominance this season when they’ve played at full strength, avoiding them would be in Los Angeles’ best interest.
Of course, it’s unlikely that any of this will factor in to how the Storm play against the Sparks. With an undefeated record at home on the line on Fan Appreciation Night, you have to figure they’re playing for the win even if it doesn’t result in the optimal first round opponent.