As the WNBA season nears its end, Game 1 of the semifinals is partially complete.
After Dearica Hamby’s presentation of being named the WNBA’s Sixth Woman of the Year, No. 1 Las Vegas fell to the Connecticut Sun in Game 1. After coming off of a double bye and having a spot guaranteed in the semifinals, the Aces couldn’t take advantage of their seeding. The Sun did not let up as they led by double digits in their 87-62 victory. DeWanna Bonner was limited with much of Las Vegas’ focus being on her, yet that gave way for players like Jasmine Thomas, who finished the game with 31 points. The Aces kept Bonner contained and limited her to only 8 points, which is her lowest on the season. Bonner pulled down seven defensive rebounds yet struggled offensively as she went 0-for-3 from behind the arc and 2-for-12 overall. Where Bonner came up short, her teammates stepped up in her place, even in the face of WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson. Wilson led her team as she finished game one with 9 rebounds and 19 points.
While the Aces and Sun were able to tip off the semifinals on Sunday, Minnesota and Seattle weren’t as fortunate. The game was postponed 90 minutes before tipoff due to COVID-19 tests for several Storm players coming back inconclusive. The two teams have a potential to play their first game by the day two of the semifinals, however the Storm must undergo further testing.
After an interview with ESPN’s Holly Rowe, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert explained the thought process behind postponing the game.
“We got some tests back for the Seattle team and they were inconclusive, so we really can’t — especially when there’s multiple players on a team — we really can’t take a chance to expose the bubble to any kind of community spread,” Engelbert explained. “We need to see, get more testing, get more data to see if we have an issue or not and so we decided to postpone the game.”
“Being cleared one day does not mean that one is negative every day.”
As Engelbert’s explanation of the situation went on, there was the idea of retesting every day and being back at zero as far as tests are concerned. Being cleared one day does not mean that one is negative every day, which is why testing is necessary for players. The league would rather pull players from their games before they have the opportunity to be infectious to others. While inconclusive results do not mean positive, it is better for the league to be safe than sorry.
Game 2 for the Sun and Aces will be a challenge as progression in the semifinals is achieved. The Aces must strategize after letting a Sun team that went 0-2 against them in the regular season beat them. Meanwhile, Game 1 for the Lynx and Storm is still unknown.