Destiny's Momma. The Mystics are currently only 1-1/2 games behind the Fever in the Eastern Conference, but after studying "Multivariable Calculus for Dummies" cover to cover (the front cover is yellow and black, and the back cover is yellow and black!), the BasketCases have analyzed the playoff picture and concluded that the phrase that Bill Paxton uttered in the BasketCases' favorite movie, Aliens, when the shuttle used to return to the mother-ship (from an alien-infested planet) blew up, doesn't quite describe the Mystics' fate --- yet --- but that could change. Let's just say we've concluded that Indy controls its own destiny and the Mystics don't. For the benefit of our loyal readers who perhaps aren't as accomplished in higher mathematics as we are, here's how the BasketCases break it down:
1) The Mystics are 16-13 with 5 games remaining. Assuming we win all 5 (of course!) we will finish with a franchise-best record of 21-13.
2) The Fever are currently 17-11 with 6 games remaining. To match the Mystics (expected) 21-13 record, the Fever must win 4 games! (21 minus 17 = 4!)
3) BUT, Indy holds the tie-break over Washington. So, unfortunately, it's not enough to just finish in a tie with Indy, the Mystics must finish at least a half-game ahead to gain the #3 position in the Eastern Conference playoffs. So Indy cannot win more than 3 games of their 6 remaining, or Bill Paxton's phrase will, indeed, apply.
4) So who does Indy play in their 6 games? The good news is that they play conference-leading Connecticut twice. The bad news is that tonight they play Minny (last place in the Western Conference), then play 5th place San Antonio in Conseco, where the Fever have been very tough to beat (10-3 at home!), then (besides the Sun games) their only remaining games are against the 2nd-to-last place New York Liberty and the league-worst Chicago Sky.
5) To sum up: Assuming 2 losses to Connecticut, Indy MUST lose at least one game to the Lynx or the Silver Stars or the Liberty or the Sky. AND, the Mystics MUST win all 5 of their remaining games (4 of which are against playoff-contenders.)
So that's our story and we're sticking to it! The Mystics play the Seattle Storm tonight (10 PM, listen on WWRC 1260AM or WNBA.com) and Indy plays Minny at 7 PM. The playoff picture could be a lot clearer by the end of the night. Stay tuned.