The Phoenix Mercury have three games left in the regular season. They've already clinched a spot in the playoffs so the focus now is on seeding. The Minnesota Lynx has a lock on the top spot but Phoenix does have chance at landing the second seed and at least getting home court advantage in a first-round, best of three series.
Here's the playoff scenarios as provided by the team:
PHOENIX WILL FINISH SECOND IF...
Phoenix finishes 3-0 in its last three games OR Phoenix finishes 2-1 in its last three games and Seattle finishes 0-2 in its last two games.
(If Seattle finishes 2-0 in its last two games, Phoenix can NOT finish second.)
(If Seattle defeats Phoenix Friday, Phoenix can NOT finish second.)
If Phoenix wins ONE of its final three games OR San Antonio loses ONE of its final two games the worst Phoenix can finish is third.
PHOENIX WILL FINISH THIRD IF...
Phoenix finishes tied with Seattle, Phoenix finishes 1-2 AND Seattle finishes 0-2, Phoenix finishes 2-1 AND Seattle finishes 1-1 OR If San Antonio loses one game or Phoenix wins one game AND Phoenix does not catch Seattle
PHOENIX WILL FINISH FOURTH IF...
Phoenix finishes 0-3 in its last three games AND San Antonio finishes 2-0 in its final two games
As you can see, the most likely outcome is a second or third seed with a pairing against Seattle and that's unfortunate. The Mercury are 1-9 against Seattle in their last 10 meetings and that's no accident.
The Storm are the best coached team in the WNBA and their defense has always managed to give Phoenix problems. On the other end, their two best players are at the Mercury's weakest defensive positions with point guard Sue Bird and center Lauren Jackson.
The two teams meet for the final time this season on Friday in Seattle. It would be realistic to expect both teams to hold back some key players and make sure they are rested for the playoffs. With another postseason battle looming, neither of these veteran teams will worry that much about having home court advantage if it costs them a chance to be a little bit fresher.