The Los Angeles Sparks guard tied up veteran superstar Sue Bird earlier this week and did it again to Odyssey Sims in a critical 74-68 win over the Atlanta Dream on thursday night. Both times it was a filthy crossover stepback at the elbow.
Wheeler’s move sent Sims stumbling back toward the basket as she hit the uncontested shot.
Wheeler, 30, is one of the league’s most incredible stories. She went undrafted out of Rutgers in 2013 and played in Puerto Rico, Turkey and Brazil before signing a training camp contract with the Dream in 2015. She played 27 games with Atlanta and three with the New York Liberty before catching on with the Indiana Fever for four seasons.
She signed with the Sparks in 2020 in free agency and after opting out of the wubble season is helping push Los Angeles to a playoff spot.
Big picture: Sparks stay alive in postseason push
Wheeler was the one to take over highlight reels, but the entire team is making its case for the playoffs and hoping for some help. Wins over the Storm and Dream this week kept them in contention for the eighth and final playoff spot that’s still up for grabs.
Then they need washington to lose both remaining games. The No. 1 Connecticut Sun already beat the Liberty (11-20) on Wednesday night to help their cause. The Liberty are also still in contention, but can be eliminated if they lose to washington on friday night.
FiveThirtyEight gives the Mystics a 71% chance of winning that spot, followed by the Liberty (18%) and Sparks (11%).