The Chicago Sky are set to start their bid to turn out to be the primary back-to-back WNBA champions for the reason that Los Angeles Sparks in 2001 and 2002. However the common season was near the highest, and a number of other groups might simply carry the trophy this 12 months .
Here is how the WNBA playoffs form up.
When do the playoffs begin?
Wednesday at 8 pm Japanese time, when the second-seeded Sky host the seventh-seeded Liberty. At 10 pm, the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces host the eighth-seeded Phoenix Mercury.
The opposite two collection — No. 3 Connecticut Solar vs No. 6 Dallas Wings and No. 4 Seattle Storm vs. No. 5 Washington Mystics — begin Thursday.
How do the playoffs work?
The primary spherical is better of three, with the higher-seeded group internet hosting the primary two video games. If a 3rd sport is important, it will likely be performed on the house of the lower-seeded group.
The semifinals and finals are greatest of 5, following a conventional 2-2-1 format for house video games.
In addition to the enjoyment of constructing it to the tip, the finals will convey the gamers one other perk. For that spherical solely, the league pays for groups to fly by chartered airplane.
The place can I watch the video games?
ABC and the varied ESPN channels will present the playoffs. Video games can be streamed by way of ESPN.
When are the finals?
They’re scheduled to start on Sept. 11 and run by Sept. 20 if all 5 video games are wanted.
Who’s going to win?
The large three are Las Vegas, Chicago and Connecticut, who all completed inside a sport of one another on the prime. Seattle and Washington, which completed with similar information of 22-14, are the subsequent tier down.
It is vitally laborious to see any of the underside three groups successful. Dallas was .500, and the Liberty and Phoenix each misplaced greater than they gained within the common season.
For the statistically minded, Las Vegas had the league’s most potent offense, scoring 109.6 factors per 100 possessions. Washington had the stingiest protection, permitting simply 96 factors per 100 possessions.
However in internet score, combining offense and protection, it was Connecticut on the prime, scoring 9.5 factors greater than the opposition per 100 possessions. That would make the third-seeded Solar a sneaky favourite.
Who’re the gamers to look at?
The highest-seeded Aces have a robust one-two punch. Ahead A’ja Wilson is a favourite for the Most Precious Participant Award after ending within the prime 5 in factors per sport (19.5) and rebounds per sport (9.4), and guard Kelsey Plum scored 20.2 factors a sport whereas main the league in 3 – pointers made.
Seattle has one other MVP candidate in ahead Breanna Stewart, who led the league in scoring with 21.8 factors per sport, and few will take their eyes off the legendary Sue Hen, 41, the WNBA profession assists chief, who will retire after the playoffs.
And it will likely be price watching Sabrina Ionescu of the Liberty, who at this level nonetheless has only one profession playoff sport.
What is the historical past?
Seattle has 4 WNBA titles, all of them — sure, even the one again in 2004 — with Hen. Phoenix has gained 3 times; as soon as every for Washington and Chicago. The Dallas Wings gained 3 times once they have been generally known as the Detroit Shock. The opposite three groups are searching for their first titles. It is an particularly sore level for the Liberty, who’ve been within the league since its first season in 1997.
What groups and gamers are lacking?
Seven of the eight groups are the identical as in final 12 months’s playoffs. With Washington returning after a 12 months away, the odd group out is the Minnesota Lynx, who completed 14-22 and snapped an 11-season playoff streak.
Which means no playoff showcase for Sylvia Fowles, who’s retiring after a season wherein she led the league in rebounds per sport.
The absence of the Los Angeles Sparks will price followers an opportunity to see extra of Nneka Ogwumike and the steals chief, Brittney Sykes.
The Mercury will probably be with out each the injured Diana Taurasi, the WNBA’s profession chief in scoring, and Skylar Diggins-Smith, who led Phoenix in scoring this season however will miss the playoffs for private causes. However the group’s grimest absence of all is Brittney Griner, who’s interesting her conviction on drug-smuggling costs in Russia, the place she has been imprisoned since February.