The Chicago Sky are set to start their bid to change into the primary back-to-back W.N.B.A. champions for the reason that Los Angeles Sparks in 2001 and 2002. However the regular season was close at the highest, and a number of other teams could easily lift the trophy this 12 months.
Here’s how the W.N.B.A. playoffs shape up.
When do the playoffs start?
Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern time, when the second-seeded Sky host the seventh-seeded Liberty. At 10 p.m., the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces host the eighth-seeded Phoenix Mercury.
The opposite two series — No. 3 Connecticut Sun vs. No. 6 Dallas Wings and No. 4 Seattle Storm vs. No. 5 Washington Mystics — start Thursday.
How do the playoffs work?
The primary round is better of three, with the higher-seeded team hosting the primary two games. If a 3rd game is needed, it can be played at the house of the lower-seeded team.
The semifinals and finals are better of five, following a conventional 2-2-1 format for home games.
Besides the enjoyment of constructing it to the tip, the finals will bring the players one other perk. For that round only, the league pays for teams to fly by chartered plane.
Where can I watch the games?
ABC and the assorted ESPN channels will show the playoffs. Games may also be streamed via ESPN.
When are the finals?
They’re scheduled to start on Sept. 11 and run through Sept. 20 if all five games are needed.
Who’s going to win?
The massive three are Las Vegas, Chicago and Connecticut, who all finished inside a game of one another at the highest. Seattle and Washington, which finished with similar records of 22-14, are the following tier down.
It is vitally hard to see any of the underside three teams winning. Dallas was .500, and the Liberty and Phoenix each lost greater than they won within the regular season.
For the statistically minded, Las Vegas had the league’s most potent offense, scoring 109.6 points per 100 possessions. Washington had the stingiest defense, allowing just 96 points per 100 possessions.
But in net rating, combining offense and defense, it was Connecticut at the highest, scoring 9.5 points greater than the opposition per 100 possessions. That might make the third-seeded Sun a sneaky favorite.
Who’re the players to look at?
The highest-seeded Aces have a strong one-two punch. Forward A’ja Wilson is a favourite for the Most Beneficial Player Award after ending in the highest five in points per game (19.5) and rebounds per game (9.4), and guard Kelsey Plum scored 20.2 points a game while leading the league in 3-pointers made.
Seattle has one other M.V.P. candidate in forward Breanna Stewart, who led the league in scoring with 21.8 points per game, and few will take their eyes off the legendary Sue Bird, 41, the W.N.B.A. profession assists leader, who will retire after the playoffs.
And it can be price watching Sabrina Ionescu of the Liberty, who at this point still has only one profession playoff game.
What’s the history?
Seattle has 4 W.N.B.A. titles, all of them — yes, even the one back in 2004 — with Bird. Phoenix has won 3 times; once each for Washington and Chicago. The Dallas Wings won 3 times after they were often called the Detroit Shock. The opposite three teams are in search of their first titles. It’s an especially sore point for the Liberty, who’ve been within the league since its first season in 1997.
What teams and players are missing?
Seven of the eight teams are similar to in last 12 months’s playoffs. With Washington returning after a 12 months away, the odd team out is the Minnesota Lynx, who finished 14-22 and snapped an 11-season playoff streak.
Which means no playoff showcase for Sylvia Fowles, who’s retiring after a season through which she led the league in rebounds per game.
The absence of the Los Angeles Sparks will cost fans a probability to see more of Nneka Ogwumike and the steals leader, Brittney Sykes.
The Mercury can be without each the injured Diana Taurasi, the W.N.B.A.’s profession leader in scoring, and Skylar Diggins-Smith, who led Phoenix in scoring this season but will miss the playoffs for private reasons. However the team’s grimmest absence of all is Brittney Griner, who’s appealing her conviction on drug-smuggling charges in Russia, where she has been imprisoned since February.