No. 1 Connecticut Sun
vs. No. 4 Detroit Shock
Records: Connecticut, 26-8; Detroit, 16-18.
Schedule: Game 1, tomorrow at Detroit, 8 p.m.; Game 2, Friday at Connecticut, 8 p.m.; Game 3, if necessary, Sunday at Connecticut, 4 p.m.
What to look for: Connecticut posted the league's best record and has home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Shock was inconsistent and sometimes sloppy despite a lineup that includes five all-stars. One key will be G Katie Smith, who was traded from Minnesota in late July.
Key players: Connecticut: PG Lindsay Whalen (12.1 ppg, 5.1 apg), G-F Nykesha Sales (15.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg). Detroit: G Deanna Nolan (15.9 ppg, 3.7 apg), G Katie Smith (9.5 ppg, 2 apg).
No. 2 Indiana Fever
vs. No. 3 New York Liberty
Records: Indiana, 21-13; New York, 18-16.
Schedule: Game 1, tonight at New York, 7:30 p.m.; Game 2, Thursday at Indiana, 8 p.m.; Game 3, if necessary, Saturday at Indiana, 7 p.m.
What to look for: Indiana posted the best record in team history while New York lost its final three games. Indiana's Tamika Catchings and New York's Becky Hammon are MVP candidates. Catchings and Kelly Miller were the only Indiana players to average double figures in scoring. Liberty C Anne Wauters (13.7 ppg) has been out since Aug. 12 with a broken hand.
Key players: Indiana: F Tamika Catchings (14.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg); G Kelly Miller (10.2 ppg, 2.4 apg). New York: G Becky Hammon (13.9 ppg, 4.3 apg); F Vickie Johnson (10.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg).
No. 1 Sacramento Monarchs
vs. No. 4 Los Angeles Sparks
Records: Sacramento, 25-9; Los Angeles, 17-17.
Schedule: Game 1, tomorrow at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.; Game 2, Friday at Sacramento, 10 p.m.; Game 3, if necessary, Sunday at Sacramento, 9 p.m.
What to look for: Last year, the Monarchs upset the top-seeded Sparks in the first round. Los Angeles won four of its last five to clinch the final playoff spot. Either Chamique Holdsclaw or Lisa Leslie led the Sparks in scoring in all but five games this season. Los Angeles averaged 68.4 points per game, its lowest output in franchise history. Sacramento won five of its last six games. Key players: Sacramento: F DeMya Walker (14.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg); F-C Yolanda Griffith (13.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg).Los Angeles: F Chamique Holdsclaw (17.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg); C Lisa Leslie (15.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg).
No. 2 Seattle Storm
vs. No. 3. Houston Comets
Records: Seattle, 20-14; Houston, 19-15.
Schedule: Game 1, tonight at Houston, 9:30 p.m.; Game 2, Thursday at Seattle, 10 pm.; Game 3, if necessary, Saturday at Seattle, 10 p.m.
What to look for: League champion Storm overcame the loss of two starters to finish with the same final record. Lauren Jackson had another MVP-caliber season. Houston's Sheryl Swoopes led the league in scoring. Dawn Staley was traded from Charlotte to Houston.
Key players: Seattle: F Lauren Jackson (17.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg), G Betty Lennox (12.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg). Houston: G Sheryl Swoopes (18.6 ppg, 4.3 apg), C Michelle Snow (12.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg).