First round (single-elimination): Wednesday
Second round (single-elimination): Sunday
Semifinals (best of five): Begin Sept. 17
- Game 1: TBD at Washington, Sept. 17, 8:30 p.m.
- Game 2: TBD at Washington, Sept. 19, 8:30 p.m.
- Game 3: Washington at TBD, Sept. 22, time TBD
- Game 4: Washington at TBD, Sept. 24, time TBD
- Game 5: TBD at Washington, Sept. 26, time TBD
- Game 1: TBD at Connecticut, Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m.
- Game 2: TBD at Connecticut, Sept. 19, 6:30 p.m.
- Game 3: Connecticut at TBD, Sept. 22, time TBD
- Game 4: Connecticut at TBD, Sept. 24, time TBD
- Game 5: TBD at Connecticut, Sept. 26, time TBD
Finals (best-of-five): Begin Sept. 29
Remember that under this format, which the WNBA adopted in 2016, teams are reseeded after each round.
It’ll be a big upset if the Mystics don’t take home the league title this year with the way they’re playing. Fronted by leading MVP candidate Elena Delle Donne, Washington’s offense has bulldozed opponents at a historic rate this season, and if they’re healthy, they match up well against almost every team but one (they haven’t quite figured out Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury). The Mystics also expect starting guard Kristi Toliver back for the playoffs, though she hasn’t played a game since Aug. 8 due to a bone bruise in her right knee. It’ll be interesting to see the shape she’s in.
Which is the early matchup to keep an eye on?
That first-round game between Seattle and Minnesota is a juicy one, as it pits the previous two champions against each other, and both the Lynx and the Storm have had quite the journey this year. Seattle lost its two superstars for the season when Sue Bird underwent knee surgery and Breanna Stewart, last season’s MVP, suffered an Achilles’ tendon injury while playing overseas.
Minnesota, meanwhile, had to reshuffle after Lindsay Whalen retired at the end of last season and Maya Moore decided to take a basketball sabbatical. Luckily for Lynx fans, rookie of the year candidate Napheesa Collier, the former Connecticut Huskies star, has made Minnesota a treat to watch. Ditto Natasha Howard for Seattle, the dominant forward who led the Storm in scoring (18.1 points per game) and rebounding (8.2).