The first round of the WNBA Playoffs will begin on Wednesday, August 17th. The playoff format has been changed with the first round being a best of three series with the first two games being at the home team of the higher seed. The remaining rounds will be a best of five series. Here is a look at the four first round match-ups.
#1 Las Vegas Aces (26-10) vs #8 Phoenix Mercury (15-21)
The Las Vegas Aces finished with a four-game winning streak in order to secure the #1 seed throughout the entire WNBA playoffs. The difference between this year's team and teams from previous seasons is that this year's Aces are actually putting in effort on the defensive end to go along with the best offense in the WNBA.
The Phoenix Mercury miraculously made the playoffs with Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi being out for this playoffs along with Brittney Griner being sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison earlier this month. Pick: Aces in two.
#2 Chicago Sky (26-10) vs #7 New York Liberty (16-20)
The Chicago Sky are looking to repeat as WNBA champions in a high-level series against the New York Liberty. Although the Sky finished with a good record, their inconsistency within games could be a problem in this series. The Sky will either go out to a big lead in the first half and allow the team to catch up in the second half or they will dig a hole in the first half and attempt to climb out in the second. The Liberty should be able to capitalize on this issue to make this series interesting. However, the experience of the Sky should allow for them to squeak through. Pick: Sky in three.
#3 Connecticut Sun (25-11) vs #6 Dallas Wings (18-18)
Connecticut's strength is their inside depth, while Dallas is stronger along the perimeter. Connecticut will dodge being upset in this series because Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale is out for this series. Pick: Sun in two.
#4 Seattle Storm (22-14) vs #5 Washington Mystics (22-14)
As you can see from the records, this series is the most evenly-matched in the first round. The Storm has the better stars on this team with the Mystics having the better depth. Emotions will be high in this series because this season is the last for Storm point guard Sue Bird, the WNBA's all-time leader in career assists. Pick: Storm in three.
This post will determine whether or not Bill Burr's rant on the WNBA is actually true in regards to the amount of views this post will receive.