The WNBA playoffs begin Wednesday. Right here’s a take a look at the 4 first-round sequence.

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With the WNBA playoffs set to start this week, AP took a take a look at each first-round matchup and predicted a winner.

Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson pulls down a rebound between Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins and forward Myisha Hines-Allen.
Las Vegas Aces ahead A’ja Wilson (22) pulls down a rebound between Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins (7) and ahead Myisha Hines-Allen (2). Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Solar by way of AP

  • Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson scores 53 factors, ties WNBA single-game document

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A take a look at the best-of-3 first-round sequence within the WNBA playoffs, which begins Wednesday:

No. 1 Las Vegas (34-6) vs. No. 8 Chicago (18-22)

Season sequence: Aces, 3-0

Sport 1: Wednesday

Las Vegas: The defending champions seemed poised to turn into the primary staff to repeat since Los Angeles did it in 2001-02. Las Vegas had the very best offense, averaging 92.8 factors and set a WNBA-record for offensive effectivity score with 113.0. Led by MVP candidate A’ja Wilson, the Aces have a potent offense. Wilson is joined by stellar guards Chelsea Grey, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Younger. The trio averaged 51.1 factors and 15.5 assists. The one query for the staff proper now’s its depth. Candace Parker has been sidelined since having surgical procedure on her foot in late July. The playoff schedule does assist the Aces with so many days between video games.

Chicago: The Sky had been the ultimate staff to qualify for the playoffs, however has a whole lot of expertise between 2021 Finals MVP Kahleah Copper and Courtney Williams, who helped the Connecticut Solar attain the championship spherical final season. Copper is the one starter left from that title staff. The Sky overcame some mid-season adversity when coach James Wade left to educate within the NBA.

Prediction: Aces

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No. 3 Connecticut (27-13) vs. No. 6 Minnesota (19-21).

Season sequence: Solar, 3-1

Sport 1: Wednesday

Connecticut: The Solar begin on offense and protection with Alyssa Thomas, who led the league in rebounding and assists. Thomas grew to become the primary participant in league historical past to document a minimum of 600 factors, 400 rebounds and 300 assists in a single season. She additionally had six triple-doubles. Connecticut, which made the WNBA Finals final season, had a change in coaches with Stephanie White taking on. She needed to revamp the offense a month into the season when Brionna Jones went down with an Achilles tear.

Minnesota: The Lynx began the season 0-6 and seemed like they had been headed to the draft lottery earlier than turning issues round, changing into simply the second franchise to succeed in the postseason after starting the yr with a minimum of six losses. Napheesa Collier was a giant motive why as she averaged 21.5 factors, 8.4 rebounds and a couple of.6 assists. She had assist from a pair of rookies in Diamond Miller and Dorka Juhasz.

Prediction: Connecticut

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No. 4 Dallas (22-18) vs. No. 5 Atlanta (19-21)

Season sequence: Wings, 3-0

Sport 1: Friday

Dallas: The Wings had an incredible season and have a potent inside-outside sport. Nobody can match Dallas’ inside energy with Teaira McCowan, Natasha Howard and Satou Sabally. Couple these three with stellar guard Arike Ogunbowale and the Wings can beat groups in many various methods. Dallas has made the playoffs in 5 of its eight seasons within the metropolis, however nonetheless is trying to get out of the primary spherical for the primary time.

Atlanta: The Dream are within the postseason for the primary time since 2018 led by its trio of Rhyne Howard, Cheyenne Parker and Allisha Grey, who spent the primary six seasons of her profession in Dallas earlier than becoming a member of Atlanta this yr. Monique Billings is the lone participant on the roster that was on the staff in 2018.

Prediction: Dallas

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No. 2 New York (32-8) vs. No. 7 Washington (19-21)

Season sequence: Tied, 2-2

Sport 1: Friday

New York: The Liberty rebuilt its roster within the offseason including Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot and had the very best season in franchise historical past. New York received the Commissioner’s Cup championship beating Las Vegas and is now hoping to win its first WNBA title. Stewart completed second within the league in scoring and scored greater than 40 factors 4 instances this season. Sabrina Ionescu set the single-season mark hitting 128 3-pointers. The Liberty completed the season profitable eight of its final 10 video games. Turnovers have been an issue for New York throughout the course of the season and Washington is absolutely good at leaping passing lanes and getting steals.

Washington: The Mystics had been beset by accidents all season lengthy and nonetheless may very well be with out ahead Shakira Austin for the playoffs as she’s coping with a hip harm. Washington has a robust nucleus although that features Elena Delle Donne, Natasha Cloud and Ariel Atkins, who had been all on the 2019 title staff. Add to that Brittney Sykes, who is likely one of the high defenders within the WNBA, and Washington might trigger issues for New York. Rebounding towards the larger Liberty may very well be a difficulty for the Mystics.

Prediction: New York


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