After a long regular season, it’s finally that time of year; that’s right, the WNBA Playoffs 2017 are here and it’s time for, “ROUND 1, FIGHT,”!
Having battled their way through to the top eight teams for postseason play, the 1st-round single-elimination games tip tonight, on ESPN2 starting at 8 PM ET and 10 PM ET. Take a look at the WNBA Playoff Picture here.
GAME 1: #7 Wings vs. #6 Mystics @Washington, D.C. 8 PM ET
The Dallas Wings enter the playoffs as the seventh seed after finishing the regular season with a 16-18 overall record. The Wings will be making their first postseason appearance since moving to Dallas last year, and just their second in the franchise’s past eight seasons (Tulsa Shock; Detroit Shock). The visiting Wings will face the Washington Mystics, who landed the sixth seed with an 18-16 finish in the regualr season. With home court advantage, the Mystics and Elena Delle Donne look to boost their chances of advancing in this solid match-up. Dallas however, has had no trouble against the Mystics, taking the regular season series 2-1, winning both meetings at Washington behind Skylar Diggins-Smith (7th in the league at 18.5 ppg). Tonight also marks Diggins-Smith’s first playoff game, after missing their 2015 playoff series with a torn ACL. The winner will meet either the New York Liberty or the Connecticut Sun in a road game Sunday.
GAME 2: #8 Storm vs. #5 Mercury @Tempe, AZ 10 PM ET
The Phoenix Mercury finished fifth in the league this season with a win over the Atlanta Dream Sunday, and Washington’s loss at Minnesota. Both the Mercury and the Mystics finished at 18-16 overall, but Phoenix held the tiebreaker earning them the No. 5 seed (three seeds higher than last year), and hosting priveleges over the Storm. Seattle (15-19) clinched the eighth and final postseason spot on Friday, when Chicago and Atlanta both bowed out. Despite losing that same evening to Washington in an overtime battle, Seattle’s Sue Bird became the WNBA’s All-time Assists Leader passing Ticha Penicheiro, and the Storm finished out the final regular season game on Sunday, with a win. This single-elimination game will be a duel of a match-up between former UConn teammates Bird and Diana Taurasi, who also became a record holder this season as the WNBA’s All-time Scoring Leader. And let’s not forget about both teams’ young bigs: Breanna Stewart and Brittney Griner who lead their squads in points per game and rebounds per game. If Seattle wins tonight, it would play at third-seeded New York on Sunday. Phoenix, with a win, would play at No. 4 Connecticut.
Tune in on ESPN2 for ROUND 1 of the 2017 WNBA Playoffs. #WatchMeWork