WNBA Playoffs 2017: ROUND 1

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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

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The WNBA Playoffs tip tonight with the SINGLE-ELIMINATION first round on ESPN2. Courtesy photo/WNBA

 

 

Storm, Dream Game Preview

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The Seattle Storm (14-16) visit McCamish Pavilion in the third and final regular season match up against the Atlanta Dream (10-20) tonight, on WNBA League Pass.

With this season series tied 1-1 and postseason play on the line, both squads will be fighting for a victory. The Dream much more so, having dropped nine games straight. Atlanta’s last victory (July 25) came against the Phoenix Mercury in a 99-91 overtime battle. With only four games left to play, the Dream are four games out from the eighth and final playoff spot. The Dream will need to bring all they’ve got if they want to stay in the race.

The visiting Storm are making a late playoff run after winning four games in a row to push them to seventh place in league standings. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs. Seattle’s timely success comes after a late coaching change that saw assistant Gary Kloppenburg promoted to interim coach on Aug. 10, after the Storm parted ways with coach Jenny Boucek. In the team’s 103-66 blowout win over Chicago, Seattle recorded a franchise-record 34 assists, as the Storm went over the century mark for the second time this season. Breanna Stewart, who was named Western Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season, led all scorers Sunday, with 19 points.

Tune in tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET, as the Storm and the Dream fight to keep their playoff ambitions alive, and Seattle veteran Sue Bird goes for the WNBA’s all-time assist leader. Bird needs 12 assists to pass Ticha Penicheiro.

Storm, Sun Game Preview

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The Seattle Storm (10-15) continue on their five-game road trip as they face the Connecticut Sun (15-9) tonight at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The Storm have lost the first three of a five game road trip, and five of the last six games as they fight to secure the final playoff spot. Seattle is currently tied with Atlanta in the league standings for No. 8 with the Chicago Sky just half a game behind. With the playoff race heating up, Seattle aims to finish out their road trip with a pair of wins and end their losing streak. In the Storm’s most recent loss to San Antonio, Breanna Stewart finished with 32 points and 8 rebounds. Jewell Loyd tallied 16 points and 7 assists in the 87-80 overtime loss.

Connecticut on the other hand, have been on a roll winning eight of their last nine home games, including Friday’s 93-92 victory over Phoenix. Six Sun players finished with double-digits led by Jonquel Jones who scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. The Sun look to sweep the Storm in this season’s series before meeting Dallas on Saturday.

Catch the live stream of tonight’s game on Twitter at 7:00 p.m. ET.