WNBA playoffs 2022: Bracket, full schedule, begin occasions, and predictions

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The sphere for the 2022 WNBA Playoffs is ready, and this guarantees to be one of the crucial aggressive title chases the league has ever seen. The defending champion Chicago Sky enter the postseason with the No. 2 seed within the bracket, and can attempt to turn out to be the W’s first back-to-back champion since Lisa Leslie and the Los Angeles Sparks took dwelling consecutive titles in 2001 and 2002. The Sky have a roster stacked with All-Star expertise and championship expertise, nevertheless it gained’t be straightforward with so many nice groups vying for their very own shot at glory.

The Las Vegas Aces earned the the No. 1 seed within the playoff image by beating the Sky and Seattle Storm of their final two video games of the common season. The Aces are led by one of the MVP front-runners in A’ja Wilson, and have additionally loved a breakout season for dynamic scoring guard Kelsey Plum. The Aces face the Phoenix Mercury in spherical one.

The most effective first spherical sequence is the No. 4 vs. No. 5 matchup between the Storm and Washington Mystics. Breanna Stewart is Wilson’s most important competitors for MVP, and has turned in one other superb season after lacking final yr’s playoffs with an damage. The Mystics lastly have famous person large Elena Delle Donne again within the lineup, and try to recapture the magic from their 2019 championship run.

There have been some modifications to format for the WNBA Playoffs in 2022, which we’ll clarify beneath. Right here’s the bracket, TV schedule, and format for the WNBA Playoffs this season.

WNBA Playoffs 2022 Bracket

2022 WNBA Playoffs format

  • The WNBA has eradicated single-elimination playoff video games and playoff byes this season. There isn’t any re-seeding within the playoffs. The playoffs additionally don’t think about conferences.
  • The primary spherical shall be a ‘best-of-three’ sequence with the upper seed getting the primary two video games. The decrease seed would host a decisive Recreation 3.
  • The semifinals and Finals shall be determined by ‘best-of-five’ sequence with a 2-2-1 format.

WNBA Playoffs schedule 2022

No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 8 Phoenix Mercury: Video games, Dates, Instances, and TV

Recreation 1: Phoenix at Las Vegas, Wednesday, Aug. 17 (10 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Recreation 2: Phoenix at Las Vegas, Saturday, Aug. 20 (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Recreation 3 (if vital): Las Vegas at Phoenix, Tuesday, Aug. 23 (TBD)

No. 2 Chicago Sky vs. No. 7 New York Liberty: Schedule, Dates, Instances, and TV

Recreation 1: New York at Chicago, Wednesday, Aug. 17 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Recreation 2: New York at Chicago, Saturday, Aug. 20 (Midday ET, ESPN)

Recreation 3 (if vital): Chicago at New York, Tuesday, Aug. 23 (TBD)

No. 3 Connecticut Solar vs. No. 6 Dallas Wings: Video games, Dates, Instances, and TV

Recreation 1: Dallas at Connecticut, Thursday, Aug. 18 (8 p.m. ET, ESPNU/NBA TV)

Recreation 2: Dallas at Connecticut, Sunday, Aug. 21 (midday ET, ABC)

Recreation 3 (if vital): Connecticut at Dallas, Wednesday, Aug. 24 (TBD)

No. 4 Seattle Storm vs. No. 5 Washington Mystics: Schedule and TV Instances

Recreation 1: Washington at Seattle, Thursday, Aug. 18 (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Recreation 2: Washington at Seattle, Sunday, Aug. 21 (4 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Recreation 3 (if vital): Seattle at Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 24 (TBD)

WNBA Playoffs 2022 predictions

The WNBA Playoffs really feel huge open this yr. The Aces enter the postseason because the favorites, however every of the top-five seeds have a sensible probability to win all of it.

Las Vegas has been led by the league’s finest offense all yr. The hole between the Aces’ No. 1 offense and the league’s No. 2 offense (3.8 factors per 100 possessions) is wider than the hole between the league’s No. 2 and No. 6 offenses. Vegas’ protection has been somewhat extra shaky, rating sixth out of the league’s 12 groups. When the sport slows down within the playoffs, can Las Vegas’ emphasis on offensive tempo proceed to repay?

The Sky and Solar really feel just like the league’s two most balanced groups. The Solar led the league in net-rating at +9.5 (the Aces had been No. 2 at +7.7). Connecticut was the title favourite final yr earlier than getting upset within the semifinals by Chicago. The Sky had been solely .500 within the common season final yr earlier than their unbelievable postseason run. This yr, the Sky had been an elite group all season, holding onto the No. 1 seed till their second to final sport. The Sky have a ton of veterans — Candace Parker and Allie Quigley are 36 years previous, Courtney Vandersloot is 33 years previous — nevertheless it’s truthful to marvel in the event that they pushed too arduous through the common season this yr. One thing to look at for with Chicago is Parker’s three-point taking pictures: she ended the common season 3-for-20 from deep. The Sky want Parker to be hitting threes on her pick-and-pop makes an attempt in the event that they’re going to win all of it.

The Liberty really feel like the most important menace to drag a primary spherical upset. Former No. 1 total choose Sabrina Ionescu has been sensational in her third season, and forwards Natasha Howard and Betnijah Laney have made New York powerful on the within. Can New York actually upset the defending champs in spherical one? I doubt it, nevertheless it gained’t be a straightforward sequence for Chicago.

The winner of the Storm-Mystics sequence may also have a shot on the title. Stewart is my MVP pick as I detailed in this post, and Jewel Lloyd is likely one of the league’s hardest guards. Delle Donne nonetheless has a case as a top-three participant when absolutely wholesome, and Washington has been extraordinarily formidable along with her on the court docket this yr. The Storm’s midseason addition of Tina Charles provides much more offensive firepower to the combination.

First spherical predictions:

  • Aces over Mercury in two.
  • Storm over Mystics in three.
  • Sky over Liberty in three.
  • Solar over Wings in two.

Semifinals predictions:

  • Aces over Storm in 4.
  • Sky over Solar in 5.

WNBA Finals prediction:

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