The first round of the WNBA Playoffs start Tuesday night. The Mystics earned a bye in this round, but tonight’s results will determine who they host on Thursday. Here’s a list of the matches:
#5 Phoenix Mercury (20-14) vs. #8 Dallas Wings (15-19)
When: Tuesday, August 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Arena ASU (Tempe, AZ)
How to watch: ESPN2
What’s at stake: The Mercury are in the first round for the third straight season and hope to make the semifinals for a third straight time. In fact, they did it before as a #8 seed in 2016. The Wings on the other hand hope to keep their season alive.
Who could the Mystics play in the second round? The Wings will play the Mystics if they win. The Mercury are the highest seed in a first round game so Washington won’t play them.
Will the Wings win? The Mystics would want to play the Wings to avoid a second round match against the Sparks or Lynx. Dallas is the lowest seed and the most inconsistent team. They had a recent nine game losing streak which included head coach Fred Williams’ termination recently. Dallas has the talent to make a Finals run, but they’ve looked bad in the last month and will probably see their season end tonight.
#6 Los Angeles Sparks (19-15) vs. #7 Minnesota Lynx (18-16)
When: Tuesday, August 21 at 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: STAPLES Center
How to watch: ESPN2
What’s at stake: The rematch of the 2016 and 2017 Finals is on tonight. Shame that it’s a first round game though. Most likely, the Mystics will play one of these two teams on Thursday.
Who could the Mystics play in the second round? Either team.
Who would the Mystics prefer? L.A. or Minnesota? Neither, but the Mystics would probably prefer the Lynx who have lost a step from last season. If they play the Sparks, L.A. is likely to be very hungry after Natasha Cloud’s gamewinner.
Also, the third seed in the 2016 and 2017 WNBA Playoffs also lost their games and the Mystics are also more than capable of being upset on Thursday by either team. But it would truly be poetic justice to see Candace Parker make a game winning buzzer beater in D.C. on Thursday. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen of course.
Where can I follow the WNBA on SB Nation?
Team resources - Not long ago, there weren’t many SBN NBA sites covering the WNBA teams in their cities. But things have changed in the last two years especially as more sites focused on a single team:
- Seattle Storm - Sonics Rising has a Storm hub where content is added throughout the season.
- Phoenix Mercury - Bright Side of the Sun has posted Mercury content regularly over the years.
- Los Angeles Sparks - Silver Screen and Roll has posted recaps of most Sparks games this season.
- Minnesota Lynx - Canis Hoopus has posted regularly on every Lynx game in the last several seasons.
- Dallas Wings - Mavs Moneyball has also posted regular features on the Wings as well.