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The Mystics have a favorable route to the WNBA Finals, if they can win in the first round

If they can beat the Seattle Storm in the first round, the Mystics will face the winner of the Las Vegas Aces vs. Phoenix Mercury series.

Las Vegas Aces v Washington Mystics
The Mystics are back in the playoffs. And their run could be really long. Or really short.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Last weekend, I wrote that the Washington Mystics were already locked into the fifth overall seed in the 2022 WNBA Playoffs against the Seattle Storm. The rest of the matchups are set with the regular season finishing yesterday. Here are the first round matches, which are Best of Three series this season:

  • No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 8 Phoenix Mercury
  • No. 2 Chicago Sky vs. No. 7 New York Liberty
  • No. 3 Connecticut Sun vs. No. 6 Dallas Wings
  • No. 4 Seattle Storm vs. No. 5 Washington Mystics

Since the Mystics are fifth overall, they do not have a guaranteed home game. The first two games, starting this Thursday, will be in Seattle with the final match in Washington if needed. The Mystics didn’t beat the Storm in Seattle earlier this season. And they will be underdogs in this series. I am not surprised to see them lose both games in Seattle. After all, this is Sue Bird’s last season, and most of the WNBA fanworld will be behind the Storm for that reason.

To be clear, I get why the Mystics are the likely villains in this series, and to be honest, I have a soft spot for Bird. But I’m not too optimistic about a Mystics first round series victory, though I think all the games will be close.

Should the Mystics win the first round, they will get a favorable semifinals series matchup against the winner of the Las Vegas Aces vs. Phoenix Mercury series. The Mystics swept the Aces in the regular season but lost the season series to the Mercury, 1-2. That said, the Mercury have recently lost both Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith, so should the Mystics face the Mercury in a hypothetical second round matchup, things should go in their favor.

The Mystics will avoid a semifinals series matchup against the defending champion Chicago Sky, who have the No. 2 seed or the Connecticut Sun who have the No. 3 seed. Should they meet, it can only be in the Finals.