The first two rounds of single-elimination WNBA playoff games were bonkers as usual and just like that, the No. 3 Minnesota Lynx and No. 4 Seattle Storm are out of the race.
Now, the WNBA is heading to the semifinals best-of-5 series where we’ll see the top seed Connecticut Sun face the Chicago Sky, and the second-seed Las Vegas Aces challenge the Phoenix Mercury. The games start on Tuesday on ESPN2. This is going to be fun!
1. Connecticut Sun
Why they’ll win: Because they have Jonquel freaking Jones. The MVP is a 6-foot-6 unicorn dancing around defenders in ways no players her size have before.
What could hold them back: Depth. The Sun’s starting five are a cohesive unit, but the bench isn’t as plentiful as other teams. The recently recovered Alyssa Thomas could change that, though.
2. Las Vegas Aces
Why they’ll win: They boast last year’s MVP and the most star-studded roster in the league including A’ja Wilson, Liz Cambage, Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum, and Dearica Hamby.
What could hold them back: The Sun. Connecticut swept them in the regular season, snagging three of the squad’s eight losses all year.
3. Phoenix Mercury
Why they’ll win: Brittney Griner is showing off in an MVP-caliber season, Skylar Diggins-Smith was hands down the best point guard in the league, and this is as deep as the Mercury’s roster has been in years.
What could hold them back: Diana Taurasi’s ankle injury that kept her benched for one playoff game, and bothered her all throughout the second.
4. Chicago Sky
Why they’ll win: They are loaded with talent at every position from Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Kahleah Copper and Diamond DeShields in the backcourt to Candace Parker and Azurá Stevens down low.
What could hold them back: Inconsistency. The team ran hot and cold all year long. Have they finally figured themselves out?
This is the Sun’s title to lose, but the three teams remaining are all built to contend. Vegas is hungry, Phoenix is experienced, and Chicago is stacked. Nothing will come easy.