The WNBA playoffs are set to begin on Wednesday with the first round of best-of-3 series. Here’s every team ranked by how likely I think they are to win the 2022 title.
8. Phoenix Mercury (15-21)
With Skylar Diggins-Smith out for personal reasons and Diana Taurasi out with injury, it’s extremely tough (read: almost impossible) to picture a way for Phoenix to win two out of three against the Vegas Aces.
7. New York Liberty (16-20)
The Liberty are a strange team that can catch fire randomly, having beaten their first-round opponent Sky once this season. But to say it’s likely they’ll win two against the defending champs is a straight up lie.
6. Dallas Wings (18-18)
Oddly enough, Dallas has found its chemistry with Arike Ogunbowale sidelined. Teaira McCowan is playing the best ball of her career, and Allisha Gray and Marina Mabrey are leading the way. They will have trouble against Connecticut, though.
5. Washington Mystics (22-14)
It’s wild parity to think the No. 5 seed has the talent to compete for a championship (which I do), but a first-round matchup against Seattle with the first two games on the road is a tough draw.
4. Connecticut Sun (25-11)
Here’s where we’ll break seeding. The Sun have a lot to prove after two straight semifinals losses, despite holding the No. 1 seed a year ago. Plus, if things go chalk, they’d play a Sky team in the semis that upset them last year. Chicago also won all four games against CT in the regular season.
3. Seattle Storm (22-14)
This team is straight up deep as hell bringing Ezi Magbegor, an All-Defensive team candidate, off the bench. There are four possible Hall of Famers in Jewell Loyd, Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and Tina Charles in the starting lineup. This team is proven, but they’ll have a tough semis matchup if things go as they appear.
2. Las Vegas Aces (26-10)
Yes, they’re the top seed, but with Dearica Hamby’s knee contusion keeping her out for at least the first round, a team without depth won’t have its most reliable sixth player option. The Aces are still clearly capable of beating the best without her (see Sunday’s win over the Storm), but the relentlessness of last year’s champs could be too much if she isn’t back in time.
1. Chicago Sky (26-10)
Defending champs with an easier potential semifinals matchup than the Aces/Storm. Chicago is damn good, again.