As expected, the four top seeds in the WNBA Playoffs advanced from the first round of action. Only one of the four series in the first round went to game three, but things are bound to get more interesting in the semifinals. The Las Vegas Aces, Dallas Wings, New York Liberty, and Connecticut Sun have all advanced and will be starting their semifinals action on Sept. 24. Below is everything you need to know about round two of the WNBA Playoffs.
The one-seeded Las Vegas Aces will take on the Dallas Wings. The Aces' biggest foe, the New York Liberty, is set to take on the Connecticut Sun.
Las Vegas Aces vs. Dallas Wings
Game 1: Sunday, Sept. 24 at 5 p.m. ET
Game 2: Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 10 p.m. ET
Game 3: Friday, Sept. 29 at 9:30 p.m. ET
Game 4: Sunday, Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. ET (if necessary)
Game 5: Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. ET (if necessary)
New York Liberty vs. Connecticut Sun
Game 1: Sunday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. ET
Game 2: Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. ET
Game 3: Friday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Game 4: Sunday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. ET (if necessary)
Game 5: Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. ET (if necessary)
WNBA Playoffs: Aces vs. Wings
This is the fifth season in a row that the Aces are advancing to the semifinals. The team has made it to the semifinals every year but their first since relocating to Las Vegas, and now, the team has reached a new height under the tutelage of Becky Hammon. The Aces are a legit superteam, and while the Wings have more talent than the Chicago Sky, it is still expected to be a quick series.
The Aces are led by reigning MVP A'Ja Wilson. After scoring 22.8 points per game in the regular season, Wilson has upped her production to 26 points per game in the first round. After two playoff games, she ranks second in scoring, first in blocks (4.0), and fourth in rebounds (12.0). Wilson is a dominant force, and she is by far the game's best interior player. She had an absurd 38 points in her last outing.
Wilson forms a lethal big-three scoring tandem with Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young. Both ranked in the top 15 in regular season scoring. The team is rounded out by the superb playmaking abilities of Chelsea Gray. Her 7.3 assists per game were third in the WNBA in the regular season, but she has increased that number to 8 in the postseason.
While they may be underdogs, the Wings have plenty of scoring pop of their own. Both Arike Ogunbowale (21.2) and Satou Sabally (18.6) were in the top 10 in regular season scoring.
The Aces were 3-1 against Dallas in the regular season, outscoring the Wings by nearly 10 points per contest. Both teams have great momentum going into the semifinals, as they never allowed their first-round opponents a glimmer of hope. The Wings won their games by a score of 94-82 and 101-74. At the same time, the Aces swept the Sky with scores of 87-59 and 92-70. The Aces never trailed in that series. The series will be a battle, as both teams feature former Defensive Players of the Year winners and are two of the toughest teams to score on.
WNBA Playoffs: Liberty vs. Sun
Like the Aces, the Sun have also made it to five straight semifinals in the WNBA Playoffs, but they have their work cut out against the Liberty. The Liberty's big three of Sabrina Ionescu, Jonquel Jones, and Breanna Stewart are perhaps the best big three in the history of the game.
Ionescu and Stewart are two of the best bucket-getters in the league, and it forced Jones to transition into more of a team-friendly role. The former MVP only averaged 11.3 points per game in the regular season as she delegated scoring duties to her teammates. However, Jones' scoring prowess appears to be back for the postseason. She scored 19.5 points per game over the team's first two playoff games.
Stewart, the front-runner for this year's MVP award, was only the team's fourth-leading scorer in the first round. She still looked great and put up a team-high 27 points in the closeout game, but it is a scary site for the rest of the league knowing the team can pick up the slack if Stewart were to have a bad game.
The Sun may have a little extra motivation going into the series playing their former superstar. Jonquel Jones requested a trade over the offseason, seemingly leaving the Sun in a tough spot. The Sun ended up just fine and actually won more games this year than they ever did with Jones on the roster.
Connecticut has seen production increases from their top three players since Jones' departure. DeWanna Bonner, Brionna Jones, and Alyssa Thomas are all having one of the best seasons of their careers.
Still, the Liberty is an extremely deep team, and it took the Sun the entire series against the Minnesota Lynx to get to this stage, so it will be tough for the Sun to overcome the giant that is the New York Liberty.
Many think that the Aces and Liberty are on a crash course to the Finals in the WNBA Playoffs, but the top two teams will have to play their best in the semifinals. The Wings and the Sun were the only two teams besides the Aces and the Liberty to have a record above .500 in the regular season.