The field for the year 2022 WNBA The playoffs are in and it promises to be one of the toughest title chases the league has ever seen. Defending champions Chicago Sky enter the postseason No. 2 on the chart and will be looking to become the W’s first consecutive champion since Lisa Leslie and the Los Angeles Sparks took home back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2002. Sky has a roster full of All-star talent and championship experience, but it won’t be easy with so many great teams vying for their own shot at glory.
The Las Vegas Aces earned the No. 1 pick in the playoffs by beating Sky and Seattle Storm in their final two games of the regular season. The aces are led by one of the MVP leaders in A’ja Wilson, and also enjoyed a breakout season for dynamic goalscorer Kelsey Plum. The Aces meet the Phoenix Mercury in round one.
The best series of the first round is the #4 vs. #5 matchup between Storm and Washington Mystics. Breanna Stewart is Wilson’s main rival for MVP and is coming off another amazing season after missing the playoffs last year through injury. The Mystics finally have big Superstar Elena Delle Donne back in the lineup and are looking to recapture the magic of their 2019 championship run.
There were a few format changes for the 2022 WNBA Playoffs, which we’ll detail below. Here’s the bracket, television schedule, and format for this season’s WNBA playoffs.
WNBA Playoffs 2022 bracket
2022 WNBA Playoffs format
- The WNBA has eliminated single-elimination playoff games and playoff byes this season. There is no re-seeding in the playoffs. The playoffs also do not consider conferences.
- The first round will be a best-of-three series, with the higher seeded players winning the first two games. The bottom seed would host a crucial Game 3.
- The semi-finals and finals will be decided by best-of-five series in a 2-2-1 format.
2022 WNBA Playoffs Schedule
No. 1 Las Vegas Aces vs. No. 8 Phoenix Mercury: Games, Dates, Times and TV
Game 1: Phoenix in Las Vegas, Wednesday, August 17 (10 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Game 2: Phoenix in Las Vegas, Saturday, August 20 (9pm ET, ESPN2)
Game 3 (if required): Las Vegas in Phoenix, Tuesday, August 23 (TBD)
No. 2 Chicago Sky vs. No. 7 New York Liberty: Schedule, Dates, Times and TV
Game 1: New York at Chicago, Wednesday, August 17 (8pm ET, ESPN2)
Game 2: New York at Chicago, Saturday, August 20 (noon ET, ESPN)
Game 3 (if required): Chicago in New York, Tuesday, August 23 (TBD)
No. 3 Connecticut Sun vs. No. 6 Dallas Wings: Games, Dates, Times and TV
Game 1: Dallas in Connecticut, Thursday, August 18 (8pm ET, ESPNU/NBA TV)
Game 2: Dallas in Connecticut, Sunday, August 21 (noon ET, ABC)
Game 3 (if required): Connecticut in Dallas, Wednesday, August 24 (TBD)
No. 4 Seattle Storm vs. No. 5 Washington Mystics: Schedule and TV times
Game 1: Washington in Seattle, Thursday, August 18 (10:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Game 2: Washington in Seattle, Sunday, August 21 (4 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Game 3 (if required): Seattle in Washington, Wednesday, August 24 (TBD)
WNBA Playoffs 2022 Predictions
The WNBA Playoffs feel wide open this year. The Aces go into the postseason as favorites, but each of the top five seeds has a realistic chance of winning it all.
Las Vegas has been led by the best offense in the league all year. The gap between the Aces’ #1 attack and the League’s #2 attack (3.8 points per 100 possessions) is larger than the gap between the League’s #2 and #6 attacks. Vegas’ defense was a bit shaky, finishing sixth out of the league’s 12 teams. With play slowing in the playoffs, can Las Vegas’ emphasis on offensive pace continue to pay off?
The Sky and Sun feel like the two most balanced teams in the league. The Sun led the league in net ratings at +9.5 (the Aces were No. 2 at +7.7). Connecticut were title favorites last year before storming against Chicago in the semifinals. The Sky were just .500 in the regular season last year before their incredible post-season run. This year, Sky have been an elite team all season, holding on to the No. 1 seed until the penultimate game. The Sky has plenty of veterans — Candace Parker and Allie Quigley are 36, Courtney Vandersloot is 33 — but one can wonder if they’ve been pushing too hard in the regular season this year. Something to watch out for at Chicago is Parker’s three-point shootout: She finished the regular season 3-on-20 from deep. The Sky needs Parker to hit threes in their pick and pop attempts if they want to win everything.
The Liberty feels like the biggest threat to pick up a first-round upset. Former No. 1 in the standings Sabrina Ionescu has been sensational in her third season and forwards Natasha Howard and Betnijah Laney have made New York tough on the inside. Can New York really upset the defending champions in round one? I doubt it, but it won’t be an easy series for Chicago.
The winner of the Storm Mystics series also has a shot at the title. Stewart is my MVP pick as I detailed in this post, and Jewel Lloyd is one of the toughest guards in the league. Delle Donne still has a case as a top 3 player when she’s fully healthy and Washington have been extremely impressive with her on the pitch this year. Tina Charles, who joined The Storm mid-season, adds even more offensive firepower to the mix.
Predictions for the first round:
- Aces over Mercury in two.
- Storm over Mystics in three.
- Sky over freedom in three.
- Sun over wings in two.
- Aces over storm in four.
- sky over sun in five.
WNBA Finals Prediction: