The time has finally arrived for the league’s top team to claim their 2020 WNBA championship.
Postseason competition begins Tuesday night with two single-elimination games in Bradenton, Fla. In the first game of the evening, seventh-seed Connecticut Sun take on No. 6 seed Chicago Sky. In the nightcap, the eighth-seeded Washington Mystics meet the fifth seed Phoenix Mercury.
Earning a bye in the First Round, the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks will know who they’re competing against in the Second Round following Tuesday’s results. With Minnesota claiming the No. 4 seed, they will take on the higher-seeded winner of the two. Los Angeles, who is seeded third, will take on the lowest seed remaining. So, that means Minnesota will be facing either the Phoenix Mercury, Connecticut Sun, or the Chicago Sky on Thursday night.
How does Minnesota match-up with its potential opponents? Let’s start with the highest seed in the bunch: the Phoenix Mercury. After meeting Phoenix twice this regular season, Minnesota went 1-1. The Lynx won their first game against their longtime rival this season as forward Napheesa Collier posted a near double-double with 20 points and nine rebounds. Rookie guard Crystal Dangerfield put up 20 points in the win. The team shot 44.8 FG% compared to Phoenix Mercury’s 41.7. The second meeting of the two teams was less than ideal for the Lynx, falling 83-79. The Mercury backcourt of Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith combined for 48 points in the Phoenix win.
Chicago is next in line for opponents after being earning the sixth seed. Minnesota took a victory over Chicago in both meetings between the two sides this season. In the first matchup between the two teams, Collier earned a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds while also playing smothering defense in crunch time. Damiris Dantas led the way in the second meeting, putting up a career-high 28 points and seven rebounds in the victory. Chicago forward Cheyenne Parker earned double-doubles in both games against Minnesota.
Lastly, Lynx could take on the Connecticut Sun, who finished the season as the seventh seed. Both meetings between the two sides occurred in the opening week of the season, so it could be a much different matchup this time around. Sylvia Fowles led the Lynx to victory in each of the previous meetings with the Sun, putting up double-digit point and rebound totals in both wins. Sun forward Dewanna Bonner was Connecticut’s key player in both of the games, scoring 28 points in the first matchup and 19 points in the second.
Both of Tuesday’s First Round games are set to be broadcast nationally on ESPN2. Tune in to find out who Minnesota Lynx will be matching up with on Thursday night.