After a 22-game regular season, four WNBA teams, the New York Liberty among them, departed the wubble as the remaining eight teams readied for action. The Connecticut Sun hit post-season with a vengeance. For a team that amassed a losing record in regular season (10 and 12, seventh in the league), the Sun came out blazing with a 94–81 win over the Chicago Sky. The first round brought the end of the Washington Mystics’ title defense, as the team went down to the Phoenix Mercury 85–84.
In the second round of the playoffs, the Sun squashed the Los Angeles Sparks, which had had the third-best regular season record in the WNBA (15 and 7), 73–59. The Minnesota Lynx, which is reinventing itself this season without most of the stars that brought it four WNBA titles, nipped the Mercury 80–79.
With the two rounds of single-game eliminations done, the Sun and the Lynx headed into the best-of-five semi-finals with the top two teams in the league, the Seattle Storm and the Las Vegas Aces. On Sunday, Sept. 20, the Sun took down the Aces 87–62 in game one. The Seattle Storm/Lynx game did not take place on Sunday after inconclusive COVID-19 test results for several players from the Seattle Storm.
The players with the inconclusive results were placed in isolation and retested with game one rescheduled to Tuesday, Sept. 22. The players at issue all underwent additional testing and as of Tuesday all but one were cleared to rejoin the team. The remaining player is being retested.
Post-season honors have been announced. The season-long WNBA Community Assist Award was awarded to all WNBA players in recognition of their unified leadership and dedication to the WNBA justice movement. State Farm and the WNBA will donate $50,000 to the African-American Policy Forum, founder of the #SayHerName campaign.
Sixth Woman of Year honors went to Dearica Hamby of the Las Vegas Aces. Dan Padover, general manager of basketball operations for the Aces, was named the Executive of the Year. Dallas Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale, Sparks forward/center Candace Parker and Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot won the WNBA Peak Performer Awards in scoring, rebounding and assists, respectively.
Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve was named Coach of the Year for the third time, tying Van Chancellor (coach of the now-defunct Houston Comets) and Mystics coach Mike Thibault. Rookie of the Year is Lynx guard Crystal Dangerfield.
MVP honors went to Aces forward A’ja Wilson in just her third year in the league. The 2018 Rookie of the Year and University of South Carolina graduate has been integral to the development and growth of the Aces franchise.
Semi-finals play resumes tonight.