WNBA Playoffs 2023: Matchups to Watch, Schedule, and Broadcasting Details

2023 WNBA Playoffs: A Comprehensive Guide with Schedule.

As the buzz of excitement fills the air, the 2023 WNBA Playoffs are set to dazzle fans around the world. Every single match promises thrills and will be showcased on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2. Let’s delve into the details of what to expect this season.

Curtain Raiser: Connecticut Sun vs. Las Vegas Aces

The grand stage is set as the Connecticut Sun and Las Vegas Aces clash this Wednesday evening. This best-of-three series promises to be a spectacle as both teams embark on their journey to etch their names in the annals of WNBA history.

A key highlight to look forward to is the face-off between the Connecticut Sun’s Alyssa Thomas, the league’s all-time triple-double leader, and three-time All-Star Napheesa Collier of the Minnesota Lynx (seeded sixth). Their match is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted on ESPN2.

Not to be overshadowed, at 10 p.m. ET, the Aces, led by reigning MVP and Defensive Player of the Year A’ja Wilson, are on a mission. They aim to replicate the success of the Los Angeles Sparks from 2001-02 by clinching back-to-back titles. Their journey begins against the Chicago Sky (the eighth seed), featuring 2021 WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper.

The Continued Showdowns

Friday’s action spotlights five-time All-WNBA pick, Breanna Stewart, and her team, the New York Liberty (the second seed). They have their eyes on the prize – the franchise’s inaugural WNBA championship. Their adversaries are the Washington Mystics (the seventh seed), a team with notable victories over New York at both the start and the culmination of the regular season.

Another compelling encounter will feature Arike Ogunbowale, consistently among the WNBA’s top five scorers over the past five seasons, representing the Dallas Wings (seeded fourth). Their opponents, the Atlanta Dream (seeded fifth), bring in the firepower with the 2022 WNBA Rookie of the Year, Rhyne Howard. Catch this game at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Series Progression

Keep your calendars marked for the Game 2 matchups lined up for Sunday, Sept. 17, and Tuesday, Sept. 19. These will be aired on ESPN and ABC. The series-deciding Game 3s, if they come into play, are scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 20, and Friday, Sept. 22. Looking further ahead, the semifinal series will kick off on Sunday, Sept. 24, culminating with the grand WNBA Finals set for Sunday, Oct. 8 on ABC.

Voices of the Game

ESPN has pulled no punches in ensuring the best commentary team for the Playoffs. Leading the pack are Ryan Ruocco, and Hall-of-Famers Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe. Assisting them are analysts like LaChina Robinson, Carolyn Peck, and Andraya Carter, among others.

Disney platforms will not just restrict themselves to the game broadcasts. They are set to feature “WNBA Countdown” studio shows and “Hoop Streams WNBA” digital pregame shows. The first of these Countdown specials, a 60-minute edition, will be aired on Wednesday, Sept. 13, on ESPN2 as a precursor to the Mystics-Liberty game. Robinson will host the Countdown, while the Hoop Streams playoffs show will be presented by Terrika Foster-Brasby and Christine Williamson, streamed on the inaugural day of each phase.

WNBA playoffs 2023: First-round.

First-Round Game Schedule

The first-round promises intense matchups. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the games and their broadcast details:

DateTime (ET)MatchupCommentary TeamNetwork
Sept. 137 p.m.WNBA CountdownLaChina Robinson, Carolyn Peck, Chiney OgwumikeESPN2
Sept. 138 p.m.Minnesota Lynx at Connecticut Sun – Game 1Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo, Holly RoweESPN2
Sept. 1310 p.m.Chicago Sky at Las Vegas Aces – Game 1Tiffany Greene, Monica McNutt, Ros Gold-OnwudeESPN
Sept. 157 p.m.WNBA CountdownRobinson, Peck, OgwumikeESPN2
Sept. 157:30 p.m.Washington Mystics at New York Liberty – Game 1Ruocco, Lobo, Gold-OnwudeESPN2
Sept. 159:30 p.m.Atlanta Dream at Dallas Wings – Game 1Pam Ward, Andraya Carter, Angel GrayESPN2
Sept. 1712:30 p.m.WNBA CountdownRobinson, Peck, OgwumikeESPNEWS
Sept. 171 p.m.Minnesota Lynx at Connecticut Sun – Game 2Ward, McNutt, Gold-OnwudeESPN
Sept. 173 p.m.Chicago Sky at Las Vegas Aces – Game 2Ruocco, Lobo, RoweABC
Sept. 196:30 p.m.WNBA CountdownRobinson, Peck, OgwumikeESPN2
Sept. 197 p.m.Washington Mystics at New York Liberty – Game 2Ruocco, Lobo, RoweESPN
Sept. 199 p.m.Atlanta Dream at Dallas Wings – Game 2Greene, Carter, GrayESPN
Sept. 20TBDWNBA CountdownRobinsonESPN
Sept. 20TBDLas Vegas Aces at Chicago Sky – Game 3*ESPN
Sept. 20TBDConnecticut Sun at Minnesota Lynx – Game 3ESPN
Sept. 22TBDWNBA CountdownRobinsonESPN2
Sept. 22TBDNew York Liberty at Washington Mystics – Game 3*ESPN2
Sept. 22TBDDallas Wings at Atlanta Dream – Game 3*ESPN2

Note: Game 3 is scheduled only if necessary.

In Retrospect

The 2023 WNBA Playoffs promise to be a rollercoaster of emotion, talent, and basketball excellence. With top-tier talent on display, backed by an ensemble of the best analysts and commentators, this season is poised to etch itself in the memories of fans worldwide. The culmination, the WNBA Finals on Oct. 8, is sure to be a grand spectacle, a fitting end to a journey of athleticism, strategy, and sheer will.

As the legendary Michael Jordan once said,

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

As these teams compete for the ultimate glory, only time will tell which team embodies this ethos the most.

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About the Author

Born in Chicago in 1985, Alex Thompson, a renowned betting expert, obtained a Master’s in Sports Analytics from the University of Michigan in 2011. From 2012 to 2018, he collaborated with several NBA teams, specializing in play pattern recognition and player efficiency evaluations. Thompson has contributed to 14 peer-reviewed papers, emphasizing the importance of transitional play and on-court decision-making. In 2019, he shifted his focus to journalism. Thompson currently writes analytical pieces on basketball and is a regular contributor to various sports platforms, employing his expertise to dissect game dynamics and player performance.

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