What to watch as the WNBA tips off this weekend
The WNBA season tips off tomorrow at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, which has been turned into the same type of bubble environment that the NBA and MLS have created at Walt Disney World.
- Tomorrow's triple-header begins at noon ET with Sue Bird (No. 1 pick in 2002) and the Seattle Storm taking on Sabrina Ionescu (No. 1 pick in 2020) and the New York Liberty.
- Teams will play 22 games (two games against each team), which is down from the typical 34. The regular season ends Sept. 12 and will be followed by an eight-team playoff.
Top 3 teams:
- Seattle Storm: The 2018 champs took a step back last year when Bird and 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart missed the season with injuries. Both players are healthy now, and they headline a star-studded Storm roster that also features reigning DPOY Natasha Howard and two-time All-Star Jewell Lloyd.
- Washington Mystics: The reigning champs will be without Elena Delle Donne (reigning MVP) and Tina Charles (2012 MVP), with both opting out for medical reasons. That puts much of the burden on 2019 Finals MVP Emma Meesseman, as the Mystics look to repeat.
- Minnesota Lynx: The best of the WNBA's middle class, Minnesota is one of seven teams projected by ESPN to win 11-12 games. They'll be without Maya Moore for the second straight year, but reigning ROY Napheesa Collier and star center Sylvia Fowles should have the Lynx purring out of the gate.
What to watch: Like the NBA, the WNBA is in the midst of a three-point revolution. Last season, 29.2% of shot attempts were threes, up from 21.2% in 2014.