Sep 12, 2023 - Sports

2023 WNBA Playoffs: Everything you need to know

Two women in black basketball uniforms smiling next to each other

Kelsey Plum #10 and Chelsea Gray #12 of the Las Vegas Aces. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

From Brittney Griner's return to the Aces historic season, it's been an exciting year of women's basketball. Now the WNBA playoffs have arrived.

Driving the news: The postseason starts Wednesday night with the Minnesota Lynx taking on the Connecticut Sun at 8pm ET.

  • The top-seed Las Vegas Aces are looking for back to back championships and start their title defense against the Chicago Sky at 10pm ET.

State of play: The first round series are best of three before switching to best of five for the second round and WNBA Finals.

  • The Aces were the best team in the regular season finishing with 34 wins and just six losses.
  • The Atlanta Dream, Washington Mystics, Lynx and Sky all enter the playoffs with losing records. The Dallas Wings are four games above .500.

Of note: All games will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC.

Zoom in: Take a look at each first round matchup:

Las Vegas Aces vs. Chicago Sky

Details: Perhaps the most lopsided matchup in the first round, the eight-seed Sky won just 18 games this year losing all three of their regular season contests against the Aces.

Yes, but: The Sky are just two years removed from their only title in franchise history taking the crown in 2021. They were one game away from reaching last year losing in five to Connecticut.

What to watch: The Aces are arguably one of the best teams in WNBA history. And Candace Parker, who was key in the Sky's championship run, is now on Vegas' side, which has a chance to send her hometown team early.

  • Of note: Parker's role in helping the Aces will come as a veteran presence in the locker room as she continues to rehab a foot injury.

The odds: The Aces are 16 point favorites in Game 1. A trend that should continue in this one.


Game 1- Wednesday at 10pm ET

Game 2- Sunday at 3pm ET

Game 3*- Sept. 20, TBD

New York Liberty vs. Washington Mystics

A woman in a black jersey dribbles a basketball past the defense
Courtney Vandersloot of the New York Liberty plays against the Washington Mystics. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Details: These two teams split their four regular season matchup. But the Mystics won their final game of the season with a buzzer beat to defeat New York.

What to watch: The Liberty are chasing their franchise's first WNBA title and have lost in the first round of the playoffs the past two seasons. The Mystics last won it all in 2019.

Of note: This series could easily be decided by guard play. New York is led by two dynamic players in Sabrina Ionescu and Courtney Vandersloot while Washington relies on Brittney Sykes and Natasha Cloud.

The odds: New York is a 9.5 point favorite in Game 1.


Game 1- Friday at 7:30pm ET.

Game 2- Sept. 19, 7pm ET.

Game 3*- Sept, 22 TBD

Connecticut Sun vs. Minnesota Lynx

Details: This matchup features two MVP candidates: Lynx forward Napheesa Collier and Sun Forward Alyssa Thomas, who nearly averaged a triple double.

What to watch: The Lynx are just the second team in league history to make the playoffs after starting 0-6. Meanwhile, the Sun are coming off a Finals berth last season where they lost to the Aces in four games.

  • The Sun won three of their four regular season games against Minnesota.

The odds: Connecticut is favored by 9.5 points in Game 1.


Game 1- Wednesday at 8pm ET.

Game 2- Sunday at 1pm ET.

Game 3*- Sept. 20, TBD

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Dallas Wings vs. Atlanta Dream

A woman shoots a basketball during an WNBA game.
Arike Ogunbowale #24 of the Dallas Wings against the Atlanta Dream. Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Details: The Dream return to the playoffs for the first time since 2018 while Dallas has lost in the first round the last two seasons.

What to watch: The Wings won all three of their games against Atlanta in the regular season, including a 94-77 drubbing in the finale. Once again the focus will be on the guards, Atlanta's Rhyne Howard (who won rookie of the year in 2022) against Arike Ogunbowale who averaged nearly 27 points in the three games against Atlanta.

The odds: Dallas is a 6.5 point favorite in Game 1.


Game 1- Friday at 9:30pm ET

Game 2- Sept. 19, 9pm ET

Game 3- Sept. 22, TBD

Editor's note: This story has been update to show Candace Parker is still nursing an injury.

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