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WNBA Playoffs 2013: Players Who Will Shine During Postseason

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 21:  Diana Taurasi #13 of the Phoenix Mercury shoots a free throw shot against the Minnesota Lynx during the WNBA game at US Airways Center on July 21, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lynx defeated the Mercury 82-77.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIISeptember 21, 2013

The postseason brings out the best in superstars.

Expect no different when you're watching the WNBA playoffs this year. We've already seen a glimpse of it through the opening games of each series. The closer we get to crowning a new—or repeat—champion, the more noteworthy performances we'll see.

Some players will take their star level to new heights, while one elite player will remind us just how dominant she can be when she is healthy and the money is on the line. Here's a look at three players headed for huge postseason performances.

 

Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury

The veteran from UConn was great during the regular season, but you haven't seen anything yet. She was second in the WNBA in scoring and assists, but her 30-point performance in the Mercury's Game 1 win over the Los Angeles Sparks is just a sign of things to come. She had trouble finding her shot early, but like a true scorer, she didn't lose confidence. 

Taurasi had 14 points in the third quarter alone.

After enduring injuries over the past two seasons, she's finally back in form. Look for her to continue her high level of play. The Mercury are in control of the series after taking Game 1 on the road. Behind their talented floor general, Phoenix has an excellent chance to upset the Sparks.

 

Elena Delle Donne, Chicago Sky

Sep 20, 2013; Rosemont, IL, USA; Chicago Sky guard/forward Elena Delle Donne (11) poses for a photo with WNBA president Laurel Richie before the first round of the WNBA playoffs against the Indiana Fever at Allstate Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Sky were jumped in Game 1 by an aggressive Indiana Fever squad, but Chicago's rookie sensation didn't disappoint. She had 20 points, four rebounds and four blocks in her postseason debut and received the WNBA Rookie of the Year award before the game.

The team has an uphill climb if it hopes to rebound and make it to the second round, but Delle Donne has at least one more game in which to impress. Chicago Sky fans should be excited for the future, as Delle Donne and Sylvia Fowles could be one of the most dominant duos the league has seen.

 

Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream

Sep 19, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry (35) dribbles the ball against the Washington Mystics in the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. The Mystics defeated the Dream 71-56. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta proved it could rebound from a Game 1 loss on Saturday. Behind McCoughtry, the Dream evened their opening-round series with the Washington Mystics.

No one should be surprised at her 20-point performance in Game 2. The WNBA's leading scorer averaged 21.5 points per game during the season.

She didn't have her best shooting night as she made just 6-of-23 from the field, but she got to the free-throw line for eight attempts and sank seven of them. Her aggressiveness and the team's defense helped spark the 63-45 win.

Expect McCoughtry to be a handful as the Dream look to send the Mystics packing in Game 3.

 

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