WNBA Playoff Bracket 2020: Semifinals Matchups, TV, Live Stream Schedule

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2020

Las Vegas Aces' A'ja Wilson, left, drives against Los Angeles Sparks' Nneka Ogwumike during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Mike Carlson/Associated Press

The WNBA's semifinals are set. 

The Minnesota Lynx secured their spot with a 80-79 win Thursday night over the Phoenix Mercury, while the Connecticut Sun knocked out the Los Angeles Sparks 73-59. 

Below, we'll break down the schedules for the upcoming semifinals and preview each series. 

                

Las Vegas Aces vs. Connecticut Sun Schedule and TV Info

Game 1: Sunday, Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. ET (ESPN/ESPN App)

Game 2: Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2/ESPN App)

Game 3: Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2/ESPN App)

*Game 4: Sunday, Sept. 27 (time and TV TBD, streaming on the ESPN App)

*Game 5: Tuesday, Sept. 29 (time and TV TBD, streaming on the ESPN App)

*if needed

                

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Seattle Storm vs. Minnesota Lynx Schedule and TV Info

Game 1: Sunday, Sept. 20 at 3 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN App)

Game 2: Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2/ESPN App)

Game 3: Thursday, Sept. 24 at 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2/ESPN App)

*Game 4: Sunday, Sept. 27 (time and TV TBD, streaming on the ESPN App)

*Game 5: Tuesday, Sept. 29 (time and TV TBD, streaming on the ESPN App)

*if needed

                               

Preview

Las Vegas and Seattle will be the obvious and major favorites after each cruising through the regular season with impressive 18-4 records. 

The Aces are led by 2020 MVP A'ja Wilson, who averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, two blocks and two assists per game this season. Wilson does a little bit of everything for Las Vegas, and the fruits of her hard work in the offseason paid off, as she told reporters after winning the MVP award Thursday:  

"In the offseason, in quarantine, I really focused on my game without a lot of distractions because the world was stopped because of COVID. I got a chance to hone in on little things to help me be more consistent all the time. I needed my teammates to know I'm going to produce X amount of things every game, because that's how you win, when you can count on people. That's probably the biggest thing for me being MVP."

Wilson hasn't had to do it alone, however, with a supporting cast that includes four players who finished with double-digit points per game this year: Angel McCoughtry (14.4 PPG), Dearica Hamby (13 PPG), Kayla McBride (12.5 PPG) and Jackie Young (11 PPG). 

McCoughtry (47.1 percent from three) and Hamby (47.4 percent from three) also provided excellent spacing, making the Aces borderline impossible to slow down offensively. It's little surprise the team led the league in scoring this year (88.7 PPG). 

They'll face the Sun, who advanced behind a balanced offense that saw all five starters score double-digit points, led by Alyssa Thomas' 19 points. The duo of Thomas and DeWanna Bonner (19.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, three APG during the regular season) beat teams with the triple threat of scoring, passing and rebounding, making them dangerous. 

Still, they are by far the biggest underdog in these playoffs, finishing 10-12 in the regular season and earning the No. 7 seed. The Aces should cruise in this matchup. 

Seattle boasts plenty of star power itself behind MVP runner-up Breanna Stewart (19.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG), Jewell Loyd (15.5 PPG) and Sue Bird (9.8 PPG, 5.2 APG). The Aces earned the top overall seed in the playoffs after beating the Storm twice in the regular season, however, making the Aces the clear favorites in these playoffs. 

Before the Storm can worry about that, they'll have to get past Minnesota. 

The Lynx are something of a wild card, led by Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield, who posted an impressive 16.2 points per game this season. She came up huge in Thursday's win, scoring 15 of her 17 points in the second half. 

That spoiled Diana Taurasi's 28-point, nine-assist performance for Phoenix. Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve—who was named Coach of the Year Thursday—said it was no small task knocking off the Taurasi-led Mercury:

"When you think about the odds of beating a Diana Taurasi team in single-elimination games—you can tell me what her record is [7-1]—we knew we had our work cut out for us," she told reporters. "A lot of effort went into guarding her and she still had 28 points and nine assists. A lot of things need to go your way."

They'll be the underdogs against Seattle. But they've proven to be a legitimate threat thus far. Still, Seattle's veteran experience and star power should be too much for the Lynx to overcome.