WNBA playoffs

(Redirected from WNBA Playoffs)

The WNBA Playoffs is an elimination tournament between 8 teams in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), ultimately deciding the final two teams who will play in the WNBA Finals.

Former WNBA Playoffs logo
WNBA Playoffs logo

Format edit

In the current format of the WNBA playoffs, the top eight teams in the regular season, regardless of conference, participate in a single-elimination tournament system. The eight teams are then seeded by their regular season records, with the higher seeded team (or the team with the better record) in a series given homecourt advantage.

Round One is a best-of-three series, played with a homecourt pattern of 2–1 (the higher seed hosts games 1 and 2, while the lower seed hosts game 3). The Semifinals and Finals are both best-of-five, played with a homecourt pattern of 2–2–1 (the higher seed hosts games 1, 2, and 5, while the lower seed hosts games 3 and 4).[1]

Tiebreaker procedures edit

In case of ties, the following procedures are followed:

  1. Better winning percentage among all head-to-head games involving tied teams.
  2. Better winning percentage against all teams with a .500 or better record at the end of the season.
  3. Better point differential in games involving tied teams.
  4. Better point differential in all games.
  5. Coin toss (or draw of lots, if at least 3 teams are still tied after the first 4 tiebreakers fail).

History edit

The playoff format has changed throughout the years ever since the league's establishment.

In the league's first two seasons, 1997 and 1998, only the top four teams overall advance to the playoffs, only consisting of two rounds. In 1997, only a single game was played in all matches. In 1998, each match became a best-of-three series. The homecourt pattern for best-of-three was 1–1–1.

As expansion began, the playoff format accommodated more teams. The format used in 1999 had six teams with the top three teams from each conference advancing to the playoffs, with the top seed of each conference getting a bye into the Conference Finals. The following season, it was expanded to eight teams with the top four teams from each conference advancing to the playoffs. In 2005, the WNBA Finals became a best-of-five series. Despite the departure of some teams later on, the format would stick until 2015.

In 2016, a new format was introduced, featuring a stepladder-like system. In this format, the first- and second-seeded teams start at the Semifinals, third and fourth start at the Second Round, and the remaining four begin at the First Round. The format also removed conference seeding, instead having the top eight teams overall advance. The First and Second Rounds only consist of a single game, with the winning team immediately advancing to the next round. The Semifinals and Finals are both best-of-five series. After each round, the lower surviving seed faces the higher seed in the next round, and the higher surviving seed faces the lower seed.[1]

The current format was adopted in 2022.

Playoff series history edit

2023 season edit

Round One:
Best-of-3
Semifinals:
Best-of-5
Finals:
Best-of-5
         
1 Las Vegas Aces 2
8 Chicago Sky 0
1 Las Vegas Aces 3
4 Dallas Wings 0
4 Dallas Wings 2
5 Atlanta Dream 0
1 Las Vegas Aces 3
2 New York Liberty 1
2 New York Liberty 2
7 Washington Mystics 0
2 New York Liberty 3
3 Connecticut Sun 1
3 Connecticut Sun 2
6 Minnesota Lynx 1

Bold Series winner

2022 season edit

Round One:
Best-of-3
Semifinals:
Best-of-5
Finals:
Best-of-5
         
1 Las Vegas Aces 2
8 Phoenix Mercury 0
1 Las Vegas Aces 3
4 Seattle Storm 1
4 Seattle Storm 2
5 Washington Mystics 0
1 Las Vegas Aces 3
3 Connecticut Sun 1
2 Chicago Sky 2
7 New York Liberty 1
2 Chicago Sky 2
3 Connecticut Sun 3
3 Connecticut Sun 2
6 Dallas Wings 1

Bold Series winner

2021 season edit

First round
Sept. 23
Second round
Sept. 26
Semifinals
Sept. 28 – Oct. 8
WNBA Finals
Oct. 10 – Oct. 17
2Las Vegas Aces9691609384
4Seattle Storm805Phoenix Mercury90117877687
5Phoenix Mercury835Phoenix Mercury85OT5Phoenix Mercury7791OT5074
8New York Liberty826Chicago Sky91868680
1Connecticut Sun95798369
3Minnesota Lynx766Chicago Sky1012OT688679
6Chicago Sky816Chicago Sky89
7Dallas Wings64

Note: Teams re-seeded after each round.

2020 season edit

First round:
Single elimination
(September 15)
Second round:
Single elimination
(September 17)
Semifinals:
Best-of-five
(September 20–29)
WNBA Finals:
Best-of-five
(October 2–11)
1Las Vegas Aces6283688466
4Minnesota Lynx807Connecticut Sun8775777563
5Phoenix Mercury855Phoenix Mercury791Las Vegas Aces809159
8Washington Mystics842Seattle Storm9310492
2Seattle Storm888992
3Los Angeles Sparks594Minnesota Lynx867971
6Chicago Sky817Connecticut Sun73
7Connecticut Sun94

Note: Teams re-seeded after each round.

2019 season edit

First round:
Single elimination
(Sept. 11)
Second round:
Single elimination
(Sept. 15)
Semifinals:
Best-of-five
(Sept. 17 – Sept. 24)
WNBA Finals:
Best-of-five
(Sept. 29 – Oct. 10)
1Washington Mystics971037594
4Las Vegas Aces934Las Vegas Aces95919290
5Chicago Sky1055Chicago Sky921Washington Mystics9587948689
8Phoenix Mercury762Connecticut Sun8699819078
2Connecticut Sun849478
3Los Angeles Sparks923Los Angeles Sparks756856
6Seattle Storm846Seattle Storm69
7Minnesota Lynx74

Note: Teams re-seeded after each round.

2018 season edit

First round:
Single elimination
(Aug. 21)
Second round:
Single elimination
(Aug. 23)
Semifinals:
Best-of-five
(Aug. 26 – Sept. 4)
WNBA Finals:
Best-of-five
(Sept. 7 – Sept. 12)
1Seattle Storm9191668494
4Connecticut Sun865Phoenix Mercury8787868684
5Phoenix Mercury1015Phoenix Mercury961Seattle Storm897598
8Dallas Wings833Washington Mystics767382
2Atlanta Dream8478817681
3Washington Mystics963Washington Mystics8775769786
6Los Angeles Sparks756Los Angeles Sparks64
7Minnesota Lynx68

Note: Teams re-seeded after second round and semi-finals.

2017 season edit

First round:
Single elimination
(Sept. 6)
Second round:
Single elimination
(Sept. 10)
Semifinals:
Best-of-five
(Sept. 12 – Sept. 17)
WNBA Finals:
Best-of-five
(Sept. 24 – Oct. 4)
2Los Angeles Sparks798689
4Connecticut Sun835Phoenix Mercury667287
5Phoenix Mercury795Phoenix Mercury881Minnesota Lynx8470648085
8Seattle Storm692Los Angeles Sparks8568756976
1Minnesota Lynx1019381
3New York Liberty686Washington Mystics818370
6Washington Mystics866Washington Mystics82
7Dallas Wings76

Note: Teams re-seeded after second round and semi-finals.

2016 season edit

First round:
Single elimination
(Sept. 21)
Second round:
Single elimination
(Sept. 24 and 25)
Semifinals:
Best-of-five
(Sept. 28 – Oct. 6)
WNBA Finals:
Best-of-five
(Oct. 9 – 20)
1Minnesota Lynx1139682
3New York Liberty948Phoenix Mercury958667
5Indiana Fever788Phoenix Mercury1011Minnesota Lynx7679758576
8Phoenix Mercury892Los Angeles Sparks7860927977
2Los Angeles Sparks95996695
4Chicago Sky1084Chicago Sky75847075
6Atlanta Dream946Atlanta Dream98
7Seattle Storm85

Note: Teams re-seeded after second round and semi-finals.

2015 season edit

Conference Semi-Finals:
Best-of-3
Conference Finals:
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals:
Best-of-5
         
E1 New York 2
E4 Washington 1
E1 New York 1
Eastern Conference
E3 Indiana 2
E2 Chicago 1
E3 Indiana 2
E3 Indiana 2
W1 Minnesota 3
W1 Minnesota 2
W4 Los Angeles 1
W1 Minnesota 2
Western Conference
W2 Phoenix 0
W2 Phoenix 2
W3 Tulsa 0
  • Bold Series winner
  • italics Team with home-court advantage

2014 season edit

There were 12 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference semi-finals:
best-of-3
Conference finals:
best-of-3
WNBA finals:
best-of-5
         
E1 Atlanta 1
E4 Chicago 2
E4 Chicago 2
Eastern Conference
E2 Indiana 1
E2 Indiana 2
E3 Washington 0
E4 Chicago 0
W1 Phoenix 3
W1 Phoenix 2
W4 Los Angeles 0
W1 Phoenix 2
Western Conference
W2 Minnesota 1
W2 Minnesota 2
W3 San Antonio 0

2013 season edit

There were 12 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
         
E1 Chicago 0
E4 Indiana 2
E4 Indiana 0
Eastern Conference
E2 Atlanta 2
E2 Atlanta 2
E3 Washington 1
E2 Atlanta 0
W1 Minnesota 3
W1 Minnesota 2
W4 Seattle 0
W1 Minnesota 2
Western Conference
W3 Phoenix 0
W2 Los Angeles 1
W3 Phoenix 2

2012 season edit

There were 12 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
         
E1 Connecticut 2
E4 New York 0
E1 Connecticut 1
Eastern Conference
E2 Indiana 2
E2 Indiana 2
E3 Atlanta 1
E2 Indiana 3
W1 Minnesota 1
W1 Minnesota 2
W4 Seattle 1
W1 Minnesota 2
Western Conference
W2 Los Angeles 0
W2 Los Angeles 2
W3 San Antonio 0

2011 season edit

There were 12 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
         
E1 Indiana 2
E4 New York 1
E1 Indiana 1
Eastern Conference
E3 Atlanta 2
E2 Connecticut 0
E3 Atlanta 2
E3 Atlanta 0
W1 Minnesota 3
W1 Minnesota 2
W4 San Antonio 1
W1 Minnesota 2
Western Conference
W3 Phoenix 0
W2 Seattle 1
W3 Phoenix 2

2010 season edit

There are 12 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference are seeded one to four. Starting in 2010, the first two rounds changed to a 1-1-1 format, with the higher-seeded team hosting games 1 & 3.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
         
E1 Washington 0
E4 Atlanta 2
E4 Atlanta 2
Eastern Conference
E2 New York 0
E2 New York 2
E3 Indiana 1
E4 Atlanta 0
W1 Seattle 3
W1 Seattle 2
W4 Los Angeles 0
W1 Seattle 2
Western Conference
W2 Phoenix 0
W2 Phoenix 2
W3 San Antonio 0

2009 season edit

There are 13 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference are seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
         
E1 Indiana 2
E4 Washington 0
E1 Indiana 2
Eastern Conference
E3 Detroit 1
E2 Atlanta 0
E3 Detroit 2
E1 Indiana 2
W1 Phoenix 3
W1 Phoenix 2
W4 San Antonio 1
W1 Phoenix 2
Western Conference
W3 Los Angeles 1
W2 Seattle 1
W3 Los Angeles 2

2008 season edit

There were 14 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
         
E1 Detroit 2
E4 Indiana 1
E1 Detroit 2
E3 New York 1
E2 Connecticut 1
E3 New York 2
E1 Detroit 3
W1 San Antonio 0
W1 San Antonio 2
W4 Sacramento 1
W1 San Antonio 2
W3 Los Angeles 1
W2 Seattle 1
W3 Los Angeles 2

2007 season edit

There were 13 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
         
E1 Detroit 2
E4 New York 1
E1 Detroit 2
E2 Indiana 1
E2 Indiana 2
E3 Connecticut 1
E1 Detroit 2
W1 Phoenix 3
W1 Phoenix 2
W4 Seattle 0
W1 Phoenix 2
W2 San Antonio 0
W2 San Antonio 2
W3 Sacramento 1

2006 season edit

There were 14 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
         
E1 Connecticut 2
E4 Washington 0
E1 Connecticut 1
E2 Detroit 2
E2 Detroit 2
E3 Indiana 0
E2 Detroit 3
W2 Sacramento 2
W1 Los Angeles 2
W4 Seattle 1
W1 Los Angeles 0
W2 Sacramento 2
W2 Sacramento 2
W3 Houston 0

2005 season edit

There were 13 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
         
E1 Connecticut 2
E4 Detroit 0
E1 Connecticut 2
E2 Indiana 0
E2 Indiana 2
E3 New York 0
E1 Connecticut 1
W1 Sacramento 3
W1 Sacramento 2
W4 Los Angeles 0
W1 Sacramento 2
W3 Houston 0
W2 Seattle 1
W3 Houston 2

2004 season edit

There were 13 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
         
E1 Connecticut 2
E4 Washington 1
E1 Connecticut 2
E2 New York 0
E2 New York 2
E3 Detroit 1
E1 Connecticut 1
W2 Seattle 2
W1 Los Angeles 1
W4 Sacramento 2
W4 Sacramento 1
W2 Seattle 2
W2 Seattle 2
W3 Minnesota 0

2003 season edit

There were 14 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
         
E1 Detroit 2
E4 Cleveland 1
E1 Detroit 2
E3 Connecticut 0
E2 Charlotte 0
E3 Connecticut 2
E1 Detroit 2
W1 Los Angeles 1
W1 Los Angeles 2
W4 Minnesota 1
W1 Los Angeles 2
W3 Sacramento 1
W2 Houston 1
W3 Sacramento 2

2002 season edit

There were 16 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
         
E1 New York 2
E4 Indiana 1
E1 New York 2
E3 Washington 0
E2 Charlotte 0
E3 Washington 2
E1 New York 0
W1 Los Angeles 2
W1 Los Angeles 2
W4 Seattle 0
W1 Los Angeles 2
W3 Utah 0
W2 Houston 1
W3 Utah 2

2001 season edit

There were 16 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
         
E1 Cleveland 1
E4 Charlotte 2
E4 Charlotte 2
E2 New York 1
E2 New York 2
E3 Miami 1
E4 Charlotte 0
W1 Los Angeles 2
W1 Los Angeles 2
W4 Houston 0
W1 Los Angeles 2
W2 Sacramento 1
W2 Sacramento 2
W3 Utah 0

2000 season edit

There were 16 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
         
E1 New York 2
E4 Washington 0
E1 New York 2
E2 Cleveland 1
E2 Cleveland 2
E3 Orlando 1
E1 New York 0
W2 Houston 2
W1 Los Angeles 2
W4 Phoenix 0
W1 Los Angeles 0
W2 Houston 2
W2 Houston 2
W3 Sacramento 0

1999 season edit

There were 12 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the three teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to three. The top seeded team in each conference got a bye for the first round.

Conference Semi-Finals
Single Game
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
         
E1 New York 2
E3 Charlotte 1
E2 Detroit 54
E3 Charlotte 60
E1 New York 1
W1 Houston 2
W1 Houston 2
W2 Los Angeles 1
W2 Los Angeles 71
W3 Sacramento 58

1998 season edit

There were 10 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in the league were seeded one to four. Houston was switched to the Western Conference in 1998 so two Western Conference teams matched up in the WNBA Finals.

Playoff Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
      
W1 Houston 2
E2 Charlotte 0
W1 Houston 2
W2 Phoenix 1
W2 Phoenix 2
E1 Cleveland 1

1997 season edit

This was the first year of existence for the WNBA. There were only 8 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in the league were seeded one to four. Houston was in the Eastern Conference in 1997 so two Eastern Conference teams matched up in the WNBA Championship.

Playoff Semi-Finals
Single Game
WNBA Championship
Single Game
      
E1 Houston 70
E4 Charlotte 54
E1 Houston 65
E2 New York 51
W3 Phoenix 41
E2 New York 59

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "WNBA Approves New Playoff Format" (Press release). WNBA. November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2021.

External links edit