The WNBA playoffs are here.
The sixth-seeded Sky and seventh-seeded Sun will get the postseason going Tuesday with their single-elimination first-round game at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Chicago and Connecticut have had very different paths to the playoffs, too.
The Sun went 0-5 to start the season, but managed to claw their way back in the standings despite the abbreviated season. Former Phoenix Mercury forward DeWanna Bonner led the charge in her first season with Connecticut averaging 19.7 points per game.
The Sky’s journey to the postseason was a bit smoother than the Sun’s, though they only finished two games ahead of their Round 1 opponent. Chicago remained fairly consistent throughout the abbreviated season behind Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot’s continued success.
This is Connecticut’s fourth straight appearance in postseason, though it’ll be tough to top their run to Game 5 of the WNBA finals in 2019. Chicago, meanwhile, will look to improve upon last season’s playoff result: A crushing second-round loss to the Las Vegas Aces at the buzzer.
Both teams have something to prove entering Tuesday’s contest. But in the end, only one team will advance to Round 2.
Here’s how to watch Sun-Sky Round 1:
The Sun and Sky split their regular-season series at one game apiece. Both games were rather close, too.
Chicago beat Connecticut 100-93 in the first matchup, stifling the Sun’s second-half comeback in the process. The Sun got the better of the Sky in Game 2, however, with a 77-74 victory.
Players to watch
Naturally, Bonner and Alyssa Thomas likely will be leaned on as the Sun face elimination. They’ve been the two most productive members of the team this season, and both have seen their own success against the Sky this season.
As always, Quigley and Vandersloot will be on Connecticut’s radar. The Sun also will have to watch out for stars like Cheyenne Parker and Kahleah Cooper, as well.
Thumbnail photo via Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images