It would be a surprise if the WNBA champion came from outside the top five seeds this year, unlike in 2021, when no. 6 Chicago roared through the playoffs after a mediocre regular season. But even though the eventual champion likely won’t come from the bottom of the playoff bracket, that doesn’t mean there isn’t significant intrigue to be found in the sixth to eighth seeds.
First of all, there’s the question of which teams will even qualify for the postseason. The Wings punched their ticket Monday night behind a scorching performance from Marina Mabrey, but two spots remain up for grabs with five teams in legitimate consideration.
Then there’s the question of whether any of these teams can actually rise to the level of the projected first-round opponents. Teams like the Lynx and Liberty have had wild swings of success and failure throughout the course of the year, and their peaks suggest an ability to compete with the cream of the crop of the WNBA, but there are obviously reasons for their inconsistency that could plague those groups in the postseason.
There’s a lot to dive into, even for teams who could see their seasons end in less in than a week. As long as they’re still in contention, however, it’s a good time to break down their strengths and weaknesses.
To do so, I was joined on this episode of The Whiparound by Stephen Trinkwald of the Double Down WNBA podcast. Stephen brought a unique statistical perspective to this week’s show to figure out what makes Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix, and New York worthy postseason entrants, and also why the bottom three teams might not deserve a chance to suit up in the WNBA playoffs.
You can listen to all that and more in the full episode embedded below, and to make sure you never miss a single show moving forward, subscribe to the Swish Appeal podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.