WNBA playoffs 2023 bracket contains teams like Las Vegas Aces, New York Liberty and Connecticut Sun. Minnesota Lynx also secured postseason contention.
The entire Round One image was finalized on September 10, as the regular WNBA season came to an end and the following franchises clinched the playoff berth.
- Las Vegas Aces (1st seed)
- New York Liberty (2nd seed)
- Connecticut Sun (3rd seed)
- Dallas Wings (4th seed)
- Atlanta Dream (5th seed)
- Minnesota Lynx (6th seed)
- Washington Mystics (7th seed)
- Chicago Sky (8th seed)
The playoffs are planned for September 13, 2023 start, with the first round of the best-of-3 quarterfinal series. The winners of the Round 1 will advance to the semifinals, which will be played in a best-of-5 series.
The 2023 playoffs are set to conclude on October 20, 2023, culminating in the WNBA Finals where the victor will receive the WNBA championship trophy.
WNBA Playoff Picture 2023
The final WNBA playoff picture shows the Aces, Liberty, Sun, Lynx, Dream, Wings, Mystics and Sky.
The battle is shaping up to be highly competitive with several clubs vying for the postseason berths.
The Aces are having a fantastic regular campaign and have set the record for the most wins in the WNBA season with 32 victories. They are also getting close to being the top seed in the playoffs, and it seems like the New York Liberty will not be able to catch up.
The Connecticut Sun led by forward DeWanna Bonner is guaranteed to be the third seed in the playoffs, their 7th consecutive postseason tournament selection.
On the other hand, the Dallas Wings and Minnesota Lynx have both secured their spots in the playoffs, chance they will also be competing in the postseason.
Atlanta and Washington each have three games remaining and are guaranteed to secure the berth. The final, 8th seed spot will be determined between the Chicago Sky and Los Angeles Sparks.
Meanwhile, the 2020 WNBA champion Seattle Storm, Phoenix Mercury and Indiana Fever have all been eliminated from postseason competition.
The specific matchups for the first round of the playoffs have been determined, as the final standings of the regular season are all set. The fixtures are as below:
- Las Vegas Aces vs Chicago Sky
- Dallas Wings vs Atlanta Dream
- New York Liberty vs Washington Mystics
- Connecticut Sun vs Minnesota Lynx
WNBA Playoff Schedule
The schedule for the 2023 WNBA playoffs:
|September 13, Round One||8 PM @ ESPN2 | 10 PM @ ESPN2|
|September 15||8 PM @ ESPN2 | 10 PM @ ESPN2|
|September 17||1 PM @ ESPN | 3 PM @ ABC|
|September 20||8 PM @ ESPN2 | 10 PM @ ESPN2|
|September 22||8 PM @ ESPN2 | 10 PM @ ESPN2|
|September 24, Semifinals||1 PM @ ESPN | 5 PM @ ESPN2|
|September 26||8 PM @ ESPN2 | 10 PM @ ESPN2|
|September 29||8 PM @ ESPN2 | 10 PM @ ESPN2|
*All times are in Eastern Time (ET)
When Do WNBA Playoffs Start?
The first round of the playoffs will begin on Wednesday, September 13, 2023. Championship series for the title will start on October 2023.
All matches are scheduled to be broadcast on the ESPN network of channels, comprising ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, and ESPNU. So stay tuned for the exciting matchups.
For Spectrum TV users, they will have to look for another cable provider as Disney-owned channels such as ESPN, ABC, etc. are currently not available on their service.
The 2022 season playoff kickstarted with top seeder Las Vegas Aces and bottom seeder Phoenix Mercury on August 17, 2022. The Aces secured a comfortable 2-0 series win over the Mercury and advanced to the semifinals.
They went on to win the WNBA Finals trophy after defeating Seattle Storm and Connecticut Sun along the way.
On the flip side of the Finals, the Connecticut team that ended up losing faced challenging matches as they navigated their journey toward glory. They beat Dallas Wings and Chicago Sky but were not enough to win against Las Vegas in the championship game.
How Does WNBA Playoffs Work?
The current WNBA playoffs follow a structure that consists of three rounds the First Round, the Semifinals, and the Finals.
Though the teams are divided into two conferences, Eastern and Western, It does not matter which conference the team is from, they will advance based on the ranking at the end of the regular season.
When these teams face off in the playoffs, the team with the higher rank gets to play on their home court, which can be an advantage. The last team standing wins the championship.
The WNBA Board of Governors approved the playoff format for the 2023 season, which remained the same as the previous year. In November 2021, the WNBA made some changes to its playoff layout which became effective in 2022.
In the past, the first two rounds were like one-shot deals, where if you lost one game, you were out.
Instead of those quick single-elimination games, they have introduced the "quarterfinal round." In this round, teams will play a best-of-3 series and one has to win two out of three games to move forward.
As a result of the new playoff format, the top eight teams with the best overall regular season records will compete against each other in the first round, regardless of conference seeding.
In Round 1, teams play a series of three games. The team with the higher ranking gets to host the first two games on their home court, while the lower-ranked team hosts the third game. So, it is a 2-1 home advantage pattern.
Meanwhile, in the semifinal and final rounds, the games will be of best of five series. The team with the better seed will host the first two games, and if there is a fifth game needed, they will host that one too.
The other team will host the third and, if necessary, the fourth game. So, it is a homecourt pattern of 2–2–1.
WNBA Playoff Format 2023
Round One [Best of 3]
- G1 - 1st seed vs 8th seed
- G2 - 4th seed vs 5th seed
- G3 - 2nd seed vs 7th seed
- G4 - 3rd seed vs 6th seed
Semifinals [Best of 5]
- G5 - G1 winner vs G2 winner
- G6 - G3 winner vs G4 winner
Finals [Best of 5]
- G5 winner vs G6 winner
How Many Teams Make WNBA Playoffs?
WNBA playoffs involve 8 teams from the league's 12 team roster. This season marks the second consecutive year of the playoffs being in an all-series format.
The initial stage will adopt a 2-1 structure, where the team with the higher seed will host the first two games, departing from the 1-1-1 format utilized in 2015. The semifinals and the WNBA Finals will continue to be best-of-five series.
Over the years, the WNBA playoff standings rule has undergone several changes since its inception.
Back in the WNBA's early days in 1997 and 1998, only the best four teams from the entire league got a shot at the playoffs. And those playoffs were much shorter, with just two rounds instead of the current format.
In 1997, only one game was played per round while matches became best-of-three series in 1998.
As the league expanded, WNBA started adding more teams for the postseason. In 1999, they had six teams in the playoffs. The top three from each conference got to play in the playoffs. The best team in each conference received a bye and went straight to the Conference Finals.
The playoffs were then expanded to incorporate eight teams, with the top four from each conference advancing in the following season.
In 2005, the WNBA Finals started to be played as a series of five games which continued until 2015. In 2016, the playoff format went through another revision, introducing a stepladder-like system.
The Seeds 3 and 4 teams received a pass directly to the second round. The top two teams also skipped the first round and second round straight to the semifinals and the rest of the four franchises started at the First Round.
The 2016 format eliminated conference seeding and instead allowed the top eight teams overall to advance. The initial two rounds each comprise just one match, and the victorious team progresses to the subsequent round.
However, the WNBA modified the playoff setup in 2021, replacing single-elimination games with best-of-three series.