No. 4 Seed Meets No. 5
When looking at the four first-round series in the WNBA playoffs, the one expected to be the most competitive is the one between the Washington Mystics and Seattle Storm.
Seattle and Washington finished with identical 22-14 records. Seattle won two of the three meetings during the regular season and that is why the first two games will be played on the Storm’s home court. Why is that a big deal? Seattle had a 13-5 record at home during the regular season compared to a 9-9 mark on the road.
There are six former regular season Most Valuable Players who are on playoff teams and three of them are in this series. Washington’s Elena Delle Donne is a two-time winner of the award. For Seattle, Tina Charles won the award in 2012 when she was a member of the Connecticut Sun while Breanna Stewart was the winner in 2018. Either Stewart or A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces is expected to win this year’s MVP award.
Seattle (+600) is fourth and Washington (+850) fifth for the best odds to win the WNBA championship according to the WNBA playoff odds.
Delle Donne good to go for the Mystics
It was a tale of two regular seasons for Washington.
Leading scorer Elena Delle Donne missed 11 games to rest her ailing back and allow her to be as close as possible to 100 percent for the playoffs. Washington was 18-7 when Delle Donne played and 4-7 when she didn’t. With that in mind, some of the trends for Washington need to come with a warning label. This is a much different team when all the players are available.
Not only did Delle Donne, who averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds, miss time, but the duo of Alysha Clark and Elizabeth Williams combined to miss 13 games. Ariel Atkins and rookie Shakira Austin were the only Washington players to appear in every game.
Something to consider for those who bet online: Washington is 2-4-1 against the spread in its last seven contests.
Last Playoff Run for Storm Legend Bird
Whether it was during her time at New York high school power Christ the King, her four years at UConn, the incredible run in Seattle, the multiple Olympic and world championship gold medals or success playing overseas, Sue Bird knows a little bit about winning. Now there is one last championship for her to pursue.
Bird, who has been a part of more team victories than any other player in WNBA history and is the league’s all-time leader in assists, will be retiring at season’s end. Her hope is that her farewell tour lasts past this series.
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) August 14, 2022
Bird has been a part of three WNBA championship teams with Seattle since being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft. It won’t be easy for Bird and the Storm to add another title to her collection. If the seeds hold up, Seattle would face No. 1 seed Las Vegas in the next round.
Bird is averaging a career-low 7.8 points as other players have handled the scoring this season. However, she has proven that she can rise to the occasion when the lights are the brightest.
Each of Seattle’s last five games went over the WNBA betting lines total.
Mystics vs Storm Game Information
- Game: Mystics 22-14; Storm 22-14
- Location: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle
- Day/Time: Thursday, Aug. 18, 10 p.m. ET
- Mystics vs Storm Live Stream: WNBA.com