Pro Tips: WNBA Semifinals Begin

By Rick Bouch

And then there were four. Minnesota pulled out a thrilling 80-79 win over Phoenix and Connecticut shocked the Los Angeles Sparks to advance to the 2020 WNBA semifinals. DeWanna Bonner and Alyssa Thomas were once again on fire as they combined for 36 points and 20 rebounds to take down the Sparks 73-59.

The seventh-seeded Sun will move on and face the top seed, Las Vegas. Minnesota gets No. 2 Seattle in the best-of-five semifinals. What fans get is another glorious opportunity to take part in She Plays fantasy games. We’ve got three new games that you can join at any time. Put your skills to the test, enjoy the semifinals, and play along! 

WNBA SEMIFINALS SCHEDULE (GAME 1)

Connecticut Sun vs. Las Vegas Aces – Sunday, September 20 at 1 pm ET (ESPN)

Minnesota Lynx vs. Seattle Storm – Sunday, September 20 at 3 pm ET (ABC)

BRACKET CHALLENGE

The She Plays Bracket Challenge is reminiscent of March Madness. Fill out your bracket and earn points for your winners. With the WNBA postseason down to just four teams, you’ve got to pick your semifinals winners and an overall champion.

Both Las Vegas and Seattle finished the regular season with identical 18-4 records. The Aces owned the tiebreaker to take the top seed. Las Vegas is also the home of the newly announced WNBA MVP, A’ja Wilson. Wilson averaged 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for the Aces.

Seattle sat atop the WNBA standings for most of the season before losing the top seed to the Aces on the final day of the regular season. The Storm are led by the 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart. The 6-foot-4-inch Stewart scored 19.7 points a game, grabbed 8.3 rebounds, and dished out 3.6 assists.

It would be easy to plug in Las Vegas and Seattle into the WNBA championship, but Connecticut has proven that the potential for upset is alive and well. Could the Sun advance to the finals? Who will be daring enough to put a Sun upset in their bracket?

3-POINT DRAW DOWN

The 3-Point Draw Down is a head-to-head tournament where the player with the most made three-pointers moves on. We told you to watch for Taurasi, who hit 6-of-13 threes to defeat her opponent Bridget Carleton.

Damiris Dantas hit four threes to beat her competition, Sophie Cunningham, who hit 1-of-2. Riquna Williams, who made 43-of-102 threes during the regular season, got shut out in the Sparks loss to Connecticut. Williams was 0-for-2 from three-point range and only played 10 minutes for L.A.

As we move ahead in the tournament, you’ll have to watch for players like Stewart, Alysha Clark, and Sue Bird who all play for Seattle. Clark was the only WNBA player to shoot over 50 percent from behind the arc during the regular season. She made 35-of-67 threes. Bird hit 23-of-49, but only played in 11 regular season games. Stewart went 35-of-95 and don’t forget Jewell Lloyd who hit 39-of-100 threes.

Keep Minnesota’s Dantas on your radar as well. She shot 43 percent (39-of-90) during the regular season. Carleton shot 46 percent and Collier hit 20-of-49 from three-point range. 

MONEYBALL

The Moneyball fantasy game really tests your fantasy skills. It’s a two-part game where you first pick the game winners and the scores. Then, you pick up to four players who score points based on their totals in points scored, rebounds, assists, and three-pointers made. You can choose different players in each category or a single player could represent in each one. Finally, you choose a Moneyball which is the stat/player combination you think will score the most. You get double the points for your Moneyball pick.

Wilson is a solid pick for both points and rebounds as is Seattle’s Stewart. Bonner and Thomas have both been hot in both categories. In the postseason, Thomas is averaging 23.5 points and 10 rebounds a game. Bonner averages 20.0 and 12.5.

Thomas is also a good pick in the assists category. She is dishing out 6.5 assists a game in the playoffs. Bird averaged over 5 assists a game in the regular season. A sleeper in the category could be Seattle’s Jordin Canada who averaged 5.5 assists a game. 

Choose wisely, pick your winners, scores, players in each category, and don’t forget the Moneyball. This should be an exciting semifinal round which means even more exciting She Plays fantasy games!

Click here to make your semifinal picks now, and check back here for more tips in the championship series!

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