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Welcome to the 2021 WNBA Playoffs! Will the No. 1 seed Connecticut Sun take the title, or will he be a deranged contender? Plus, #WNBAXsOs!

by TeamFastModel Contributor Planted todd

The way to 2021 WNBA Playoffs It has been winding, so to speak. Due to the Olympic stoppage in July / August, it really has been a two-season story. Virtually every team had its ups and downs during the regular season except one.

the Connecticut Sun They were in the driver’s seat for the 1 seed wire to wire. The rest of the playoff field struggled until the final weekend of the regular season. the Las Vegas Aces ensured the last goodbye of the second round, while the Minnesota Lynx and Seattle Storm each will have a goodbye in the first round. That leaves Mercury, Sky, Wings and Liberty having to battle it out in single elimination games to advance. Both contests will air live on ESPN2 at 8 pm and 10 pm ET on Thursday, September 23.

There’s never been a WNBA champion who wasn’t a 1 or 2 seed. That theory could be tested this postseason. Seeds 2-5 were separated by only four sets. Health, however, will be an important factor for any team wishing to knock out the Sun. Liz Cambage (Aces), Diana Tarausi (Mercury) and Breanna Stewart (Storm), if healthy, can make a difference for their team to make. a championship, or not.

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2021 WNBA Playoffs – Double Goodbye

[Click on a diagram below to download it to your FastDraw library. Click on a team name to view more #XsOs from it.]

Seed # 1: Connecticut Sun

The Sun relies heavily on its starting lineup and Jonquel Jones. His bench gets a big boost with Alyssa Thomas coming back from injury. Connecticut only scores 79.6 PPG but their offensive pace limits their opponents to 70.1 PPG. They reach the playoffs with a 14-game winning streak. However, could the double goodbye damage the Sun’s momentum? Home court advantage throughout the playoffs will certainly be a positive thing.

Top Set: Flex Double Stagger

Seed # 2: Las Vegas Aces

Las Vegas combines the best of the best offense (89.4 points per game) and the second best defense (80.1 points per game) in the league. Guard A’Ja Wilson makes the team tick. Forward Liz Cambage is also set to return for the league’s deepest team. The pace of the Aces and Wilson in the post put a lot of pressure on the defense of the opponents (46.7% of the points in paint). Don’t forget the return to the playoffs of potential sixth woman of the year, Kelsey Plum.

Top set: Zipper Flex SLOB

2021 WNBA playoffs: individual goodbye

Seed # 3: Minnesota Lynx

With a 9-3 record after the Olympic break, Sylvia Fowles leads the way for the Lynx who are averaging 82.1 points per game. Napheesa Collier does it all, chipping in 16.2 PPG and 6.8 RBG. A healthy Aerial Powers adds even more firepower to Minnesota’s offense, dropping 12.4 PPG in just 13 games. The Lynx have only lost two games since the Olympic break and are getting consistent contributions from their top ten. It will be a difficult duel in the second round.

Top game: double stagger swing

Seed # 4: Seattle Storm

The defending WNBA champions have struggled after the Olympic break with a 5-6 record. The storm still managed to score 84.2 points per game. Jewell Loyd (17.1 points per game) has struggled to take on the scoring burden after injuries. Is superstar and former league MVP Breanna Stewart healthy? If not, Mercedes Russell will have to step up. The Storm might seem to benefit from the rest. Never discount the 4-time champion.

Best Game: STS BLOB

2021 WNBA Playoffs – First Round:

# 5 Seed: Phoenix Mercury

Phoenix had 10 straight wins after the Olympic break. Mercury are one of the best teams in the league when healthy. Brittney Griner on the post and Skylar Diggins-Smith attacking the paint alongside Diana Taurasi pose a confrontational problem for any opponent. Will Taurasi’s ankle be healthy in time for the playoffs? The Mercury had a 12-4 record on the road this season. They were 2-1 against Liberty this year.

Top Play: Spread Box BLOB

Seed # 6: Chicago Sky

After a rocky start to the season, the Sky bounced back, coinciding with the return of Candace Parker and the appearance of Kahleah Copper. Combined with Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley, Chicago has the talent and experience to make the playoffs. It will be a tough matchup if they can find consistency from game to game, something they have struggled with this year.

Best Game: Flare Pistol (Early Offense)

Seed # 7: Dallas wings

The Wings are finally beginning to recover. Arike Ogunbowale is a scoring machine. Satou Sabally is back and will add much-needed offense for a team averaging just 81.3 PPG. The Wings will have to figure out how to close out games on the defensive end. The Wings were 2-1 against their opponent in the first round, Chicago Sky.

Best Game: Floppy Elevator

Seed # 8: New York Freedom

The Liberty have been in playoff mode for the past week to clinch the eighth and final seed. Liberty needed help getting in as they lost their last game and went 2-9 after the break. New York likes to play fast and shoot three. They reached 321 this season, the most in the WNBA. When Sabrina Ionescu is free to make plays, Liberties are hard to stop.

Top Play: Flare Elbow with Inverted Horns

Coach Zasadil’s First Round WNBA Playoff Predictions

# 5 Mercury vs # 8 Freedom

Top questions for me: Can the Liberty slow down the Griner and can the Mercury control the pace and limit the 3s of the Liberty? I think the Mercury has too much firepower with its “big 3” not to advance.

# 6 Sky vs # 7 Wings

Candace Parker always raises her level and that of her teammates in the playoffs. Although Dallas took the regular season series 2-1, I am with Sky advancing to the next round.

The entire field will be re-seeded in each round of the playoffs, so

#WNBAXsOs Bonus – Teams Eliminated from 2021 WNBA Playoffs

Los Angeles Sparks – High low elbow

Washington Mystics – Horned guard post above

Atlanta dream – Pistol Chase Hammer (Secondary)

Indiana Fever – Zipper Horns High Low

Consult the Playbank pages for Planted todd and Tony miller for more FastDraw diagrams of equipment around the world.

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