The WNBA season just concluded, and like most other professional sports, they suffered unexpected changes to this season due to COVID-19. The 36-game season was originally scheduled to begin on May 15, 2020 with a two-month break for the 2020 Summer Olympics in July and August. However, the Olympics did not happen this summer as planned, the WNBA delayed their season start date until July 24, and the number of games fell to just 22 regular season games. All the games took place at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida inside a “bubble” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Since the season had yet to begin when things were postponed, all 12 teams made the journey to Florida. The WNBA playoff format is that the top eight teams, regardless of conference, make the postseason. From position one to position eight in the regular season standings, the eight teams that made the playoffs were the Las Vegas Aces, the Seattle Storm, the Los Angeles Sparks, the Minnesota Lynx, the Phoenix Mercury, the Chicago Sky, the Connecticut Sun and the Washington Mystics.
The format of the WNBA playoffs is the top two seeds automatically advance to round three, the semifinals, seeds three and four automatically advance to round two, and seeds 5-7 begin play in round one. The first two rounds are single elimination, and the semifinals and the finals are the best of five game series. In the first round, the Mercury beat the Mystics 85-84 to advance to round two of the playoffs and the Sun beat the Sky 94-81 to advance to round two of the playoffs. In the second round, the Lynx beat the Mercury 80-79 and the Sun beat the Sparks 73-59. In the semifinals, the Aces won their series against the Sun three games to two and the Storm won their series against the Lynx three games to zero.
This set up a finals showdown between the Seattle Storm and the Las Vegas Aces. The Storm won Game 1 by a score of 93-80. Game 2 was another win by the Storm this time by a score of 104-91. In Game 3, the Storm completed their sweep of the Aces by a score of 92-59. Speaking to the media after scoring 26 points in the game and coming back this season from an Achilles injury that prevented her from playing last season, Finals MVP Brenna Stewart said, “You know, I remember where I was last year during the WNBA Finals, and I was in North Carolina with my family, and it was hard for me not to be upset because I wanted to be a part of the league … To be able to be here, to get through all that we’ve gone through as a team [and] obviously individually, it’s an amazing feeling.”