With the way the WNBA season began last night, it’s clear that they’re coming in hot this year. The Association saw Skylar Diggins-Smith drop dimes, as well as Diana Taurasi joining Steph Curry, Dame Lillard, and Klay Thompson as the only pros to hit 1,000 three-pointers in less than 400 games. But what else is crazy, is that the WNBA League Pass is just $17 right now, so go buy it. Seriously.
So here’s one thing you need to know about every team as the season gets underway.
Las Vegas Aces
This is a new team!! So hope on the bandwagon now. The Aces are replacing the San Antonio Stars this season, becoming the second notable pro team in Vegas. They’re looking to be just as successful as the Golden Knights are in the NHL, and they can do just that. With the odds-on favorite to win the Rookie of the Year, A’ja Wilson, and a former All-Star in Shoni Schimmel expect the Aces to be at the very least a fun crew to watch this season.
In their second year under coach Pokey Chatman (a great basketball name), the Fever are looking to return to the playoffs for the playoffs for the first time since 2016, and to the Finals for the first time since 2015. This will be an uphill battle, though. Despite picking up Kelsey Mitchell in the draft this year, the Fever are still trying to replace the hole left by Tamika Catchings a few years ago. Anyways, here is Kelsey Mitchell:
Even though the Dream didn’t have a first round pick in this year, they were picked in the GMs survey as the most improved team from this offseason. There’s a good reason why. With Brittney Sykes poised to have a breakout season, four-time All-WNBA selection Angel McCoughtry returning, and the acquisitions Renee Montgomery and Jessica Breland the Dream are poised to make some noise this season.
With two of the top for picks from this year’s draft, it’s clear that the Sky are looking to build a team for the long term. Diamond DeShields is a downright stud and is looking to make an impact on the league for a while. If you’re picking a team to root for right now, the Sky is a good choice. Not to mention, they have fresh jerseys. And here’s Diamond:
Following a disappointing season, the Storm are poised to bounce back in a big way. It doesn’t hurt that they have the all-time assists leader in Sue Freaking Bird. She’s joined by Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd in the Storm’s “Big Three.” Jordin Canada from UCLA is also going to be an absolute menace for the Storm, being a protegee of sorts for Sue Bird. The Pac-12s all-time leader in assists is gearing up for what could be an incredible rookie season.
Featuring my favorite player to watch, Skylar Diggins-Smith, the sky is the limit for the Wings. If you’re curious about why, check out the video below. In the Wings third season in Dallas, they picked up former all-star Liz Cambridge to form a “Big Three” of their own in Diggins-Smith, Cambridge, and Glory Johnson. Look for Wings to make it deeper in the playoffs than the first-round this year.
Coming off a first-round exit in the playoffs last year, the Mystic picked up the great Monique Currie in an attempt to get deeper in the playoffs. Featuring Elena Delle Donne and a very ‘Win Now’ roster the Mystics are hoping that their low-turnover brand of basketball (second lowest turnover rate of 2017) combined with improved talent will be enough to do just that.
With one of the greatest players to ever play the game in Diana Taurasi paired with Brittney Griner the Mercury are as lethal as ever. This season we are going to see whether or not they can figure out how to optimize that talent surrounding these two stars. But in all honesty, does it even matter if they win it all as long as Diana Taurasi keeps being a badass like Shea Serrano wisely pointed out?
big big fan of any player who splashes a 3 and then says "motherfucker" to everyone on the court 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 pic.twitter.com/U7u33C5qes
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) May 19, 2018
With the return of Chiney Ogwumike, the Sun are gonna be damn fiery this year. With Jonquel Jones, Alyssa Thomas, and Jasmine Thomas already in place, the Sun were one of the best teams in the league last year. This year? They want to be THE best team in the league. With the fastest paced offense in the WNBA last year, the Sun are poised to be even faster this year.
New York Liberty
My sleeper-pick for Rookie of the Year is Kia Nurse, so it should come as no surprise that I think she’s going to be incredible for the Liberty this year. What might be most incredible about this team is that they have three players named Kia(h)! No but really, the defensive dynamo in New York may be the Eastern Conference team to watch this season.
Los Angeles Sparks
This off-season the leagues general managers selected the flashy Sparks as most likely to win this years title. Behind Nneka Ogwumike the Sparks have a very real chance to capture their forth title ever. Having lost an incredible 5-game series in the Finals last year to the Lynx, the Sparks want their revenge.
The four-time champs are looking for their first ever repeat, and there’s a good chance they get it. There was some fear for the Lynx this off-season as they lost Renee Montgomery, but they found an excellent replacement in Danielle Robinson. As someone who has been on three All-Defense teams, Robinson is ready to make an impact for Minny. The Lynx also have that Moore lady. I think her first name is Maya? Oh yeah, Maya Moore, the former MVP. My pick to win it all this year? The Lynx.
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