Most Anticipated Matchups in the Wubble
Four matchups from yesterday's WNBA schedule release that are must-watch television
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Yesterday, the WNBA announced the official schedule for the 2020 season which will start on Saturday, July 25. After four months without any hoops, I am excited for every matchup the 22-game regular-season schedule will deliver. Still, there are a few that stand out as being the most anticipated:
Dallas Wings vs. New York Liberty
Wednesday, July 29th, 8pm ET, CBS Sports Network
Thursday, August 27th, 8pm ET, CBS Sports Network
It might seem odd to start off this list with two teams expected to fall towards the bottom of this season’s standings. However, both of these teams are stacked with a lot of very young talent that should make them exciting to watch. Dallas’ roster (as of now at least) has just two players with over three years of service in the league and New York’s lists a whopping seven rookies. In addition, for those of us (myself included) still feeling sad that we didn’t get to see this year’s NCAA tournament play out, there will be quite a few players on both sides of the court that we would’ve expected to see play in New Orleans.
Phoenix Mercury vs. Seattle Storm
Saturday, August 8th, 3pm ET, ABC
Friday, September 11th, 10pm ET, CBS Sports Network
Friendly reminder about how fun this 2018 semi-finals matchup was. Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and Breanna Stewart are all accounted for in the Wubble. Add in Phoenix’s offseason addition of Skylar Diggins-Smith, and the backcourt battle in this matchup is going to be even better this time around.
The Bird vs. Taurasi matchup is honestly enough to sell this matchup for me. Throw in the frontcourt competition between two potential MVP candidates in Stewart and Brittney Griner and that these are two teams anticipated to be near the top of the WNBA standings in 2020, and these are certainly games to mark off on your calendar. Also, side note if anyone from ESPN is reading this, please give us a mic'd up Bird and Taurasi for one of these!
Los Angeles Sparks vs. Minnesota Lynx
Sunday, August 9th, 7pm ET, ESPN2
Wednesday, August 26th, 8pm ET, CBS Sports Network
I can’t pass up a classic rivalry game, especially with the added factor of Seimone Augustus, who won four rings with the Lynx, now playing for the Sparks after the wild 2020 off-season. Los Angeles is down a couple of critical pieces with Kristi Toliver and Chiney Ogwumike opting out for the season, but still has plenty of star power in Chelsea Gray, Candace Parker, and Nneka Ogwumike. Minnesota looks solid in the frontcourt with a highly anticipated sophomore season from Napheesa Collier and, of course, Sylvia Fowles. There are some more question marks in the backcourt, which makes them an interesting team to keep an eye on 2020 - but I never count Cheryl Reeve out. If Lexie Brown has a breakout season, the Lynx might be much better than expected.
Chicago Sky vs. Connecticut Sun
Saturday, August 8th, 5pm ET, TBA (League Pass)
Friday, August 14th, 7pm ET, TBA (League Pass)
This one largely makes the list in anticipation of the matchups at the three and four positions. Chicago is stacked with young talent from the 2018 class with Diamond DeShields, Azura Stevens and Gabby Williams. Even with Jonquel Jones opting out, Connecticut’s frontcourt also looks dangerous with DeWanna Bonner and Alyssa Thomas being one of the more difficult pairs in the league to guard. With Jones out and Stefanie Dolson posting a relatively low usage rate the past two seasons (16.4% in 2019), I don’t anticipate either of these teams playing through their centers a ton - which should make for a really fun battle among the small forwards and guards. This is the only matchup that makes our list that does not currently have a national TV slot scheduled. Hopefully it will be a later pickup by ESPN.
The season tips off in just 11 days. Make sure to mark these matchups on your calendar as must-watch television.