The WNBA playoffs are set to begin, and this year’s playoffs are better than ever. With a new format (eliminating single-elimination playoff games and playoff byes) and a team looking to repeat (in the Chicago Sky), the WNBA playoffs will be interesting. And with so many talented teams, the championship is up for grabs. But there are a few players that can lead their teams to victory. Here are 10 players to watch out for in the WNBA playoffs.
1.) A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces
A’ja Wilson is one of the WNBA’s brightest young stars. She averaged 19.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals. She also led the league in blocks with 1.9 per game. Wilson has had an excellent season and could be on the verge of winning MVP. She also has a good chance of winning Defensive Player of the Year. If she wins both this year, she joins the likes of players like Sheryl Swoops (who did so in 2000) and Lisa Leslie (who did so in 2004).
Wilson is a player to keep an eye on, but she is not the only Aces player to watch out for.
2.) Kelsey Plum, Las Vegas Aces
Kelsey Plum is a teammate of Wilson, and she had a great season of her own. Plum averaged 20.2 points and 5.1 assists while shooting 42 percent from 3-point range. Plum took home the 2022 All-Star MVP award as she finished the game with 30 points. Plum also made history with Wilson, as the duo became the first teammates to score 700 or more points in one season.
Plum is an exceptional shooter that could give teams problems. If Plum and Wilson play anything like the regular season, they could be on the verge of winning a championship.
3.) Candace Parker, Chicago Sky
Candace Parker is a WNBA legend and at 36, she is still going strong. Parker averaged 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists this season. She also became the fifth player in league history to reach 600 blocks.
Parker is no stranger to winning championships. She won her first championship in 2016 (where she won Finals MVP) and last season, she helped the Chicago Sky win their first championship. Parker knows what it takes to win, and with a chance to repeat, she will do what it takes to win.
4.)Kahleah Copper, Chicago Sky
Kahleah Copper was the Sky’s leading scorer. She averaged 15.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Copper is a talented player who played a big role in Chicago’s championship win last season. And while Parker will do a little of everything, it will be Copper that will be their go-to scorer.
5.) Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun
Jonquel Jones is one of the league’s best players. She won MVP last season by averaging a career-best 19.4 points. This year, she averaged 14.6 points and 8.6 rebounds. Jones has an interesting journey as went from a role player to a Most Improved Player in 2017. From there she became a Sixth Woman of the Year and MVP. Jones has yet to win a championship, but this could be her year.
6.) Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm
Brenna Stewart can hoop! She led the league in points with 21.8 per game and did well in other areas. She averaged 7.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals. Stewart has some impressive accolades, including two championships. She led the Storm to championships in 2018 and 2020, and could be on the verge of her third title. And as her teammate Sue Bird prepares for her final playoffs, winning a championship could be the storybook endings fans are hoping for.
7.) Elena Delle Donne, Washington Mystics
Elena Delle Donne is another former champion on the quest for another. She averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds this season as the Washington Mystics finished 22-14 this season. Delle Donne is an exceptional player and with help, the Mystics can go far.
8.) Arike Ogunbowale, Dallas Wings
Arike Ogunbowale is a young, skilled player that continues to impress. She averaged 19.7 points this season, which made her the fourth best scorer this season. At 25, Ogunbowale leading her team to a championship would be impressive. And with her talent, she is more than capable of doing it.
9.) Sabrina Ionescu, New York Liberty
Sabrina Ionescu is a young player on the rise. The 2020 first pick averaged 17.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists. Ionescu does a bit of everything, and with New York’s upcoming matchup against Chicago, Ionescu will be key to New York’s success.
10.) Diamond DeShields, Phoenix Mercury
The Phoenix Mercury are in an interesting predicament. With Skylar Diggins-Smith out for personal reasons, Diana Taurasi dealing with a quad injury and Brittney Griner’s ongoing situation, the Mercury are missing key players. So, this is a chance for another player to step up. Diamond DeShields is a skilled player that averaged 13.1 points this season. The Mercury will need DeShields and she will be up for the challenge.