While a few of the league’s biggest names are sitting out this season, there nonetheless ensures to be a variety of pleasure and drama with the debut of an anticipated rookie class led by former Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu and two WNBA legends, Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart, returning after a 12 months misplaced to hurt.
With that in ideas, let’s check out 12 of the season’s biggest video games.
Seattle Storm vs. New York Liberty
July 25, noon ET | ESPN
The 2020 advertising marketing campaign concepts off with the primary matchup between Ionescu and Bird, two degree guards with ties to the Pacific Northwest at reverse ends of their careers. For Bird and Stewart, it’s going to be their first WNBA movement since serving to the Storm win the 2018 championship sooner than surgical procedures ended their 2019 seasons sooner than they even began. Both avid gamers returned to the courtroom docket for USA Basketball last offseason, along with Bird collaborating in in opposition to Ionescu as Oregon turned merely the second college crew ever to beat the nationwide crew.
Los Angeles Sparks vs. Phoenix Mercury
July 25, Three p.m. ET | ABC
Later on opening day, we get our first take a look on the Mercury after a daring offseason remake of the roster highlighted by shopping for and promoting for All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith to pair within the backcourt with the WNBA’s all-time fundamental scorer, Diana Taurasi. Up entrance, Phoenix-L.A. matchups have prolonged meant Brittney Griner squaring off in opposition to the Sparks’ starry frontcourt duo of Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker.
Chicago Sky vs. Las Vegas Aces
July 26, Three p.m. ET | ABC
Day 2 of the season brings us a rematch of ultimate 12 months’s thrilling playoff matchup between the Sky and Aces, decided when Dearica Hamby’s prayer from merely all through halfcourt was answered. With seven of the eight avid gamers who seen a minimal of 10 playoff minutes returning, Chicago will hope to rely on continuity. The Aces misplaced All-Star center Liz Cambage, who’s expected to miss the season for nicely being causes, nevertheless nonetheless boast a sturdy frontcourt of Hamby and A’ja Wilson.
Washington Mystics vs. Connecticut Sun
July 28, 7 p.m. ET
The first rematch between the teams that met in last 12 months’s WNBA Finals can have a extremely completely totally different look. Connecticut, which had already misplaced starters Shekinna Stricklen and Courtney Williams to free firm, seen Jonquel Jones become the primary star participant to decide against playing 2020. Meanwhile, MVPs Elena Delle Donne and newcomer Tina Charles are awaiting rulings on whether they’ll be medically excused from the 2020 season, with their standing uncertain if the panel of neutral docs clears them to play. Still, coaches Curt Miller and Mike Thibault are two of the league’s biggest, and they also’ll have a shortened teaching camp to rebuild their rotations.
New York Liberty vs. Dallas Wings
July 29, Eight p.m. ET
The last time Ionescu and Oregon teammate Satou Sabally have been on the courtroom docket collectively, they’ve been lowering down the nets because the Ducks celebrated worthwhile the Pac-12 Tournament. Though Oregon’s hopes of a nationwide championship have been dashed when the NCAA occasion was canceled attributable to the coronavirus pandemic, Ionescu and Sabally nonetheless acquired to rejoice being the prime two picks of the WNBA draft. They’ll be on opposing sides for the primary time as professionals all through the season’s first week.
Atlanta Dream vs. Las Vegas Aces
July 29, 10 p.m. ET
After 10 seasons with the Dream — along with last season’s ceremonial look within the final recreation of a 12 months misplaced to a knee hurt — Angel McCoughtry signed with Las Vegas over the offseason, and she or he won’t should attend prolonged for a main matchup in opposition to her former crew. Granted, Atlanta’s roster appears very completely totally different from when McCoughtry was injured all through the 2018 WNBA semifinals — merely three avid gamers from that crew keep energetic — nevertheless it’s going to be an emotional second nonetheless.
Seattle Storm vs. Washington Mystics
July 30, 6 p.m. ET | ESPN
The last two champions, the Storm and Mystics, met within the 2018 WNBA Finals and would have been favored for a further matchup if Washington have been at full vitality. As is, the Storm should take care of 2019 Finals MVP Emma Meesseman and a shooting-heavy Mystics lineup that may moreover attribute one-time Seattle draft resolve Tianna Hawkins in a further excellent place this season.
Indiana Fever vs. Dallas Wings
July 31, Eight p.m. ET
There’s unfinished enterprise between Sabally and Indiana rookie Lauren Cox, taken one resolve later at No. 3. The two have been on opposing sides as Cox’s Baylor crew knocked off Sabally and Oregon within the 2019 Final Four en path to the NCAA title. Now they’re going to match up for the primary time as WNBA foes.
Phoenix Mercury vs. Seattle Storm
Aug. 8, Three p.m. ET | ABC
The last time shut friends Bird and Taurasi squared off in opposition to at least one one other, Bird’s massive fourth quarter helped propel the Storm earlier the Mercury in a 2018 WNBA semifinals matchup that went the gap. With every avid gamers heading in the direction of the tip line of their careers, it’s unclear what variety of further Bird-Taurasi matchups we’ll get, and they also’re worth savoring — notably since every teams enter this season as title contenders.
Los Angeles Sparks vs. Minnesota Lynx
Aug. 9, 7 p.m. ET | ESPN2
The No. 1 whole resolve of the 2006 draft, Seimone Augustus, finally turned a key half of the WNBA’s largest trendy dynasty in Minnesota, worthwhile four championships and incomes Finals MVP honors in 2011. Augustus spent 14 seasons with the Lynx, and her first matchup in opposition to her former crew — which moreover happens to be a rematch of the 2016 and 2017 Finals — figures to be a selected night.
Phoenix Mercury vs. Dallas Wings
Aug. 10, 7 p.m. ET | ESPN2
The relationship between Diggins-Smith and the Wings, her group all by her WNBA career (which began in Tulsa sooner than the crew’s switch to Dallas), turned sour during the 2019 season as she sat out after giving begin. After her must go away was facilitated by a commerce, Diggins-Smith will face her outdated crew for the primary time on the start of the third week of the season.
Las Vegas Aces vs. Los Angeles Sparks
Sept. 12, Eight p.m. ET
This far out, it’s highly effective to say what could possibly be at stake on the last word day of the WNBA common season, nevertheless this recreation has the best possibilities of serving to find out playoff seeding. The Sparks and Aces accomplished a recreation apart within the standings last season and should every be within the mix as soon as extra this 12 months.