The 10 must-see games of the regular season

The WNBA schedule for 2022 was released on Thursday. While there are still five months to go until the start of the 2022 season — which kicks off about a week earlier than last season, so the schedule winds down for the FIBA ​​Women’s Basketball World Cup in Australia in September — we’re looking forward to look ahead and project some of the more interesting games to watch.

A lot could happen between now and the season openers on May 6, 2022. We may get a few retirement announcements, or “at least one more year” from certain players. There are currently two head coaching positions: the New York Liberty and the Phoenix Mercury.

We know that free agency — teams can begin negotiating with eligible players on January 15 and sign them on February 1 — will change the landscape, much like last season when Candace Parker moved from the Los Angeles Sparks to the Chicago Sky. , and then won the 2021 WNBA title with her home team.

There will no doubt be trades. The April draft is expected to produce more players who can have an immediate impact than the 2021 draft.

That said, let’s take a look at what’s on tap for the league’s 26th season. These are 10 games to keep an eye on.

Los Angeles Sparks in Chicago Sky
May 6, 8pm ET

Parker turns 37 in April but shows no signs of slowing down after winning her second WNBA championship last season. In the opening match of 2022, she will face her former Sparks teammates. Los Angeles, meanwhile, will be eager to prove that last season’s rare playoff miss was truly an aberration.

Seattle Storm at Phoenix Mercury
May 11, 10:00 PM ET

Are Sue Bird from Seattle and Diana Taurasi from Phoenix coming back?

While everyone wonders if Bird, 41, and Taurasi, 39, will continue their Hall of Fame careers for at least another year, we’ll have to wait and see. The Mercury will also be headed by a new coach as Sandy Brondello is out after eight seasons.

Minnesota Lynx in Los Angeles Sparks
May 17, 10:30 p.m. ET

The rivalry between these two franchises is one of the WNBA’s best, even if we’re about to be five years after their last WNBA Finals showdown. After an injury-ridden 2020 season, Lynx center Sylvia Fowles made a strong comeback in 2021, winning the WNBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award for the fourth time.

Phoenix Mercury at Chicago Sky
May 31, 8pm ET

Yes, we’ll be watching the Mercury early on, including this rematch of the 2021 WNBA Finals. The Mercury left the Windy City in October very disappointed after losing Game 4 that took the title to the Sky.

Chicago Sky on Connecticut Sun
June 10, 7 p.m. ET:

Speaking of disappointments, The Sun felt the same after losing to Chicago’s No. 1 in the semifinals. Connecticut is still looking for its first WNBA title, and perhaps the fact that the Sky just got their first could serve as inspiration.

New York Liberty at Atlanta Dream
June 24, 7:30 PM ET

New York made it to the 2021 playoffs, while the Dream faced a tough season that saw star Chennedy Carter banned for the most part. Both teams will also receive new coaches in the 2022 season. Former WNBA player Tanisha Wright takes over the Dream. And we await news of Walt Hopkins’ replacement, who retired from the Liberty after two seasons. What will they look like in 2022?

Las Vegas Aces at Minnesota Lynx
July 3, 7pm ET

The Aces and star A’ja Wilson were crushed in their semifinal loss to Phoenix last season. Las Vegas will be eager to prove itself again as a championship contender, just like the Lynx. The standout Napheesa Collier from Minnesota is pregnant with a due date in May, so we’ll see if she’s back in action in 2022.

New York Liberty at Washington Mystics
July 21, 11:30 a.m. ET

This will be a matinee at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, the former home of the Mystics before moving to the Entertainment & Sports Arena. Will Washington allow Elena Delle Donne – who missed the 2020 season and all but three games in 2021 due to past problems – to return to the roster? Will New York have Asia Durr, who missed both seasons after prolonged COVID-19 effects?

Indiana Fever at Atlanta Dream
Aug 3, 7pm ET

Wait a minute, you say. Why should these teams, who finished 11th and 12th last season, be a “must-watch” match-up in August? To which the answer is: Hey, it’s December, let’s be optimistic. And we’re excited about the possibility that the No. 1 and No. 2 draft picks might go to the Fever and Dream and compete for the Rookie of the Year honors.

Dallas Wings at Phoenix Mercury
Aug 12, 10pm ET

The Wings made it to the 2021 playoffs, falling to eventual champion Sky, and Dallas guard Arike Ogunbowale remains one of the league’s most exciting players to watch. But will the Wings have a completely healthy Satou Sabally all season long? Are they ready to take that next step to become a real contender? And will Phoenix look for another shot at a strong playoff run?


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