After an exciting 2022 season for the WNBA, the ’23 regular season schedule brings an exciting roster of matches from the league’s opening weekend and all year round.
The league will look for ways to further increase its popularity after the 2022 campaign is the most watched campaign in 14 years and has crossed new thresholds in social media consumption and product sales. Fans will also have more chances to watch their favorite teams play on the hardwood, as the league has increased the number of games to 40 from 36 last season. The Commissioner’s Cup competition will also make a comeback for the third year.
Let’s take a look at some of the more fascinating games in 2023, including the playoff rematches on opening weekend and the final home games of two WNBA legends.
Aces in the Storm: May 20, 2023
A’ja Wilson, Chelsea Grey, Kelsey Plum, and Aces emerged from a star-studded and challenging best-of-five-game semifinal series against Storm in Las Vegas, before Becky Hammon won her first WNBA title in her first year as coach in 2022. passed. While the aces won in four games, the series was one of the books that featured spectacular shooting performances by Breanna Stewart, Jewell Loyd, Gray and Wilson, and the end of Sue Bird’s WNBA career. Although the retired Bird will not be on the court this year, the tense and pressure-filled struggle between these two teams is sure to continue from the opening weekend. Prepare your popcorn and plan accordingly.
Aces at Sparks: May 25, 2023
For six days of the season, the reigning WNBA champions will make a short trip to Los Angeles to meet the Sparks. Los Angeles had some turmoil a season ago and missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year. However, former Sun coach Curt Miller is entering its first season with the franchise. Nothing better than watching another conflict between Miller and Hammon, who are connected through the Tom Collen coaching tree. While this isn’t a Finals rematch (Aces beat the Sun to win them all), it will be interesting to see how Miller builds this team to face an extremely talented Aces team so early in the season.
Freedom in the Sky: June 2, 2023
Liberty came out strong in the first round last year, beating the 2021 champions in the first game of their best-of-three series. The victory even gave New York their first playoff win since September 2015. But in the next two games, Sky stepped up defensively, limiting Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu’s play to knock out New York. With a new season and Liberty working to improve its ’22 campaign, the rematch between the Candace Parker-led Chicago team and New York in early June will be a treat.
Sky in Aces: June 11, 2023
During last season, many thought the Las Vegas vs Chicago matchups were a preview of the WNBA Finals (though Sun had something to say about those predictions). Back and forth battles are intense when these two teams are chasing it. Last season, Chicago squandered a 28-point lead against Aces Sky as they completed the biggest comeback in WNBA history on the Aces field. But then Las Vegas returned the favor by beating Sky in the Commissioner’s Cup and adding a third win against Chicago in the second and final game of the regular season. With two teams full of All-Star players, this clash will be no less intense in 2023 and a match to watch.
The Sun is in Sparks: 18 June 2023
Miller spent seven seasons with the Sun and appeared in two WNBA Finals games, but failed to bring Connecticut a championship. As Miller enters his first season with Los Angeles, he will have the chance to meet his old team in about a month of the 2023 season. However, depending on the aftermath of the WNBA free agency, things can look drastically different when the two teams meet. Much of Sun’s salary cap is tied to ’21 WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones, four-time All-Star DeWanna Bonner, and three-time All-Star Alyssa Thomas, under Stephanie White’s freshman head coach. While White tries to match the right players around the trio, Miller faces a similar situation: Only five Sparks players have contracts for the ’23 season. Currently, these players do not include Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike. Despite all that, this is something you should mark on your calendar.
Aces in Mercury: September 8, 2023
If you find it difficult to watch Bird’s last game, prepare for what could be the last home game of the regular season at Diana Taurasi’s Footprint Center. Returning for season 19, Taurasi will likely be in the middle of helping Phoenix secure a playoff spot in the final days of season 23. Taurasi’s hands will be full, as Skylar Diggins-Smith recently announced she’s pregnant and is uncertain for next season due to the ongoing situation with Brittney Griner incarcerated in Russia.
Taurasi finished the 2022 season early on August 8 due to quadriceps strain before Phoenix went on to lose in the first round of the playoffs. If this is his last home game for the three-time WNBA champion, he will undoubtedly leave everything he has on the court against a highly competitive Aces team. Circle this match immediately.
The Sky Is In The Sun: September 10, 2023
Like Taurasi, Parker was considering whether to return for a 16th season in 2023. The 36-year-old considered the ’22 season in May to be his last season. Two weeks ago, he announced that he plans to play in the ’23 season, according to two-time champion Richard Deitsch. Athletic.
Last season, Parker broke the league’s triple-double record at the end of June, won his seventh All-Star selection, and started last year’s All-Star Game in Chicago, a city he’s so close to and so cherished. In the last regular season game of Parker’s career, it’s fitting that Chicago challenges the Sun, a team that took the best of Sky in the 2022 playoffs, in the best-of-five semifinals. This match will also be the fourth match between the two teams in the ’23 season.