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WNBA Playoffs

WNBA Playoffs logo

The WNBA Playoffs is a best-of-three elimination tournament between eight teams in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), ultimately deciding the final two teams who will play in the WNBA Finals.

Current format

Following the WNBA regular season, four teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs and are seeded one to four.

Regular season records determine the seedings of the teams in each conference. The team with the best record receives seed one, the team with the next best record receives seed two, and so on.

These seedings are used to create a bracket that determines the match-ups throughout the playoffs. The first round of the playoffs, or Conference Semi-Finals, consists of two match-ups in each conference based on the seedings (1-4 and 2-3). The two winners advance to the second round, or Conference Finals, with a match-up between the 1-4 and 2-3 winners. At the conclusion of the Conference Finals, the winners of these series advance to the WNBA Finals.

The Conference Semi-Finals and the Conference Finals are each best-of-three series. Series are played in a 1-1-1 format, meaning the team with home-court advantage (better record) hosts games 1 and 3, while their opponent hosts game 2. The WNBA Finals are a best-of-five series played in a 2-2-1 format, meaning the team with home-court advantage hosts games 1, 2, and 5 while their opponent hosts games 3 and 4.

Tiebreak procedures

  1. Better winning percentage among all head-to-head games involving tied teams.
  2. Better winning percentage against teams within conference (for Finals only: better record against teams in the opposite conference).
  3. Better winning percentage against all teams with a .500 or better record at the end of the season.
  4. Better point differential in games involving tied teams.
  5. Coin toss (or draw of lots, if at least 3 teams are still tied after the first 4 tiebreakers fail).

Playoff series history

2013 season

Main article: 2013 WNBA Playoffs

There were 12 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

2012 season

Main article: 2012 WNBA Playoffs

There were 12 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

2011 season

Main article: 2011 WNBA Playoffs

There were 12 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
                         
E1  Indiana 2  
E4  New York 1  
  E1  Indiana 1  
Eastern Conference
  E3  Atlanta 2  
E2  Connecticut 0
E3  Atlanta 2  
    E3  Atlanta 0
  W1  Minnesota 3
W1  Minnesota 2  
W4  San Antonio 1  
  W1  Minnesota 2
Western Conference
  W3  Phoenix 0  
W2  Seattle 1
W3  Phoenix 2  

2010 season

Main article: 2010 WNBA Playoffs

There are 12 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference are seeded one to four. Starting in 2010, the first two rounds changed to a 1-1-1 format, with the higher-seeded team hosting games 1 & 3.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
                         
E1  Washington 0  
E4  Atlanta 2  
  E4  Atlanta 2  
Eastern Conference
  E2  New York 0  
E2  New York 2
E3  Indiana 1  
    E4  Atlanta 0
  W1  Seattle 3
W1  Seattle 2  
W4  Los Angeles 0  
  W1  Seattle 2
Western Conference
  W2  Phoenix 0  
W2  Phoenix 2
W3  San Antonio 0  

2009 season

Main article: 2009 WNBA Playoffs

There are 13 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference are seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
                         
E1  Indiana 2  
E4  Washington 0  
  E1  Indiana 2  
Eastern Conference
  E3  Detroit 1  
E2  Atlanta 0
E3  Detroit 2  
    E1  Indiana 2
  W1  Phoenix 3
W1  Phoenix 2  
W4  San Antonio 1  
  W1  Phoenix 2
Western Conference
  W3  Los Angeles 1  
W2  Seattle 1
W3  Los Angeles 2  

2008 season

Main article: 2008 WNBA Playoffs

There were 14 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
                         
E1  Detroit 2  
E4  Indiana 1  
  E1  Detroit 2  
  E3  New York 1  
E2  Connecticut 1
E3  New York 2  
    E1  Detroit 3
  W1  San Antonio 0
W1  San Antonio 2  
W4  Sacramento 1  
  W1  San Antonio 2
  W3  Los Angeles 1  
W2  Seattle 1
W3  Los Angeles 2  

2007 season

Main article: 2007 WNBA Playoffs

There were 13 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
                         
E1  Detroit 2  
E4  New York 1  
  E1  Detroit 2  
  E2  Indiana 1  
E2  Indiana 2
E3  Connecticut 1  
    E1  Detroit 2
  W1  Phoenix 3
W1  Phoenix 2  
W4  Seattle 0  
  W1  Phoenix 2
  W2  San Antonio 0  
W2  San Antonio 2
W3  Sacramento 1  

2006 season

Main article: 2006 WNBA Playoffs

There were 14 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
                         
E1  Connecticut 2  
E4  Washington 0  
  E1  Connecticut 1  
  E2  Detroit 2  
E2  Detroit 2
E3  Indiana 0  
    E2  Detroit 3
  W2  Sacramento 2
W1  Los Angeles 2  
W4  Seattle 1  
  W1  Los Angeles 0
  W2  Sacramento 2  
W2  Sacramento 2
W3  Houston 0  

2005 season

There were 13 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-5
                         
E1  Connecticut 2  
E4  Detroit 0  
  E1  Connecticut 2  
  E2  Indiana 0  
E2  Indiana 2
E3  New York 0  
    E1  Connecticut 1
  W1  Sacramento 3
W1  Sacramento 2  
W4  Los Angeles 0  
  W1  Sacramento 2
  W3  Houston 0  
W2  Seattle 1
W3  Houston 2  

2004 season

There were 13 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
                         
E1  Connecticut 2  
E4  Washington 1  
  E1  Connecticut 2  
  E2  New York 0  
E2  New York 2
E3  Detroit 1  
    E1  Connecticut 1
  W2  Seattle 2
W1  Los Angeles 1  
W4  Sacramento 2  
  W4  Sacramento 1
  W2  Seattle 2  
W2  Seattle 2
W3  Minnesota 0  

2003 season

There were 14 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
                         
E1  Detroit 2  
E4  Cleveland 1  
  E1  Detroit 2  
  E3  Connecticut 0  
E2  Charlotte 0
E3  Connecticut 2  
    E1  Detroit 2
  W1  Los Angeles 1
W1  Los Angeles 2  
W4  Minnesota 1  
  W1  Los Angeles 2
  W3  Sacramento 1  
W2  Houston 1
W3  Sacramento 2  

2002 season

There were 16 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
                         
E1  New York 2  
E4  Indiana 1  
  E1  New York 2  
  E3  Washington 0  
E2  Charlotte 0
E3  Washington 2  
    E1  New York 0
  W1  Los Angeles 2
W1  Los Angeles 2  
W4  Seattle 0  
  W1  Los Angeles 2
  W3  Utah 0  
W2  Houston 1
W3  Utah 2  

2001 season

There were 16 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
                         
E1  Cleveland 1  
E4  Charlotte 2  
  E4  Charlotte 2  
  E2  New York 1  
E2  New York 2
E3  Miami 1  
    E4  Charlotte 0
  W1  Los Angeles 2
W1  Los Angeles 2  
W4  Houston 0  
  W1  Los Angeles 2
  W2  Sacramento 1  
W2  Sacramento 2
W3  Utah 0  

2000 season

There were 16 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to four.

Conference Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
                         
E1  New York 2  
E4  Washington 0  
  E1  New York 2  
  E2  Cleveland 1  
E2  Cleveland 2
E3  Orlando 1  
    E1  New York 0
  W2  Houston 2
W1  Los Angeles 2  
W4  Phoenix 0  
  W1  Los Angeles 0
  W2  Houston 2  
W2  Houston 2
W3  Sacramento 0  

1999 season

There were 12 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the three teams with the best record in each conference were seeded one to three. The top seeded team in each conference got a bye for the first round.

  Conference Semi-Finals
Single Game
Conference Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
                           
        
  E1  New York 2  
    E3  Charlotte 1  
E2  Detroit 54
  E3  Charlotte 60  
    E1  New York 1
  W1  Houston 2
          
        
W1  Houston 2
    W2  Los Angeles 1  
W2  Los Angeles 71
  W3  Sacramento 58  


1998 season

There were 10 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in the league were seeded one to four. Houston was switched to the Western Conference in 1997 so two Western Conference teams matched up in the WNBA Finals.

Playoff Semi-Finals
Best-of-3
WNBA Finals
Best-of-3
               
W1  Houston 2  
E2  Charlotte 0  
    W1  Houston 2
  W2  Phoenix 1
W2  Phoenix 2
E1  Cleveland 1  

1997 season

This was the first year of existence for the WNBA. There were only 8 teams in the league. For the playoffs, the four teams with the best record in the league were seeded one to four. Houston was in the Eastern Conference in 1997 so two Eastern Conference teams matched up in the WNBA Championship.

Playoff Semi-Finals
Single Game
WNBA Championship
Single Game
               
E1  Houston 70  
E4  Charlotte 54  
    E1  Houston 65
  E2  New York 51
W3  Phoenix 41
E2  New York 59  

See also

External links

  • WNBA Home Page
  • WNBA Playoff History

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