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The WNBA Playoffs are finally upon us

You may be asking yourself why it has taken the Northern Review so long to publish a story about the WNBA, especially now that the playoffs are in full swing. Well folks, the wait is over because this is your official 2013 WNBA playoff preview and season recap.

The regular season was as compelling as ever, with the top three picks all highly-touted players coming out of college. Brittney Griner went first overall to the Phoenix Mercury, Elena Delle Donne went second to the Chicago Sky and Skylar Diggins went third overall to the Tulsa Shock. Delle Donne had arguably the biggest impact on any team in the league, leading her Sky to the first overall seed in the Eastern Conference and taking home unanimous rookie-of-the-year honors. Diggins didn’t have as much luck, with the Shock finishing last in the West. Griner had her share of dunks and led the Mercury to a playoff berth, as the third seed in the West. Candace Parker, a name everyone knows, won league MVP honors, narrowly beating out Delle Donne. Riquna Williams’ 51 points led the Tulsa Shock to a victory in early-September on the way to setting a single-game scoring record in the league, passing Diana Taurasi’s previous high of 47.

Then...the playoffs started. In the East, the main talking point was the Chicago Sky claiming the number one overall seed, then getting swept in the first round by the defending champs, the Indiana Fever. The top seed matchup in the West is going pretty well as planned with the Minnesota Lynx taking care of business against Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm. The interesting matchup in the Western Conference is the two vs. three rivalry, where the Los Angeles Sparks are locked up with the Phoenix Mercury. There are many great storylines in this one, including Candace Parker, Brittney Griner and the health of Diana Taurasi, as well as the Sparks’ legacy as the historically best WNBA franchise. The intriguing matchup this year that nobody is talking about is the two-seeded Atlanta Dream against the three-seeded Washington Mystics. The Mystics play more of a team game without a stand-out player, while the Dream rely heavily on guard Angel McCoughtry and her 21.5 points per game.

With a loaded playoff roster and grueling schedule with a series starting once every four days, the players and teams all deal with the pressure of the playoffs. The West will be the most interesting finals matchup with the Lynx getting the winner of the Sparks/Mercury matchup. That’s a star-studded cast of players, with the winner of the WNBA coming out of the Western Conference this season.

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