Las Vegas Aces top seed for upcoming WNBA playoffs

Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson, left, looks to shoot past Seattle Storm center Tina Charles during the first half of a WNBA game on Sunday in Las Vegas. (AP photo)

A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces will begin their quest for their first WNBA title a lot sooner than top seeds have done in previous few years.

The Aces clinched homecourt throughout the playoff on the regular season’s final day by earning the top seed in the WNBA postseason that begins Wednesday.

Before this year, Las Vegas would have a bye until the semifinals. The league changed the playoff format to best-of-three series in the quarterfinals instead of the single-elimination games in the opening two rounds it had been using since 2016.

“We’re not done yet. This is the beginning,” Wilson said after the Aces clinched the top seed on Sunday. “The regular season was nice, but now it’s real. It doesn’t matter what number is by your name in the playoffs. It could be anybody’s night on any given day.

“It’s playoffs, either you want it or you don’t.”

The top four seeds — Las Vegas, Chicago, Connecticut and Seattle — will all host the first two games of their series with a potential decisive game three on the home court of the lower seed.

Breanna Stewart was happy that the league changed the playoff format.

“I think in the WNBA all teams are deserving of a series,” she said. “It’s a respect for the teams that make it. Striving for greatness throughout the whole season shouldn’t finish with one game on the line. We’re a professional league. It should be exciting and will be interesting with the 2-1 best of three.”

Stewart will try to help teammate Sue Bird head into retirement with a fifth WNBA championship. The fourth-seeded Storm have a tough first round matchup against Washington.

“This league continues to elevate the game and get better and better,” Stewart said. “Everybody knows there’s players on each team that can go off.”


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