After holding off the Dallas Wings for a 78-66 win on Wednesday, the Storm is alone in the eighth and final playoff spot with seven games to go.
Other than Minnesota, Los Angeles and New York already clinching their spots, WNBA teams still have everything to play for in the last few weeks of the season. Nobody is eliminated yet, and teams 4-10 in the standings are separated by just four games. Seattle could still finish anywhere from 12th to fourth place, which would equal a first-round bye.
In the new playoff format, the best eight teams qualify and are seeded regardless of conference. The top two clubs receive byes all the way to the semifinals, while the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds have byes to the second round. The first and second rounds are single elimination, and the semifinals and WNBA Finals feature best-of-five series. Teams will be re-seeded after each round.
If the season ended today, the eighth-seeded Storm would play at No. 5 Chicago in the first round. Here is a closer look at the current standings and how the playoff bracket would appear.
First Round: 5) Chicago Sky vs. 8) Seattle Storm
First Round: 6) Phoenix Mercury vs. 7) Indiana Fever
Second Round: 3) New York Liberty vs. lowest seeded first round winner
Second Round: 4) Atlanta Dream vs. highest seeded first round winner
Semifinals: 1) Minnesota Lynx vs. lowest remaining seed
Semifinals: 2) Los Angeles Sparks vs. highest remaining seed
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Aiming for its first postseason berth since 2013, Seattle has a number of games remaining against teams battling for similar playoff positioning. The Storm faces Chicago on Friday and in the final game of the season, Washington on Sept. 9 and Phoenix on Sept. 15.
The Mystics game could be the most important of them all, as they are even with Seattle in the loss column and the teams split their first two meetings of the season. If they were to finish tied in the standings, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head record.