2023 WNBA preseason breakdown: What to expect

The league’s 2023 WNBA preseason kicks off Friday, May 5. A total of 11 games are scheduled, including the league’s first game in Toronto.

Here’s a breakdown, per team, of how many games are scheduled:

– Atlanta Dream, 2 games (1 Home, 1 Away)
– Chicago Sky, 3 games (1H, 1A, 1 Neutral)
– Connecticut Sun, 2 games (1H, 1A)
– Dallas Wings, 2 games (1H, 1A)
– Indiana Fever, 2 games (1H, 1A)
– Las Vegas Aces, 1 game (1H, 0A)
– Los Angeles Sparks, 1 game (0H, 1A)
– Minnesota Lynx, 2 games (1H, 0A, 1 Neutral)
– New York Liberty, 2 games (0H, 2A)
– Phoenix Mercury, 2 games (1H, 1A)
– Seattle Storm, 1 game (1H, 0A)
– Washington Mystics, 2 games (1H, 1A)

Unfortunately, preseason games tend not to be televised or even streamed. There are few options to follow the games outside of each team’s individual social media accounts. However, here’s a quick breakdown of the games and what to expect. It’s fairly standard for the star players on each team to play limited minutes or not play at all.

May 5

Washington @ Minnesota, 8 pm

Notables to watch are the Mystics’ new acquisitions in Amanda Zahui B., Elena Tsineke, and Emily Engstler (picked up off of waivers on May 1). Minnesota will debut the second overall pick, Diamond Miller, as well as their other draft picks Dorka Juhász, Brea Beal, and Taylor Soule.

Chicago @ Dallas, 8 pm

Two teams with a roster shake-up this offseason. The Sky have gone through a rebuild this offseason and several of the new acquisitions should be available for this game. Ruthy Hebard (maternity leave), Li Yueri (knee injury), and Marina Mabrey (overseas) are not expected to play for Chicago. Dallas will debut their draft picks in Maddy Siegrist, Ashley Joens, and Abby Meyers; however, Lou Lopez Sénéchal will not play (back injury). The Wings also added Kalani Brown, Crystal Dangerfield, Diamond DeShields, Natasha Howard, and Kitija Laksa.

May 7

Indiana @ Chicago, 6 pm

The Fever, and Aliyah Boston, make their debut against the Sky. Meanwhile, Chicago just played two nights ago against Dallas. Indiana will look to play as many players as possible which will include new additions Grace Berger, Maya Caldwell, Taylor Mikesell, Victaria Saxton, Kristy Wallace, Erica Wheeler, and LaDazhia Williams. Additionally, Bernadett Hatar is expected to miss this game (overseas) and Rennia Davis was waived on May 3.

May 8

Phoenix @ Seattle, 10 pm

Phoenix will see the return of Brittney Griner, plus the additions of Michaela Onyenwere and Moriah Jefferson. Meanwhile, the Seattle Storm will see their retooled roster put on the court. Late draft picks for the Mercury; Kadi Sissoko and Destiny Harden, will make their debuts. It’s currently undecided if Diana Taurasi will play. The Storm will see the debut of 2022 draft pick Jade Melbourne, plus 2023 picks Jordan Horston, Madi Williams, Jade Loville, and Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu. Additionally, Seattle also added Sami Whitcomb, Arella Guirantes, Kia Nurse, Theresa Plaisance, Kaila Charles, and Jasmine Walker. Furthermore, their newly added point guard, Ivana Dojkić, is not expected to play (overseas).

May 10

New York @ Connecticut, 11 am
Atlanta @ Washington, 11:30 am

A pair of day games will see the debuts of the Liberty, Sun, and Dream. New York’s superteam should see everyone play outside of Marine Johannès and possibly Courtney Vandersloot (concussion). The combination of newbies Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, 2022 draft pick Sika Koné, and Kayla Thornton will be a fun combination to watch. The Sun will see several new additions see the court at Mohegan Sun. Rebecca Allen, Tiffany Hayes, Olivia Nelson-Ododa, and Tyasha Harris will see their Sun debuts. Connecticut recently trimmed their camp roster down to 15 players, with Lauren Cox arriving late (overseas).

The Dream will see their revamped roster against the Mystics. Highly touted draft pick Haley Jones makes her debut, as will draft picks Laeticia Amihere and Leigha Brown. Atlanta also added Allisha Gray and Danielle Robinson in the offseason. Moreover, this will be Washington’s second preseason game and hopefully the debut of China’s Li Meng.

May 12

Los Angeles @ Phoenix, 10 pm

The Sparks make their debut, while Phoenix gets their home debut at Footprint Arena. Los Angeles will see new additions of Jasmine Thomas, China’s Yang Liwei, Karlie Samuelson, Azurá Stevens, Layshia Clarendon, and Crystal Bradford play. Additionally, new moms Dearica Hamby and Katie Lou Samuelson, are not expected to play. However, their draft picks, Zia Cooke and Monika Czinano, will make their debuts. The Sparks’ second-round pick, Shaneice Swain, will not play this season.

May 13

Chicago vs. Minnesota @ Toronto (ScotiaBank Arena), TBD

The most anticipated WNBA preseason game in the league’s history. A possible preview of the league granting an expansion team to Toronto. Both the Lynx and Sky have had other preseason games already. Each team’s roster should see some cuts prior to this game. Beyond Women’s Sports highlighted the game back in January.

Dallas @ Indiana, 1 pm
New York @ Las Vegas, 5 pm

Dallas and Indiana will have to make some roster cuts prior to their second preseason game here. Though only a preseason game, a matchup featuring the two superteams will be worth watching. Finally, the Aces make their lone preseason game at Michelob Ultra Arena. Las Vegas will see newly acquired Candace Parker, Alysha Clark, Cayla George, and their third-round pick, Brittany Davis, make their debuts.

May 14

Connecticut @ Atlanta, 3 pm

Closing out the 2023 preseason will see the Sun against the Dream. Both teams underwent some rebuilding in the offseason. Highlights will be 2022 Rookie of the Year, Rhyne Howard, against former Dream player Tiffany Hayes.

The 2023 WNBA regular season begins on Friday, May 19. Final roster cuts must be made by 5 pm EST on Thursday, May 18.

Check out Beyond Women’s Sports for more women’s sports coverage. Todd Roman is on Twitter too. Follow Todd @TBRBWAY.

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