2023 WNBA Finals preview: Everything to know for Aces vs. Liberty

Two superteams will meet in a much-anticipated WNBA Finals

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It’s the series the WNBA world has been waiting for all year.

The 2023 WNBA Finals are here and will feature two superteams in the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty.

The defending champion Aces rolled through the regular season, setting a WNBA record with 34 regular season wins and securing the No. 1 seed for the playoffs. The team has kept that momentum going in the postseason, as it swept each of its first two series.

The Liberty, meanwhile, are in the WNBA Finals for the first time since 2002. The team completely revamped its roster by bringing in two MVPs, and the new-look group earned a 32-8 regular season record. New York swept the Washington Mystics in the first round and bounced back from a Game 1 loss to the Connecticut Sun to win its second-round series.

What will happen when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Here’s everything to know for the 2023 WNBA Finals between the Aces and Liberty.

2023 WNBA Finals schedule

Here is the full schedule for the 2023 WNBA Finals:

  • Game 1: Liberty vs. Aces, Sunday, Oct. 8, 3 p.m. ET
  • Game 2: Liberty vs. Aces, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 9 p.m. ET
  • Game 3: Aces vs. Liberty, Sunday, Oct. 15, 3 p.m. ET
  • Game 4: Aces vs. Liberty, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 8 p.m. ET*
  • Game 5: Liberty vs. Aces, Friday, Oct. 20, 9 p.m. ET*

*If necessary

How to watch 2023 WNBA Finals on TV

Games 1 and 3 will air on ABC. Games 2, 4 and 5 will air on ESPN.

How to stream 2023 WNBA Finals

All games can be streamed on Watch ESPN and the ESPN app.

What is the WNBA Finals format?

The team with the better record gets home-court advantage in the WNBA Finals, which has a 2-2-1 format.

This year, the Aces will host Games 1, 2 and 5 at Michelob ULTRA Arena and the Liberty will host Games 3 and 4 at Barclays Center.

2023 Aces vs. Liberty season series

The Aces and Liberty split their regular season series 2-2, but the Liberty got the best of their showdown in the Commissioner’s Cup Championship to gain their overall edge in head-to-head matchups.

The matchups themselves were hardly competitive. Across five games, the average margin of victory was 19.2 points per game.

Home-court advantage played a factor, as well, with the home team winning all four regular season contests. The Liberty got the only “road” win in the Commissioner's Cup Championship, which happened to be in Las Vegas.

Top players to watch for in 2023 WNBA Finals

Breanna Stewart, Liberty: Everything changed for the Liberty when Stewart decided to take her talents to the Big Apple. She earned league MVP honors in her first year with the team while averaging 23.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Oh, and she brought it on the other end of the court, too, on her way to a WNBA All-Defensive first team selection. Now, Stewart will look to earn her third WNBA title.

A’ja Wilson, Aces: The 2020 and 2022 WNBA MVP came oh so close to beating out Stewart in the 2023 race. Instead, Wilson settled for third while leading the top-seeded Aces with career-highs of 22.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. The battle between Wilson and Stewart could be one for the ages.

Jonquel Jones, Liberty: The 2023 WNBA Finals feature the last three league MVPs. Like Stewart, 2021 MVP Jones made the move to New York this offseason after spending her first six seasons with the Sun. Jones has WNBA Finals experience against Wilson and the Aces, and this time she will be looking for some revenge.

Chelsea Gray, Aces: Gray brings even more All-Star and championship experience to the Aces. Already with two rings, five All-Star bids and a WNBA Finals MVP, Gray stepped up her play even more in 2023, averaging career-highs with 15.3 points, 7.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Sabrina Ionescu, Liberty: This series is loaded with lethal 3-point shooters, and Ionescu is one of them. The Liberty guard led the league in 3-point makes (128) this season while hitting 44.8% of her shots from downtown. Only Aces guard Jackie Young (44.9%) and Sun guard Tyasha Harris (46.4%) were better during the regular season.

Kelsey Plum, Aces: Plum was second on the Aces and eighth in the league in scoring at 18.7 points per game. With so much backcourt scoring and defense, Plum, Gray and Young will provide a daunting matchup for the Liberty while Wilson goes up against Stewart and Jones.

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