Napheesa Collier says WNBA needs to change single-elimination format

(Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

Napheesa Collier and A’ja Wilson share their thoughts on the WNBA’s single-elimination playoff format on the latest episode of the Tea with A & Phee podcast.

Collier, who was bounced from the postseason in Minnesota’s single-elimination quarterfinal loss to Chicago, is in favor of the WNBA amending the playoff structure.

“I am not making excuses for why we lost at all,” Collier says. “Chicago is a great team, they won the championship obviously. They are a great team, they came out really well.”

While the Lynx star concedes that she didn’t play her best game against the No. 6 Sky, she adds that heading into the game as the higher seed wasn’t the advantage it appeared to be.

“I do feel like it kind of hurt us almost, being the second seed, because we’re in a one-game elimination still,” Collier says. “But like, Chicago was able to play games before and stay in that groove, and I feel like that actually does kind of hurt us.”

Collier hopes the league will look into changing the playoff format by turning the single-elimination games into best-of-three series, a proposal many have pointed to in the past month.

“I do think that format needs to change. It needs to be at least — even if they don’t jump to five (games), make it a three,” she says.

Wilson agrees, calling the Las Vegas Aces’ double-bye a “blessing and a curse.” The No. 2 Aces were upset by the Phoenix Mercury in Game 5 of the WNBA semifinals.

“We’ve been practicing for maybe a week, we just got practice guys for playoffs, and it’s still not a real game and you’re meeting teams that have been playing a lot, maybe like a Phoenix that played from the jump all the way up,” Wilson says.

“They’re in the groove,” Wilson adds of the lower-seeded teams. “They’ve been playing these games, they already know how the flow of the game goes and, like, you just come out and they just hit you with the first punch and you’re like, ‘What in the world?'”

Listen to the full episode of Tea with A & Phee for more of Collier and Wilson’s WNBA hot takes.