The 2020 WNBA season is now less than two weeks away, and we finally have a schedule. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, which delayed the season for over two months, each team will be playing just 22 regular season games instead of 36. The playoff format, however, will remain unchanged.
Plus, of course, everything will be happening in the bubble -- or, the "wubble," as the players have nicknamed it. While the NBA has gathered at Disney World, the WNBA is just a few hours down the road at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Even though things will be quite strange in this new environment, which includes games in empty gyms, there will still be plenty of exciting basketball. Ahead of all the action, here's a look at 10 games to circle on your calendars.
1. Seattle Storm vs. New York Liberty -- Saturday, July 25
There's no other pick for the top spot. This is the first game of the season, the first game in the bubble, the first game for No. 1 overall pick Sabrina Ionescu and the first game for Breanna Stewart since she tore her Achilles tendon. Doesn't get more intriguing than that.
2. Phoenix Mercury vs. Los Angeles Sparks -- Saturday, July 25
Admittedly, picking another opening day game does feel a bit like cheating. However, this will be our first chance to see the new-look Mercury with Skylar Diggins-Smith. That alone would put this game high on the list. The fact that it's against another contender in the Sparks only makes it more exciting.
3. Chicago Sky vs. Las Vegas Aces -- Sunday, July 26
Last season's playoffs gave us all sorts of memorable moments, but none more thrilling than Dearica Hamby's halfcourt heave to beat the Sky at the end of their incredible second-round matchup. On the second day of the season, we'll get a rematch of what was arguably the best game of 2019.
4. New York Liberty vs. Dallas Wings -- Wednesday, July 29
The first two picks in this year's draft, Sabrina Ionescu and Satou Sabally, were college teammates at the University of Oregon. On this night, they'll play against each other for the first time in the pros. If that wasn't enough, we'll also get an awesome backcourt battle between Ionescu and last year's runner-up for Rookie of the Year, Arike Ogunbowale.
5. Phoenix Mercury vs. Seattle Storm -- Saturday, Aug. 8 and Friday, Sept. 11
OK, this is a bit of cheating once again, but both of the meetings between the Mercury and Storm need to be on the list. While most of the games to watch are about new matchups, this is about an old one: Diana Taurasi vs. Sue Bird. This might be the last season we get to see these two legends and friends go against each other, and we'll be sure to savor every moment.
6. Dallas Wings vs. Atlanta Dream -- Sunday, July 26
This matchup on the second day of the season will feature the WNBA debuts for four of the top seven picks in this year's draft: Satou Sabally (No. 2), Bella Alarie (No. 5) and Tyasha Harris (No. 7) of the Wings, and Chennedy Carter (No. 4) of the Dream. Plus, it will be our first chance to see one of last season's most electrifying players in Arike Ogunbowale.
7. Minnesota Lynx vs. Los Angeles Sparks -- Sunday, Aug. 9
Many of the key figures from when this was one of the best rivalries in the league are gone, but it's still fun any time these two teams square off. And this season there's an extra twist, as Seimone Augustus left the Lynx after 14 seasons to sign with the Sparks in free agency. Her first game against her old club will be at a neutral site, but it will still be strange to behold.
8. Las Vegas Aces vs. Phoenix Mercury -- Friday, July 31
No Liz Cambage or Kelsey Plum, who are both out for the season for the Aces, but even without them this Western Conference showdown of contenders features two of the best "Big Threes" in the league. Plus, it will give us one of our first looks at each of their new additions. Las Vegas signed Angel McCoughtry in free agency, and she'll team up with Kayla McBride and A'ja Wilson, while Phoenix traded for Skylar Diggins-Smith to go along with Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner.
9. Washington Mystics vs. Connecticut Sun -- Tuesday, July 28
With how much roster turnover there was between these two teams, it's hard to even call this a Finals rematch. Still, the first game of the new season between the teams that met in the previous Finals is always intriguing. And it's not like there won't be any talent on the floor. We'll still get to see Emma Meesseman, Ariel Atkins, Alyssa Thomas and Jasmine Thomas -- and possibly Elena Delle Donne, if she ends up playing -- all of whom were key contributors last fall.
10. New York Liberty vs. Las Vegas Aces -- Saturday, Aug. 29
From a basketball perspective, you get an interesting matchup between a title contender in the Aces, and the young, rebuilding Liberty led by Ionescu and half a dozen rookies. But along with all the talent that will be on display, this will be the first WNBA game broadcast on CBS Television Network, which is a proud moment for both the league and this company.