The WNBA semifinals between No. 2 seed Seattle and No. 4 Minnesota will begin 6 p.m. PT tonight in Bradenton, Fla. after a two-day delay due to inconclusive COVID-19 tests from multiple Storm players.
During a Zoom call on Tuesday afternoon, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said three Seattle players returned inconclusive tests that were administered Saturday, which led to the delay of the best-of-five series that was scheduled to start Sunday.
The three Storm players in question received extensive COVID-19 testing and were quarantined to their hotel rooms for two days.
On Monday, the league cleared all three players for play, but is still waiting for test results from the third player.
“I know that whoever is on the court tonight, they’re 100 percent clear and there’s no worries about that. I do have faith in that,” Minnesota second-year forward Napheesa Collier said Tuesday during a Zoom call.
Sunday’s postponement is the first time WNBA games have been disrupted due to the coronavirus.
The delay in the start of the semifinals could impact the postseason schedule. Game 2 is Thursday followed by Game 3 on Sunday and Game 4 is planned for Sept. 29. At the moment Game 5 is listed as TBD (to be determined) while the WNBA Finals is set to begin Oct. 2.
Seattle, which finished 18-4 and received a double bye to the semifinals, is considered a heavy favorite against Minnesota (14-8). The Lynx had a bye into the second round and toppled No. 5 Phoenix 80-79 on Thursday.
The Storm has won six straight games against the Lynx, including a two-game sweep of the regular-season series by an average of 19.5 points.
Seattle won the 90-66 in the first meeting on July 28 and claimed a 103-88 victory in the Sept. 6 rematch.