The All-Star break is over and the WNBA season resumes Tuesday when all 12 teams take the court. Which teams are the front-runners as the second half begins? Who has the best shot to make the playoffs? And which squads have a lot at stake right out of the gate in Tuesday's games?
1. Minnesota vs. Los Angeles, the sequel
The Lynx and Sparks have a 20 percent chance to meet for the second straight year in the WNBA Finals. No teams have met in back-to-back championship series since the Comets beat the Liberty in 1999 and 2000.
2. Minnesota is really good
Just how good is Minnesota? BPI predicts that the Lynx would beat the No. 2 team -- the Liberty -- by more than five points on a neutral court. That's a larger spread than we would expect to see in a neutral-court game between New York and BPI's sixth-ranked team, the Mystics.
3. Another strong second half for Seattle
Last season, the Storm went 7-3 after the Olympic break, clinching the team's first playoff berth since 2013. Although Atlanta currently owns the tiebreaker over the Storm, Seattle has a better chance to reach the playoffs (62 percent).
4. Big games right away
The season resumes Tuesday with a slate that could give a handful of teams significant playoff leverage. Dallas has a 74 percent chance to make the playoffs with a win over the Fever, but just a 43 percent chance if the team suffers a loss. Similarly, a win for Seattle in Los Angeles could bump the Storm's playoff chances to 77 percent, while a loss would drop them to a 49 percent chance.
5. July's hottest team (and not)
Chicago entered the All-Star break on a high note, handing the Sparks their first home loss of the season. The Sky's percentage chance to make the playoffs bottomed out at 19 percent entering their game on July 8. Since then Chicago is 5-1, with its only loss coming in double overtime. BPI gives the Sky a 46 percent chance to make the playoffs entering the second half.
On the other hand, the Fever are 1-6 in July after starting the year 7-7. Indiana's playoff chances have dropped from 66 percent to 31 percent in that span. A win on Tuesday at Dallas would give the Fever a 47 percent chance to make the playoffs, but a loss would drop their postseason aspirations to 18 percent.