2012 WNBA Playoffs Schedule: Action Begins Thursday

The dust was long-settled on the playoff picture well before the final ball found its way through the net. But now that the regular season is officially over it's time to take a quick breather before the playoffs get underway. The teams have (at least) three full days of rest before hitting the hardwood in the conference semifinals.

Here is a look at the best-of-three schedules for the first round of the playoffs:

Western Conference Semifinals

- best of three -

No. 1 Minnesota Lynx (27-7)
vs.
No. 4 Seattle Storm (16-18)

No. 2 Los Angeles Sparks (24-10)
vs.
No. 3 San Antonio Silver Stars (21-13)

Friday, Sept. 28 @ Minnesota - 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Sunday, Sept. 30 @ Seattle - 9 p.m. ET, ESPN

Tuesday, Oct. 2 @ Minnesota - if necessary

Thursday, Sept. 27 @ Los Angeles - 10 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Saturday, Sept. 29 @ San Antonio - 3 p.m. ET, NBA TV

Monday, Oct. 1 @ Los Angeles - if necessary

In the regular season, Seattle only won one of four games against Minnesota, but it's worth noting that Minnesota never faced Lauren Jackson this season, who was gone for the Olympic break for the first three games and still hadn't returned to WNBA action in their August 21 meeting.

In the other semifinal, San Antonio won the series 3-1, but it's worth noting there that all three of San Antonio's wins came before the Olympic break and that L.A.'s lone win was a 101-77 rout at Staples Center in the first week of play after the break (though still playing without Jenna O'Hea).

Eastern Conference Semifinals

- best of three -

No. 1 Connecticut Sun (25-9)
vs.
No. 4 New York Liberty (15-19)

No. 2 Indiana Fever (22-12)
vs.
No. 3 Atlanta Dream (19-15)

Thursday, Sept. 27 @ Connecticut - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Saturday, Sept. 29 @ New York - 7 p.m. ET, NBA TV

Monday, Oct. 1 @ Connecticut - if necessary

Friday, Sept. 28 @ Indiana - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Sunday, Sept. 30 @ Atlanta - 4 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Tuesday, Oct. 2 @ Indiana - if necessary

Meanwhile, in the East there is one series that was more evenly paired, as Indiana edged the Dream 3-2 in their regular season forays while the Sun enjoyed a 4-1 (5-1 if you count preseason) advantage over their one-state-over counterparts.

The playoffs start Thursday, with a duet of games guaranteed each day throughout the weekend. The "if necessary" contests, if they do indeed become necessary, will ring in the month of October.

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