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Superstars gear up for WNBA Playoffs

A few familiar faces to the WNBA Playoffs are headlining this year’s playoffs.

Gary Dineen NBAE Getty Images

One of the most familiar faces has to be Tamika Catchings, who will be making her 12th playoff appearance in her 14th season in the league. She has led the Indiana Fever (19-14) to a WNBA-record 11-straight playoff berths.

The Fever are battling the Mystics for the third seed in the Eastern Conference and will play either the Liberty or Sky in the opening round of conference playoffs. They have lost five of their last seven games and will look to get back on track heading into the postseason.

Throughout the season, Indiana head coach Stephanie White has used nine different starting lineups en route to her accomplishment of winning more games in her debut season than any other coach in Fever franchise history. To top of the team's achievements, Catching reached her 1,000th career steal this season as well.

On the other hand, one of the other most familiar faces of this year's postseason happens to be a rather fresh one—the face of this year's leading MVP candidate, Elena Delle Donne.  Delle Donne has led the Chicago Sky (21-12) to her third straight playoff appearance this season in as many years.

Delle Donne is the league's scoring leader at 23.3 PPG and ranks third in rebounds at 8.7 RPG. Her success helped the Sky clinch the second seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, earning them home-court advantage. They will face the third seed in the first round.

She also has a supporting cast in Courtney Vandersloot and Cappie Pondexter. Vandersloot averages 11.7 points, and 5.8 assists per game, and Pondexter averages 15.0 points and 2.1 assists. The two both shoot nearly 40 percent from 3-point land.

Delle Donne might have someone else to look out for when it comes to the league's highest honor, however—Candace Parker. Parker righted the Los Angeles Sparks' (14-20) ship just after the All-Star break to squeak her team to a fourth-straight appearance.

Prior to Parker's return, the Sparks were just 3-13, but went on to clinch the fourth seed in the Western Conference to make their 15th postseason appearance, the most by any WNBA team. Parker now leads the Sparks in average points (19.4), rebounds (10.1), assists (6.3), steals (1.9) and blocks per game (1.8) in her 16 games played.

The fourth-seeded Sparks will travel to top-seeded Minnesota in the opening round of the Western Conference Playoffs.

Another player making waves into the postseason—or beating buzzers, rather—is DeWanna Bonner with the defending champions Phoenix Mercury. Bonner made headlines with buzzer beater after buzzer beater this season and quickly found her way to the top of the Mercury stat sheet despite playing with one of the league's most recognizable players, Brittney Griner.

Bonner currently ranks fifth on the league's scoring list, averaging 15.8 points per game. That is up from 13.6 for her career average and ranks as her second highest average in her seven years (her highest came in 2012 with 20.6 PPG).

With Friday's 70-65 win against the Sparks, Bonner and the Mercury got their 20th win of the season for the second straight year. This is the first time in franchise history the team has recorded back-to-back 20-win season. The team will face third-seeded Tulsa in the opening round.

With headliners like these and their supporting casts, this year's playoffs should be interesting to watch. It all kicks off with conference semifinals Sept. 17-22.