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WNBA 2019 Preseason Preview: Liberty open play against China, what to expect around the league

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The WNBA preseason is here! Fans get to experience the new-look Liberty for the first time tonight against China, while the other 11 teams begin preseason games over the next week.

Tina Charles New York Liberty WNBA
Newly re-signed Tina Charles and the New York Liberty begin their 2019 WNBA preseason campaign tonight against China.
Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The WNBA preseason tips off tonight as the New York Liberty host China’s national team in Brooklyn (7 p.m. ET, ESPNEWS). This team has plenty of significant new weapons, including 2nd overall draft pick Asia Durr and 14th overall pick Han Xu (who will be repping New York against her country’s national team). With plenty of room to improve, a good showing for the Liberty’s rookies and veterans alike should boost their confidence headed into league play.

Elsewhere in lottery-land, Las Vegas, Chicago and Indiana all acquired a wealth of new talent in the offseason and will spend the preseason figuring out how to use it. Diamond DeShields is very confident the Sky are playoff-bound this season, but can her team deliver after a 10th-place finish in 2018?

At the end of the day, it’s not the activity at the bottom of the table that’s as concerning as the activity at the top. The Seattle Storm, for instance, will need to use the preseason to work out how best to survive without reigning league and Finals MVP Breanna Stewart.

Meanwhile, championship contenders Atlanta, Washington and — thanks in part to a late trade — Los Angeles will look to re-establish their dominance as early as possible. However, a lot of variables still need to go their way in order for each of these teams to be successful all season long.

Ready to jump into the 2019 season? Here’s an in-depth look at how the teams stand:

Check out the complete 2019 WNBA schedule.