By Steve Samek
Seems like it was just yesterday that we were previewing the WNBA semi-finals.
The matchups offered a bit of intrigue, as a couple of unlikely contenders went head to head with the top two teams in the league.
Both series ended in three game sweeps. So, to battle it out we have the reigning champion LA Sparks and the top -seed Minnesota Lynx. This is a rematch of last season’s championship series.
Last season I picked the Lynx to win. I was wrong as the Sparks took home the title.
LA is a strong contender and deserves their chance to defend the title. They finished with the second-best record at 26-8, just a game behind Minnesota. They won their last seven games in a row and went 16-1 at home, best home record in the WNBA. A 10-7 away mark was pretty decent as well.
The duo averaged about 36 points per game during the regular season. Parker averaged 20 points a game during the one playoff series the Sparks played in and combined it with 8.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game. Ogwumike averaged 10 rebounds during the playoff matchup with Phoenix.
Odyssey Sims came up big with 22 points in the game three win over Phoenix. She adds another scoring option for LA.
Yet Minnesota has dominated this season. Number one seed at 27-7. They put up the runner up home mark at 15-2 and 12-5 on the road. The concluded the season on a three-game winning streak. Heck they went on a 37-0 run against Indiana in a 59-point blowout win, both WNBA records this season. How’s that for dominating.
That’s not to forget they also have Sylvia Fowles and Lindsay Whalen. Fowles is the 2017 WNBA MVP, this for a season averaging 18.9 points per game 10.4 rebounds, both in the top five league wide. She also tied for the league-led in double doubles with 20.
This high level of play is being kept in the playoffs, where Fowles is average 20 points per game and 10 boards per game.
Whalen is among the playoff leaders in assists with just under five per game with Moore and Augustus behind per at just under four and a half per game.
The Lynx have a lot of talent to contend with. They seem to be the favorite again this year as well.
During the season series LA took two of the three match ups. This including the most recent matchup on August 27,2017 in LA. LA won last year despite being the underdog and is more than capable of during it again.
Either way this should be a treat of a series. I think it goes down to the fifth game once again. This time with the home team winning. I take the Lynx 3-2, just like last season.