It's been another fantastic season for the best run basketball team in the state of Minnesota. The Minnesota Lynx locked up the WNBA's best record and home court throughout the playoffs with a win in their regular season finale against Eastern Conference champion and possible finals opponent the Chicago Sky.
That potential matchup is down the road a ways, however, as the Lynx begin their playoff journey on Friday at Target Center against the Seattle Storm. The best-of-three series moves to Seattle for game two on Sunday, with game three back in Minneapolis on Tuesday 9/24 if necessary.
The Lynx dominated Seattle in their four matchups this season, winning all of them by an average margin of over 17 points. The closest game between the two teams was a 13 point win for the Lynx in Seattle.
In the absence of all-star point guard Sue Bird, who has missed the entire season following knee surgery, the Storm are led by veteran forward Tina Thompson, along with guard Tanisha Wright. Thompson, who has announced that she will retire at the end of the year, is the last remaining original WNBA player. She is a four time WNBA champion, a two time Olympic gold medalist, and has appeared in nine WNBA all-star games.
For the Lynx, they are motivated by their failure to win a second title in a row last season despite entering the playoffs as the favorite. They feature four 2013 all-stars, led by Maya Moore, who finished a close second to Candace Parker in the MVP vote. Moore had the highest three point field goal percentage and most threes made in the WNBA this season.
Point guard Lindsay Whalen had perhaps her finest season, averaging 15 points and 6 assists per game, while scoring guard Seimone Augustus shot an incredible 56% from the field while averaging over 16 points a night. Their final all-star is rebounding machine Rebekkah Brunson, who averaged 10 and 9 on the season.
The Lynx are a veteran team, with these four players still central figures from the team that won the title two years ago, with the only change in the starting lineup being veteran center Janel McCarville replacing the retired "Mama" Taj McWilliams-Franklin.
The Lynx are a fearsome offensive team, with their perimeter trio of Whalen, Moore, and Augustus leading the way. They set WNBA records for fewest turnovers per game and highest assist to turnover ratio for a season, while leading the league in scoring and point differential. They enter the playoffs as clear favorites, and anything less than a championship will be a disappointment.
The Lynx are incredibly talented and fun to watch. I expect the playoffs to be even better.
We'll keep you updated.