For the third time in the previous four years, the Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury will square off in the Western Conference Finals. In both of these previous instances, Minnesota swept Phoenix to advance to the finals and went on to win the WNBA title. However, Minnesota possessed home-court advantage each time. Tonight they'll play Game one on the road as the Mercury finished atop the Western Conference standings-- four-games ahead of the Lynx. These two teams recorded a combined record of 54-14 this season.
It will be either the Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky who competes against the Lynx or Mercury in the finals. The Fever and Sky together tallied a record a 34-34 during the year. Neither the Mercury nor Lynx fell at the hands of Chicago or Indiana this season (8-0). Needless to say, whichever team emerges victorious from the Western Conference Finals will unquestionably be the favorite to win the WNBA title.
As most who follow the Lynx already know, Maya Moore was recently voted league MVP while Mercury guard Diana Taurasi finished as the runner up. Flip-flop these results and that's what happened last season; Taurasi was crowned the WNBA's Most Valuable Player while Moore helped the Lynx win their second consecutive championship. I assume either player would prefer to win a title if it meant sacrificing an MVP award.
The Mercury are the seventh team in the history of the league to finish the regular season with a win percentage over .800, and could go down as one of the best teams in WNBA history. Alternatively, the Lynx would be the first team in history to achieve back-to-back-to-back championships. Either way you try and spin it, these teams are pretty darn good.
- +9.41 - the Mercury's league-best point differential.
- +4.47 - the Lynx's point differential, second-best.
- 48.4 - the Mercury's shooting percentage in the regular season, a league record.
- 47.4 - the Lynx's shooting percentage in the 2013 regular season, the former record.
- 12.3 - the number of turnovers averaged by the Lynx in the regular season, fewest in the league.
- 13.0 - the number of turnovers averaged by the Mercury in the regular season, third-fewest in the league.
Minnesota Lynx vs. Phoenix Mercury