In an ugly game that never really got going the Lynx came away with a key win thanks to their defense and rebounding. The team has been as dominant as anyone in the WNBA over the last half decade and their domaine will continue into the Conference Finals in the West once again.
The first-round group involving the Sparks and of course the Lynx was also as marketed: a fun-filled, adrenaline-packed trio of gaming apps where a well-balanced Lynx strike worsted a normal beauty of Candace Parker as well as having the Los angeles Sparks.
Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (34) blocks the shot of Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) during the first half of Game 1 of the WNBA basketball Western Conference finals, Thursday, September 24, 2015, in Minneapolis.
The Lynx will likely pose a greater challenge, however.
Phoenix swept the Tulsa Shock in its Western Conference Semifinals matchup while the Lynx finished off the Los Angeles Sparks 2-1 in their three-game series Tuesday. It’s more about the differences in their roster, though.
Minnesota Lynx guard Seimone Augustus (33) protects the ball…
The series will still likely be won in the paint, though. She finished the half with a team-high 11 points and four assists to help pull the Mercury within one after seven consecutive missed shots for the Lynx.
“I thought Rebekkah Brunson… she was a beast”, Mercury coach Sandy Brondello said. In each of their two losses, however, they failed to break 80. Interestingly, in the three victories recorded by Phoenix against the Lynx during the regular season, the Mercury scored over 100 points per 100 possessions.
What this means is that the Lynx will likely have an easier time cracking the Phoenix defensive shell than the Shock did. “As a team we couldn’t find an offensive flow”. If they can, they’ll have a chance to repeat as WNBA champions (something that hasn’t been done since the Sparks won it all in 2001 and 2002).
Ultimately, it’s about figuring out a way to win at this time a year, and the Lynx, despite long stretches of ugly offense, managed to repel the Mercury and now head to Phoenix on the precipice of another trip to the WNBA Finals.