Make no mistake, the Minnesota Lynx have been the WNBA's best and most consistent team over the past five years.
The Lynx have won two championships and participated in three of the last four WNBA Finals. They came close to advancing to the Finals for a fourth straight season last year but were bounced from the playoffs by the Phoenix Mercury.
Minnesota and Phoenix meet again in a rematch of the conference finals beginning Thursday night at Target Center. In fact, this is the third straight Western Conference Finals matchup between Minnesota and Phoenix, and the fourth in the last five years.
“This is obviously going to be a hard series, like we knew that it would be, when you go one more step it gets even harder,” said Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve, per the team's official website. “We know Phoenix well and they know us well. Not a whole lot of time to prepare, no practice time. They’ve had some practice time but whatever. We worked really, really hard to have homecourt advantage, now we’re going to make sure we play with that same energy.”
ESPN calls Minnesota the favorite in the series simply because of their huge homecourt advantage. The Lynx are 18-2 at Target Center in their playoff history.
Arizona Central notes that Britney Griner was the Mercury's best player against the Lynx, averaging 20.5 points and 10 rebounds in five regular-season meetings – all of which were won by the home team (three for Phoenix, two for Minnesota).
Game 1 will be televised on ESPN2 and can be heard locally on 106.1 FM.