Can The Sparks Win The WNBA Championship?
October 13, 2016
For the first time in a long time the two best teams in the WNBA are
playing for the championship. The Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx have each won one game in a best of five game series. They play probably the most important game of the series tonight (Friday) at the Galen Center on the USC campus. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
What makes this series so intriguing is both teams have super stars, outstanding starting line ups, players that can come off the bench and contribute and very good coaching. Both teams have stayed away from the injury bug so when it comes right down to it it's a toss-up and that's the way the WNBA wanted it.
The WNBA changed the playoff format this season to make sure the two best teams in the league made it to the finals. The Lynx and the Sparks finished first and second out of the 12 WNBA teams. In the past one of them would have been eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals because both teams play in the same conference. Whoever made the decision to change the format got it right.
Another reason these final are so exciting is both teams are healthy and everyone is playing at a high level. For the Sparks, their starting lineup has been together since the beginning of the season. Essence Carson, Nneka Ogwumike, Candace Parker, Alana Beard and Kristi Toliver have great chemistry.
The Sparks' bench is led by Sixth WNBA Woman of the Year, Jantel Lavender, Chelsea Gray and Ana Dabovic.
The Lynx are led by four players who helped the United States women win the Gold medal in Rio last summer. Maya Moore, Sylvia Fowles, Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen were all very instrumental in helping the USA win the Olympics. Now they will be trying to help Minnesota win the WNBA championship.
The Sparks won game one 78-76 on a last second jumper by Beard and the Lynx rebounded to win game two, 79-60. Game four of the series will be played at Staples Center on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. and game five, if necessary will be in Minnesota.
Editor's Note: For more pictures of the LA Sparks in action, click on the Photos button located under the Search box in the upper right-hand corner.