As the September sunshine slowly gives way to October winds and baseball becomes the sport of choice, the WNBA also moves to the forefront with its own version of the Cavs-Golden State dynasty rivalry that’s driven the NBA narrative and stream of popularity the past few seasons.
Last night’s Game 5 on @espn was the highest-rated #WNBAFinals game since 2003! Read More: https://t.co/8LYgHKcRpJ
For the past three seasons, the Minnesota Lynx have dominated conference competition and advanced to the WNBA Finals. The LA Sparks have been there the past two seasons as well and interrupted the Lynx’s dynasty run with a last-second Game 5 victory in 2016.
Candace Parker scores 28 points with 12 boards, Nneka Ogwumike adds 12 plus the last-second bucket to put the Sparks over the Lynx 77-76 to win the 2016 . Sparks coach Brian Agler talks with Angel Gray following L.A.’s Game 5 and Finals win over the Lynx.
What makes this rivalry so special is that together these teams feature at least five Top 20 players in WNBA history and players such as Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Candace Parker are easily Top 8 in the minds of some WNBA fans.
Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals was everything a meeting between two Super Teams should be. The game was up for grabs until the final minutes when Minnesota pulled away for a 85-76 road win.
Maya Moore and the Minnesota Lynx win the 2017 #WNBAFinals! Maya with 18 points and 9 rebounds, Sylvia Fowles with 17 points and 20 boards
I cut my journalistic teeth covering the upstart Charlotte Sting back in 1998 and have never lost my sentimental attachment to the sport as I watched the league improve, the players get better and the overall product slice its own niche in the American sports landscape.
Game 5 of the 2017 WNBA Finals featured an abundance of dope story lines including the LA Sparks’ attempt to become the first back-to-back champs since they did it at the height of the league’s popularity in 2001 and 2002 with Lisa Leslie, probably the most transcending and important player in league history. She was the “Kareem Abdul Jabbar” of the league back then.
With future Hall of Famers littered across both rosters, everyone knew the series would go a rough, tough and tenacious 5 games. Unfortunately for the Sparks, the Lynx had the basketball gods and the referees on their side as foul trouble for LA was the difference down the stretch of a close game that ended with The Dynasty Lynx avenging last season’s loss to the Sparks and winning the franchises fourth chip in seven years.
@WNBA @LA_Sparks @minnesotalynx The Sparks claw their way back to within 4 points after three quarters. Fourth quarter about to be lit.
The all-around incomparable crush of 2016 Finals MVP Parker came up short down the stretch without her co-lead, 2016 WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike, who unfathomably fouled out with more than 5:00 minutes left. Parker was no match for the double trouble terror that is Maya Moore and 2017 WNBA MVP Sylvia Fowles, who might have surpassed Leslie as the most dominant post player the WNBA has ever seen. Fowles had a dirty and dynamic 17 points and 20 boards. Moore was her usual silky smooth, missile-launching self, finishing with 18 pts and 10 boards.
Maya Moore, cold-blooded. #WNBAFinals https://t.co/Q7LresdjYt
The action and excitement and talent level exhibited throughout the series captivated fans across the country. Even the NBA cats were watching and giving props where it was due.
Game 5 of the WNBA finals is too lit!
Marveling at the pure athleticism and technical execution exhibited by the best the WNBA has to offer on the biggest stage the league presents.
This WNBA chip game littt . Out here trading big baskets
Somebody has a crush on Maya Moore.
Maya so cold
Just as the NBA has evolved and the players and the game has changed during different eras, the WNBA has gone through a similar process of development. We’ve already seen women dunk in games. They score. Rebound. Compete as good as their male counterparts. And now they are getting the respect as the Sparks and Lynx bring an abundance of star power to the floor that you just cant ignore.