The Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks will tip off the WNBA Finals 2017 on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Both franchises are looking to become the WNBAs second four-time champion. The Houston Comets won the leagues first four titles, from 1997-2000.
The WINNER of @minnesotalynx/@LA_Sparks will tie Houston Comets (4) for most in #WNBA history! #WNBAFinals GM 1: Sunday, 3:30 pm/et, ABC
The WNBA has always followed the NBAs blueprint while carving out a unique place for itself within a growing sports landscape. The defending-champion Sparks can become the first team to win back-to-back titles since they accomplished the feat in 2001 and 2002.
The @LA_Sparks look to become the 1st #WNBA team to repeat since… the ’02 Sparks! #WNBAvault #WNBAFinals Game 1: Sunday, 3:30 pm/et, ABC https://t.co/unw7FOe2Cr
The Lynx, which owns home-court advantage, is making its sixth Finals appearance in the last seven years and hoping to avenge last seasons dramatic 3-2 Finals loss to their arch nemesis.
As the NBA shifts philosophies towards the mass forming of Super Teams — which has actually helped the visibility and attractiveness of the league by concentrating its star power and elevating the attractiveness of the playoffs even if it also limits the number of clubs who actually have a chance to go all the way — the WNBA playoffs can match its all-male leagues postseason in terms of star power on the court and on the sidelines.
If you want to see the greatest players in the game and some of the greatest players in the history of the league go head-up for all of the marbles, then the WNBA is the place to be. Thanks to a new format that went into effect last season, the eight teams with the highest winning percentage regardless of conference now qualify for the playoffs and are seeded based on their record.
Minnesota entered the 2017 postseason with the leagues best record (27-7) and Los Angeles was second (26-8). The .779 combined regular-season winning percentage is the second highest ever for Finals opponents. Last seasons matchup between the Lynx and Sparks featured two teams with a combined .794 winning percentage. This is the second Finals rematch in WNBA history; the Comets and New York Liberty played for the championship in 1999 and 2000. Topping last year’s fantastic finish will be a challenge.
The L.A. Sparks win the 2016 WNBA Finals in dramatic fashion!!! Check out the last 23 seconds of this historic Finals game!!!
Its the way it should be: the two best teams playing for a championship, said Sparks legend Candace Parker, two-time league MVP and 2016 Finals MVP.
Its no coincidence as to why these two teams are head-and-shoulders above the rest of the league. Just as Cleveland and Golden State have showcased a bevy of Top 12 players in the last three NBA championships, the WNBA Finals will showcase four of the last five WNBA Most Valuable Players: Sylvia Fowles (2017) and Maya Moore (2014) for Minnesota, and Nneka Ogwumike (2016) and Parker (2013, her second) for Los Angeles.
Fowles is trying to become the seventh player to be named MVP and win a WNBA title in the same season. The Sparks Ogwumike did it last season. The series also boasts four Finals MVPs: Minnesotas Seimone Augustus (2011), Moore (2013) and Fowles (2015), along with Los Angeles Parker (2016).
Augustus, Parker, Moore and injured Lynx vet Lindsay Whalen were all voted as Top 20 All-Time players.
Celebrate 20 years of history with 20 of the best WNBA players from the past 20 years!
[When youre in the Finals, you want to have the sense of, If we lose we lose to someone better, said Lynx Forward and future Hall of Famer Moore. If we win, were beating someone really, really great. And its exactly set up that way.
These are some of the finest players in WNBA history slugging it out for omnipotence and living in one of the most glorious times in the leagues history. The WNBA may not be as popular as the NBA but there are certain players whose name recognition peaks the interest of even the casual womens basketball fan. And the WNBA Finals is where you can see the leagues brightest stars all in one place. Powerhouse squads with celebrity names is the WNBA game.
Basketball is a sport where the coach can be just as big a superstar as the players and the Finals will feature a matchup of two of the leagues most accomplished coaches, Minnesotas Cheryl Reeve and Los Angeles Brian Agler.
Reeve, a two-time Coach of the Year, has guided Minnesota to six Finals appearances, including three championships. She has the most playoff victories (37) and the best postseason winning percentage (.740) in WNBA history. Agler is the Phil Jackson of WNBA coaches and the only coach in WNBA history to win championships with two franchises, having led the 2016 Sparks and 2010 Seattle Storm to titles. Both provide inspiration, leadership and possess an exceptional basketball acumen.
Sound on for Brian Agler’s postgame speech after the LA Sparks defeated the Phoenix Mercury to advance to the WNBA Finals! Lynx-Sparks rematch tips off this Sunday at 3:30pm ET on ABC! Get Your WNBA Tickets Here!: http://www.wnba.com/tickets/
If you are still from the dark age and question the integrity , talent, desire, drive and quality of WNBA hoops then just watch the 2017 NBA Finals because womens basketball doesnt get a better representation than when the Lynx and Sparks hook up.