Well, It’s late, and I just finished up doing all my work for the paper. Before I get a few hours sleep before my flight back home I will share some final thoughts on this sweep of a final series.
First, a story. This morning I was talking with ESPN announcer Rebecca Lobo about where the Lynx, should they win another title, rank in the history of the WNBA. High, she said, though she wasn’t about to put them on top of the list. But going forward, she said, should the Lynx win another one, that opinion might change.
But it will be harder going forward, Lobo said. Because next year the Lynx won’t have the motivation of being discounted by folks like her.
Remember? Back after Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins were taken 1-2-3 in the draft, Lobo said the Phoenix Mercury – who had drafted Griner – were the favorites to win the WNBA title. Lobo put the Los Angeles Sparks second in the West, the Lynx third.
Lobo joked that she was willing to make a deal. If Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve was willing to treat her to a nice dinner at an expensive restaurant, she’d be willing to pick against the Lynx next year, too. After the game was over, in the champagne-drenched Lynx locker room, Reeve said she would be willing to make that deal.
I relate this to make a point. The Lynx are a very good team that will have most everybody of import back next season. So let the dynasty talk begin. But, next year, after the Lynx went 7-0 throughout the playoffs, they will have to look very hard to find any disrespect.
That said, more reflections on the game:
--In the final two championship games all five of the Lynx starters scored in double figures. It’s that kind of balance that makes them so hard to stop.
--I came away from this season with total respect for Rebekkah Brunson, whose playoff intensity was amazing. She finished up tonight as the all-time league leader in WNBA finals play in rebounding. She also finished with a double-double, 15 points and 12 rebounds.
--It was interesting how different players stepped up at different times tonight. Janel McCarville in the first quarter, Lindsay Whalen in the second, Brunson in the third, Seimone Augustus in the fourth.
--I have now had the pleasure of covering two teams that won titles. Well, actually three. I was a preps reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, Wisconsin in the early 90s when a local high school, Madison West, beat a Milwaukee school with three Division I prospects for the state title. A few years later I was covering the Green Bay Packers for the State Journal when the Pack won the Super Bowl against New England.
And then, tonight. I must say, I was taken by the exuberance of the celebration in the locker room. It was my first time trying to dodge – unsuccessfully – the spraying of champagne.
--Finally, I was impressed with the gutty play of the Dream tonight. After the Lynx started the game 13-3 I was convinced the game was all but over. But the Dream kept fighting back all night. Many of the Lynx players said after the game the gritty nature of the game made winning the third game that much more satisfying. I was especially impressed with Tiffany Hayes, who was hurt in Game 1 of the series. She came off the bench to score 20 points, hitting four of six three-pointers in the process. Alex Bentley came off the bench to score 18. The Dream bench outscored its starters, 42-35.
And now, good night. The Lynx arrive on an Air Tran flight tomorrow at about 5:30 at the Humphrey Terminal. There will be a reception with fans in the baggage claim area. The parade down Nicollet Mall will be Monday.
Have a great weekend.