Kent Youngblood writes about the Minnesota Lynx.

A first look at the WNBA finals

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: September 30, 2013 - 10:48 AM

I was watching ESPN’s post-game show after the Lynx had advanced to their third straight WNBA championship series. Sue Bird, the Seattle guard who missed the season due to injury, was the analyst. When asked for a prediction for the upcoming series, she picked the Lynx to beat Atlanta in four games.

I don’t think it will be that easy for the Lynx.

I know the Dream was all over the map this season. They had the hottest start in the league but stumbled horribly down the stretch. But, come playoff time, they got it together. The Dream is in the finals for the third time in four seasons, but have yet to win a game in the championship series. They will be underdogs, I think they’ll be loose, and – with Angel McCoughtry – they will be dangerous.

That said, the matchups clearly favor the Lynx. Minnesota had the league’s best record both overall (26-8) and on the road (11-6) during the regular season. Atlanta finished 17-17, was very good at home (13-4), but struggled to a 4-13 record on the road. Still, Atlanta beat both Washington and Indiana on the road in the first two rounds.

The Lynx were the league’s highest-scoring team (82.88) and the best point differential (plus-9.35).  The Lynx were league’s best-shooting team overall and from three-point range; the Dream finished with the worst three-point shooting percentage in the league (27.5 percent). The Lynx were the league’s third-best rebounding team overall, and their plus-4.67 rebound differential was the league’s best. The dream finished with a negative rebounding differential.

There are a couple areas where the Dream are dangerous. They led the league in steals and easily led the league in points off turnovers (18.2). And Atlanta’s 38.7 points per game in the paint was best in the league.  And Atlanta is good on the break, nearly as good as the Lynx. And give Atlanta a slight edge in bench scoring.

But, at first glance, it would appear the Lynx have the edge at most positions, though both McCoughtry and forward/center Erika de Souza will be tough matchups.

I’ll be at the airport meeting the team upon its return from Phoenix later this afternoon. Have a good day.

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Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
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San Francisco 3
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Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
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Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
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Atlanta
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Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
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Robert Morris 71
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Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
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Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
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Georgetown 65
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USC Upstate 68
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Florida 56
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Washington 78
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Texas A&M 17
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Iowa
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Virginia 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
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(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
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Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
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West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
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Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
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Boston College
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Troy
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UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
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Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
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(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
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(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
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Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
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San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
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Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
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Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
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Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
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Texas-El Paso
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Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
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Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
BYU 73 FINAL
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53

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