Lynx among WNBA's best already, and still on the upswing

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 14, 2013 - 6:41 AM

How do the Lynx stack up with the best teams in league history?

 

At first, Shelley Patterson wanted no part of the comparison.

Patterson is an assistant coach for the Lynx, who just finished a dominant 7-0 run through the WNBA playoffs. Appearing in their third consecutive championship series, the Lynx swept Atlanta to win their second title.

Patterson was director of basketball operations for the Houston Comets in 1999, the year that team won the third of four league titles in a row. She saw the trio of Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson dominate. When the subject of WNBA greatness comes up, the early Comets teams are where the discussion begins.

So Patterson was asked to compare. Given how far the women’s game has come in the last decade-plus, how much more athletic the league is, given how dominant the Lynx were this season while taking back a title lost a year ago, if these Lynx played those Comets, who would win?

Or, stated more boldly: Have the Lynx joined the conversation when it comes to the best teams in league history?

Patterson initially hemmed and hawed, demurred. But, Thursday night?

“This team would win,” Patterson said of the Lynx, 80-22 in the regular season and 19-5 in the playoffs since the start of the 2011 season. “I don’t want to disrespect what the [Comets] did. But I will say that the game has grown so much. The sets we run, the game planning that we do for each game, the athletic level of the league? The Lynx would have to be one of the great teams in league history, at this point.”

Thirteen years removed from the last Comets title, the Lynx have their big three of Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen. That trio has won multiple WNBA titles and Olympic gold. They and fellow All-Star Rebekkah Brunson have been a part of the past three Lynx teams and will be together going forward.

Already Minnesota is one of just four teams to appear in at least three consecutive championship series. Like the Los Angeles Sparks (2001-03) and the since-relocated Detroit Shock (2006-08), the Lynx went 2-for-3.

Is it time to start talk of a dynasty?

“We sure set ourselves up for it,” Moore said after Thursday’s victory. “We’ll see. I think we have huge potential.”

In mix for the best

ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo was there.

She was a rookie on the New York Liberty team that lost to the Comets in the championship of the inaugural 1997 season. She played against the great Comets teams and the Sparks teams that followed.

So where do the Lynx rank?

“It’s hard to say,” Lobo said. “I mean, think about it. Sheryl Swoopes and Cynthia Cooper, with Tina in the post? They set the standard that every other team will be compared to. But, for this generation of WNBA teams, this Minnesota team is very, very good.”

And with the potential of joining the discussion of greatest teams. Lobo already puts the Lynx at least on a par with those great Sparks teams led by Lisa Leslie. And what if the Lynx win another title?

  • related content

  • Victory parade today for Lynx

    Monday October 14, 2013

    What: WNBA championship celebrationWhen: TodayWhere: Downtown MinneapolisParade: Begins at 11:30 a.m. at 12th Street and Nicollet Avenue. Will head north...

  • Lynx sweep Atlanta to win second WNBA crown in three years

    Friday October 11, 2013

    The Minnesota Lynx won their second WNBA championship in three years Thursday with an 86-77 road victory over Atlanta in Game 3 of a best-of-five series.

  • The Minnesota Lynx celebrate their victory over the Atlanta Dream afte...

  • Assistant Shelley Patterson says 2013 Lynx better than old Houston Comets.

  • The Lynx are built around four All-Stars, from left, Rebekkah Brunson, Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore, who are all still in their prime. So more WNBA titles are a distinct possibility.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Gophers head coach?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close