Forwards Rebekkah Brunson of the Lynx and Angel McCoughtry of Atlanta -- two players who could be guarding each other soon -- were named to the WNBA's all-defensive first team on Thursday.
Brunson averaged 10.2 points and 8.9 rebounds, which ranked third in the league. She had double-doubles in both Lynx victories over Atlanta in June.
The Lynx and Atlanta meet for a third time on Sunday when they open a best-of-five WNBA Finals series at Target Center.
The 6-1 McCoughtry, the league's second-leading scorer at 21.6 points per game, averaged 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals. She is a repeat first team selection.
Brunson was named to the second all-defensive team three of the past four seasons.
"B is slight of build, she is only 6-2," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said, referring to Brunson. "She feels small. She doesn't know how big she looks when she plays."
Chicago center Sylvia Fowles edged Indiana forward Tamika Catchings for defensive player of the year by one first-place vote, 19 to 18.
Besides those four already mentioned, the fifth player on the all-defensive first team is Seattle guard Tanisha Wright.
Two of McCoughtry's Dream teammates made the all-defensive second team: guard Armintie Price and forward Sancho Lyttle. Also on the second team are center Tina Charles of Connecticut, forward Swin Cash of Seattle and guard Katie Douglas of Indiana.Will De Souza play?
The status of Atlanta's 6-5 center Erika de Souza for Sunday's game remains unclear. She missed the last two games of the Dream's series against Indiana in the Eastern Conference finals to play for Brazil in the FIBA Americas Championship for Women in Colombia.
Brazil, which won the Group B round robin, will play Cuba on Friday in the semifinals and then face either Argentina or Canada in the gold- or bronze-medal game Saturday.
The champion will automatically qualify for the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
De Souza's Atlanta teammate, Iziane Castro Marques, opted not to play for Brazil. She took DeSouza's starting spot instead and scored 30 and 23 points against the Fever.
De Souza averaged 11.8 points and 7.5 rebounds during the regular season. Castro Marques, a 6-foot forward/guard, averaged 7.6 points with a high of 19 before the playoffs.Whalen in third Finals
Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen played with Connecticut in the WNBA Finals her first two years in the league.
The Sun lost to Seattle 2-1 in 2004 and to Brunson's Sacramento team 3-1 in 2005 in a best-of-five series.
Whalen played in only two games against the Monarchs. "I wasn't that effective," said Whalen, who had a knee and an ankle injury. "I probably shouldn't have played at all, looking back. I have to be quick. [But] at that point of the year, you try to do everything you can to play."