Oh, what fun is this going to be.
Phoenix in the Western Conference finals. Bad girl Diana Taurasi -- did you see her go ballistic last night when she fouled out with more than six minutes to play against Seattle? Cussing up a storm -- bad word choice there maybe.
The Mercury also have incomparable Aussie Penny Taylor, Sixth Woman of the Year DeWanna Bonner and the highest scoring offense in the league. .... The only problem is, the Lynx still have work to do before that savory matchup is official.
Minnesota has to beat San Antonio. Certainly not a done deal even though they were 4-0 against the Silver Stars in the regular season and finished nine games ahead of them in the Western Conference standings.
In the regular season, the Silver Stars held the Lynx to an average of 72.25 points per game. In two playoff games, the Lynx scoring average has dipped even lower to 70.5 points, or 11 points under the 81.5 points they averaged in regular-season play -- second highest in the league behind you know who.
If the Lynx can beat the Silver Stars, expect a lot of scoring in the Lynx-Mercury series. The Lynx won the season series with Phoenix for the first time since 2004, but it was by just a 3-2 margin. Here are the scores:
July 13: Phoenix 112, Lynx 105 ... Lots of points, right? Actually this is the highest scoring game -- in regulation -- in WNBA history.
July 20: Lynx 106, Phoenix 98 ... This win in Arizona, in the game before the all-star break, catapulted the Lynx over the Mercury into first place in the West.
Aug. 2: Lynx 90, Phoenix 73
Aug. 9: Phoenix 85, Lynx 80 ... Mercury's win broke a nine-game winning streak the Lynx had going. Lynx had a chance until the end even though their bench went scoreless.
Sept. 11: Lynx 96, Phoenix 90: This was the last game of the regular season.
The Lynx have averaged 95.4 points against Phoenix this season in five meetings, the Mercury 91.6.
Phoenix leads the overall series 27-21. One of the most memorable games in the series was July 24, 2010 when the Mercury won 127-124 in double overtime. The 251 points is a WNBA record for any game.
Over in the East, the table is set. Surging Atlanta, 17-5 in its last 22 games after a 3-9 start, plays Eastern Conference champion Indiana. But who really is the favorite here?
The Dream won the season series with Indiana 4-0. But the intrigue does not stop there. It's uncertain whether 6-5 center Erika de Souza will play in this series for Atlanta.
She has supposedly committed to play for Brazil in the FIBA Americas Championships starting Saturday in Colombia and running through Oct. 1. It's an important Olympic-qualifying tournament. De Souza is averaging 14 points and 9.5 rebounds.
The Lynx were 1-1 vs. the Fever this season and 2-0 vs. Atlanta. But the WNBA finals are still a long ways off. Surviving the opening series against San Antonio is the most pressing matter now.
The Lynx play the Silver Stars at 7 tonight at Target Center. The game will be broadcast by ESPN2.
Plenty of good seats remain. A Lynx PR person said it's hard to sell tickets on two days notice. This game only became necessary after the Lynx loss on Sunday in San Antonio.