By David McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In a battle of the two best teams in the league, who both play very similar styles and are both very good at it, what’s going to tip the balance in one team’s favor?

“I told our team, it’s going to come down to minutiae. I had one player asked what minutiae was. Maya said no, it’s not your cousin,” coach Lindsay Whalen said.

“So minutiae. Once we got past that, we understood that the separation is going to be something really small. An ATO? Coming out of a timeout what your focus is? Maybe it’s at the free throw line? Maybe it’s a jump ball scenario? That’s the stuff that we say, more than likely, in this type of series, is going to be the separator in winning a game.”

If experience really is an advantage, the Lynx have a decided advantage in that area. Not a single Sparks player has ever won a WNBA title; in fact, only one player on their team has ever even played in a WNBA Finals. The Lynx, meanwhile? Of course, they’ve won 3 of the last 5 titles — and four of their five starters were on all three of those teams.

“It’s like anything, when you have practice, and you go through it, you kind of know what to expect,” Lindsay Whalen said. “I think we kind of lean on the times that we’ve had before.”

But for all they’ve experienced and all they’ve won, there’s one thing they haven’t done — win two in a row. And that’s another thing the Lynx want to add to their legacy.

“It’s so hard to do. This is a league that’s so competitive,” Maya Moore said. “Things like backs to backs and legacies and dynasties are things you look at kind of in hindsight. But I’m just really in the moment right now of wanting this group to get that chance to finish off the season the way we’ve wanted to since day one.”

It all begins Sunday night with Game 1.


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