MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — From the opening night of the WNBA season, these teams have been on a collision course.
After four compelling games in the WNBA Finals, here we are. Another winner-take-all Game 5, this time at Williams Arena. In many ways with all these new venues, it provides the perfect backdrop for the Lynx and the LA Sparks.
The Lynx are ready to “Roar for 4.” A win Wednesday night against the L.A. Sparks would make them the second team in WNBA history to have four championships. The two teams faced off in a Game 5 situation last year, but the Sparks got a last-second victory.
When the league’s best two teams go head-to-head, you know it’s going to be another thriller.
“We told them Game 5 is about, you know, it’s time for the players. Coaches get out of the way. This is about players making plays, recognizing opportunities, recognizing those moments that you can take advantage of your defender,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “You know at this point, the plays are what they are. It’s what you do out of those plays, it’s the little things that you’re willing to do within a play, to keep playing and obviously the hustle plays on the glass, that’s what it’s about.”
There is nothing like the build-up to a deciding game, except when you live in the bubble, you hardly realize it.
“You don’t necessarily think about, maybe a little bit, the size of the moment. Until I’m away from basketball and I go walk around town and I see people and I feel the excitement,” Reeve said.
What they learned in Game 4 was what will be applied Thursday night. The most aggressive team has the best chance to win.
“Most definitely being aggressive and not settling. I think we did a good job in Game 4 with that but at this point both teams know each other,” center Sylvia Fowles said. “They know what we’re going to run and we know what they’re going to run.”
What they know is that this is a game decided by players, usually star players. As in, who steps up.
“This is a game for the players, for the great players. That’s what the coach says,” Seimone Augustus said. “It’s not really much Xs and Os, Here and there you might have some stuff that’s different, but for the most part it’s just great players making great plays all night.”
And what they know is this is the way it should be. The two best teams settling a series, and a title, in Game 5.
“This series has been everything we expected and more. Everyone knew it was going to be a close game every game.” Point guard Renee Montgomery said. “The two teams are so closely talented that you know that no team is going to blow the other out. Even if they go on a 20-point run, here comes a run by the other team. So we’re ready for a heavyweight bout.”