Five things we learned from the WNBA Finals1. The future is now?
It's pretty obvious, from glancing at the Minnesota Lynx's championship roster, that this team could have a long run. Veterans Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Lindsay Whalen and Taj McWilliams-Franklin were joined by top draft pick and rookie of the year Maya Moore. Throw in younger players such as Jessica Adair and Candice Wiggins, and the Lynx have a groovy mix of youth, experience, scoring, muscle, finesse and rebounding. Their WNBA title could be just the first of several if this crew can stay healthy and together.
2. So close and yet so far -- again
The Atlanta Dream find themselves in the unenviable position of being on the short end of the WNBA Finals again. History repeated itself as the Dream were again swept in the Finals. Ouch. The Seattle Storm did the trick in 2010, and now the Lynx ended their season on Atlanta's home floor Friday. It was clear the Dream's players were devastated, having played well in each of the three games against the Lynx. The difference? The Dream played well in the first three quarters of each game and then watched things slip away in the fourth. Tough pill to swallow for sure.
3. Stars come out
The playoffs showcased some stars at their best, from Finals MVP Augustus and power forward Brunson to Dream forward Angel McCoughtry and center Erika de Souza. These women put on a show of scoring, defense and heart, lighting up games. Augustus finished with an average of 24.7 points and McCoughtry led all with 31 points per game.
Game 2 of the Finals will make it on to the highlight reel as McCoughtry hit for 38 points, a Finals record. The best came out to play when the stakes were the highest.
4. Crowd power
The Finals brought out spirited and big crowds, with all three games listed as sellouts. Minnesota had more than 15,000 packing the Target Center, while Philips Arena had 11,500 in the house. The crowds were loud, really into it, befitting a Finals atmosphere. The Atlanta crowd showed class and respect to the Lynx. They stayed and applauded during the trophy ceremony and gave a big ovation when Augustus was given her MVP hardware.
5. Premonition truth
The Lynx's Cheryl Reeve captured her first ring as head coach, and Augustus finally won the title she's been seeking through college and in her pro career. Both said they had a strong inkling, from the earliest days of camp, that this was a title-worthy team. So maybe we need to ask Reeve and Augustus what other things they have strong premonitions about -- maybe the lottery?