For Lynx, Wednesday’s Game 5 Is ‘What You Play For’

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate

Coming into the 2017 WNBA Finals series between the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks, many people expected it to be a fun, action-packed series.

After all, it was a rematch of the top two teams in the league facing off on the WNBA’s biggest stage for a second straight season.

But, as we head into yet another Game 5 between these two teams on Wednesday, I don’t know if anyone expected this series to be as action-packed, crazy and fun as it has been – once again – through four games.

“We’ve all played in so many games, we know how special this series is and this time that we’re in,” Maya Moore said following Game 2. “It’s all the more motivation to continue to compete and continue to play and treasure every moment that we have together for the rest of the season. It’s really fun. Taking a few moments to take a step back and realize how special this is and use it as fuel to continue to squeeze every drop out of this series.”

So far in this series, we’ve seen almost every storyline and every scenario you could hope for. It’s truly been the definition of a back-and-forth series.

“This is what we play for, this is why we’re here,” Lindsay Whalen said before Game 2. “It’s two great teams, a lot of great players and two great coaches. . . This is why you want to be in these types of series because it’s that much fun and it’s that kind of competition.”

In Game 1, you had Los Angeles take a 26-point lead in the first quarter to ultimately win by one in the final seconds.

In Game 2, the Lynx bounced back, leading by as much as 20 points and winning the game by two.

With the series shifting to Los Angeles, the Sparks took Game 3 in the series. LA led by as much as 13 points in the game and held Minnesota – which cut the lead to just one late – off to take the 2-1 series lead.

In Game 4, the Lynx put together arguably their best performance of the Finals thus far, leading by as much as 19 points and coming away with an 11-point win to even the series.

And before Wednesday’s series-deciding game, the last 12 meetings between these two teams have resulted in each team tallying 908 points each.

Yeah, exactly. This series has been crazy.

“I think that’s the good thing about having a series with two great teams. It’s about changing, making adjustments and making the little things happen out there,” Rebekkah Brunson said. “I’m sure they’re saying the same thing. Nobody in here and nobody out there is going to be saying much different. I think we know each extremely well at this point. Now, it’s just time to play.”

When we looked at this series before it began in Game 1, we looked forward to seeing two of the best two teams in the league fighting once again for a championship.

This is what we envisioned, this is the incredible basketball we wanted to see once again.

This is the type of series we all hoped we’d get. But it’s not over just get, we still have one more game to go.

And if Game 5 on Wednesday night in Minneapolis is anything like what we’ve seen in the first four games of the series, you’re not going to want to miss this game.

“You prepare all season just to get to this point,” Sylvia Fowles said. “At this point in time, I’m happy to be here with the group of women that I’m with and I’m soaking up this moment.”