2011 WNBA Finals Preview

With game one of the WNBA Finals approaching, Silver Stars players and coaches weighed in on which team they thought would win the 2011 WNBA Title. While the majority of the team expects Minnesota to capture the title, some – including assistant coach Vickie Johnson – think the Dream will surprise people.

Head Coach and General Manager Dan Hughes:
Minnesota against Atlanta sets up a really interesting Final with two of the more athletic teams going at each other. You’ve have a real diversity from the standpoint of Atlanta in their second Finals in as many years and Minnesota in their first Finals ever. It will be some interesting viewing for all of us that unfortunately aren’t in it.

It could be either team, but you have to give the nod of the favorite to Minnesota because of the season they’ve had. They’ve been able to stay healthy and just their quality of play makes them a favorite of mine.

The biggest key is this – Atlanta is really built to turn you over and score out of that process, but Minnesota is one of the most efficient teams in our league from that standpoint, so it will be a real battle of will. For Atlanta to play at their highest point they have to turn you over and create offense out of their defense. Minnesota is one of the most efficient teams, typically not given to turning the ball over in that situation. It creates a wonderful drama to see how that will play out.

Assistant Coach Vickie Johnson:
It is a tough decision but I think Atlanta will win it in four. They have the advantage of recent Finals experience while it will be a first for Minnesota to be on that stage. With Erika de Souza out for game one, Taj McWilliams-Franklin will be key in the first matchup if Minnesota is going to win it.

These teams only played each other twice in mid-June during a rough season opening for the Dream. Atlanta will provide a few tough match-ups for the Lynx, with Angel McCoughtry in postseason mode creating some issues for Simone Augustus and Maya Moore. Minnesota will also have to find an answer for Armintie Price off the bench.

Guard Jia Perkins:
I’m going with Minnesota, it won’t be a sweep but the Lynx are too big inside and that can be hard to find an answer for.

Guard Danielle Robinson
Minnesota will win. Their bench is deeper and they have so many weapons! This has been their season and I think they will finish it off with a WNBA title, but not without a good fight from Angel McCoughtry and the Dream.