Finals Preview: Minnesota Lynx vs. Atlanta Dream

By: Ashley Atwell, WNBA.com


Maya Moore and the Lynx overpowered the Dream back in the 2011 WNBA Finals, but Atlanta's Angel McCoughtry wants to change the story in this year's rematch. (Photo: 2011 WNBA Finals)
David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images



Which team will win the 2013 WNBA Finals matchup between Minnesota and Atlanta?
Which team will win the 2013 WNBA Finals matchup between Minnesota and Atlanta?
View Results

Game 1: Minnesota 84, Atlanta 59
Game 2: Minnesota 88, Atlanta 63
Game 3: Minnesota 86, Atlanta 77
Game 1: Minnesota 84, Atlanta 59 RECAP | VIDEO
Game 2: Minnesota 88, Atlanta 63 RECAP | VIDEO
Game 3: Minnesota 86, Atlanta 77 RECAP | VIDEO

The rematch is here. Back in 2011, Minnesota swept Atlanta in the WNBA Finals. Now, the Dream are looking for revenge against a Lynx team that is making its third-consecutive trip to the Finals.

2011 was a different story, though. All-Star Maya Moore was a rookie and the Lynx captured the title largely because of a stellar Finals MVP performance by Seimone Augustus. Atlanta's Angel McCoughtry, who is making her third finals appearance in her five year-career, dominated scoring the ball in 2011, but since then, has been more committed to getting her teammates involved. McCoughtry has become more well-rounded, and while she is the team's leading scorer, it has become more about wins than points.

During the three-game Minnesota sweep in 2011, Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson were major factors, with Brunson posting 26 points in the opener, Augustus pouring in 36 in Game 2, before they combined for 29 points in the Game 3 series-clincher. Veteran point guard Lindsay Whalen and then-rookie Maya Moore provided balance for the Lynx.

As for Atlanta, Angel McCoughtry stepped up and posted some big numbers with 33 points in Game 1, 38 in Game 2 and 22 in Game 3. Lindsey Harding provided support, but the Lynx were able to wear the Dream out with the support of the whole squad.

Now these teams are back stronger than before. Maya Moore has found her groove and is leading the Lynx in scoring, while Augustus, Brunson, Whalen and a solid supporting cast make Minnesota strong favorites for a second WNBA crown. For the Dream, McCoughtry is the scoring leader with support from Tiffany Hayes and Erika de Souza. Hayes is in her second year in the league and has improved her numbers over the past year, while de Souza is putting up her best numbers since the 2010 season.

The key for Atlanta is to balance the matchup with the Lynx. Atlanta will need to play team ball and get everyone involved and productive to compete with the talent-rich Lynx. For Minnesota, if Moore, Augustus and Whalen perform up to their abilities, another title is firmly within their grasp.



2013 Regular Season: Minnesota 1, Atlanta 1

Tuesday, July 9, Target Center, Minneapolis, MN: Lynx 94, Dream 72 | Box Score | Highlights
Minnesota Leaders: Monica Wright (22 pts., 5 ast.), Lindsay Whalene (20 pts., 5 ast.), Maya Moore (19 pts., 5 reb.)
Atlanta Leaders: Angel McCoughtry (19 pts., 6 reb., 5 ast.), Erika de Souza (14 pts., 13 reb.)

Tuesday, August 20, Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA: Dream 88, Lynx 75 | Box Score | Highlights
Atlanta Leaders: Tiffany Hayes (23 pts., 3 reb.), Angel McCoughtry (19 pts., 6 reb.)
Minnesota Leaders: Maya Moore (23 pts., 9 reb.), Rebekkah Brunson (16 pts., 14 reb.)




See how the teams match up position by position (regular-season stats)

Lindsay Whalen, G, Lynx
14.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 5.8 APG
Jasmine Thomas, G, Dream
8.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.1 APG
Seimone Augustus, G/F, Lynx
16.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.5 APG
Tiffany Hayes, G, Dream
11.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.7 APG
Maya Moore, F, Lynx
18.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.0 APG
Angel McCoughtry, G/F, Dream
21.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.4 APG
Rebekkah Brunson, F, Lynx
10.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 1.5 APG
Armintie Herrington, G/F, Dream
7.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.4 APG
Janel McCarville, F/C, Lynx
6.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.9 APG
Erika de Souza, F/C, Dream
12.9 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 1.3 APG
More

Video

WNBA Spotlight Presented by Boost Mobile Episode 16: All Access: Game 3 of the 2013 WNBA Finals

An all-access pass as the Lynx completed the WNBA Finals sweep against the Dream to claim their second league championship in three seasons.

All-Access: Game 2 - 2013 WNBA Finals

An all-access pass - on and off the court - as the Minnesota Lynx soundly defeat the Atlanta Dream in Game 2 of the 2013 WNBA Finals.

WNBA Finals All-Access: Game 1

An all-access pass, on and off the court, as the Minnesota Lynx soundly defeat the Atlanta Dream in Game 1 of the 2013 WNBA Finals.

All Access: Lynx Rally

The Lynx celebrated their 2013 WNBA Championship with their fans during a Target Center rally on Monday.

Lynx Celebration: Maya Moore

Lynx forward Maya Moore addressed the media after Monday's parade and Target Center celebration.