Conference Finals Preview: Minnesota Lynx vs. Phoenix Mercury

By Aman Ali, WNBA.com


Expect some serious fireworks in a battle of the superstars between Minnesota and Phoenix.
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Which team will win the Conference Finals matchup between Minnesota and Phoenix?
Which team will win the Conference Finals matchup between Minnesota and Phoenix?
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Game 1: Minnesota 85, Phoenix 62
Game 2: Minnesota 72, Phoenix 65
Game 1: Minnesota 85, Phoenix 62 RECAP | VIDEO
Game 2: Minnesota 72, Phoenix 65 RECAP | VIDEO

This may very well be the most exciting matchup of the entire 2013 postseason as the star-stacked rosters of the Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury collide. Both powerhouse teams have been favorites this season to win it all, which comes as no surprise considering the two teams have collectively been in four of the last six WNBA Finals series.

Phoenix started the season with ginormous expectations drafting game-changing center Brittney Griner and the return of Diana Taurasi, who sat out most of last season with injuries. Injuries, changes in personnel and offense well into the season muddled the team's path to the postseason, but the squad pulled together and are playing in true championship form.

The Mercury are also coming off an explosive first round win over the Los Angeles Sparks which came down to Griner's game-winning shot in the final throes of Game 3. Griner has had her confidence tested this season, dealing with injuries and rookie adjustments to the league, but expect the victory over L.A. to help restore her game-changing potential. And Taurasi will be Taurasi, one of the strongest killer-instinct players in the history of the WNBA. Mix that in with the deadly pick-and-roll combination of Taurasi and Candice Dupree and Phoenix will have several offensive weapons that the Lynx will need to give every ounce of strength in trying to stop.

Meanwhile, Minnesota is the league's top team enjoying one of the best regular season runs in the history of their franchise. They've arguably got the league's strongest pool of talent with four All-Stars in their starting lineup in Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson. Each player is one of the league's best in the specialties they bring to the table and once they all get going, they will be tough to stop.

With the injuries that have slowed the Mercury this season, expect the Lynx to rely heavily on their sheer athleticism, led by leap-frog flyer Maya Moore. The Mercury, on the other hand, are likely to rely heavily on their physical gameplay and frenzied offensive tempo to really get into the Lynx's head and shake up their confidence.

Considering the pool of talent both teams bring to the table, no squad has a clear advantage over the other. Both franchises are equally capable of winning this series, making it a matchup that would be a grave mistake to miss.



2013 Regular Season: Minnesota 5, Phoenix 0

Thursday June 6, Target Center, Minneapolis, MN: Lynx 99, Mercury 79 | Box Score | Highlights
Minnesota Leaders: Maya Moore (22 pts., 3 ast.), Seimone Augustus (19 pts., 3 ast.)
Phoenix Leaders: Diana Taurasi (21 pts., 2 ast.), DeWanna Bonner (18 pts., 7 reb.)

Wednesday, June 19, US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ: Lynx 80, Mercury 69 | Box Score | Highlights
Minnesota Leaders: Maya Moore (26 pts., 16 reb.), Lindsay Whalen (13 pts., 6 reb.)
Phoenix Leaders: Diana Taurasi (28 pts., 3 ast.), Candice Dupree (14 pts., 2 reb.)

Sunday July 7, Target Center, Minneapolis, MN: Lynx 91, Mercury 59 | Box Score | Highlights
Minnesota Leaders: Maya Moore (23 pts., 5 ast.), Monica Wright (17 pts., 3 stl.)
Phoenix Leaders: Candice Dupree (12 pts., 4 reb.), Brittney Griner (4 blks., 11 reb.)

Sunday July 21, US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ: Lynx 82, Mercury 77 | Box Score | Highlights
Minnesota Leaders: Rebekkah Brunson (18 pts., 13 reb.), Seimone Augustus (15 pts., 4 ast.)
Phoenix Leaders: Diana Taurasi (26 pts., 7 reb.), DeWanna Bonner (23 pts., 10 reb.)

Sunday July 24, Target Center, Minneapolis, MN: Lynx 81, Mercury 69 | Box Score | Highlights
Minnesota Leaders: Lindsay Whalen (18 pts., 7 ast.), Seimone Augustus (16 pts., 3 ast.)
Phoenix Leaders: Candice Dupree (17 pts., 6 reb.), DeWanna Bonner (15 pts., 3 ast.)



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
Diana Taurasi, G, Mercury
20.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 6.2 APG
Seimone Augustus , G, Lynx
16.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.5 APG
Briana Gilbreath, G, Mercury
4.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.5 APG
Maya Moore, F, Lynx
18.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.0 APG
DeWanna Bonner, G/F, Mercury
14.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2.4 APG
Rebekkah Brunson, F, Lynx
10.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 1.5 APG
Candice Dupree, F, Mercury
15.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.9 APG
Janel McCarville, C, Lynx
6.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.9 APG
Brittney Griner, C, Mercury
12.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.0 APG
More

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