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Top 5 Storylines of the 2014 WNBA Finals

The 2014 WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile tip off on Sunday, September 7 at 3:30PM ET on ABC.

Here are the top storylines you need to know before action begins.


There are many that think Chicago's hopes in this series hinge on Elena Delle Donne's health and the numbers prove it. With EDD in the lineup this season, Chicago went 14-8 (.636). With her sidelined, the Sky struggled, going 5-13 (.278).

After being severly limited in the Eastern Conference Finals with a back injury, Delle Donne says she is "hopeful" that the treatment she is receiving will improve her condition by Game 1 on Sunday.

"It hurts all the time, but especially when I start playing," Delle Donne said of her back. "If I get hit a little bit, that's when it's bugging me, but it's getting stronger, so I'm hopeful it'll be a little better tomorrow, too."


Brittney Griner, who at 6-foot-8 towers over most of her opposition, is a combination of size and athleticism that we've rarely, if ever, seen out of a center in this league. Perhaps the only big in the league that can match her in those categories is her counterpart in this series, the 6-foot-6 Sylvia Fowles. Out of all the intriguing individual matchups in this series, this one between what Diana Taurasi described as the "two best true centers in the world" is the must-see.

Fowles has stepped up to be the driving force for the Sky in the postseason, averaging 17.2 points and 10.5 rebounds, while Griner, the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year, counters with 17.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks during the Mercury's Playoff run.

The two are equally excited for the matchup.

"I'm happy because Brittney brings a lot to the table, her length, her ability and the stuff she can do on the floor," Fowles said." So either that can make you or break you, and I feel like in these sitautions I always step up and I 'm ready for a challenge."

"It definitely gets me excited going up against somebody my size," Griner said. "You normally don't get to go up against someone your size when you're 6-foot-8."

How's that for an understatement?


Although Diana Taurasi claims she is not thinking about it all, a win in this series could vault her into yet another exclusive club. If the Mercury defeat the Sky, Taurasi and Penny Taylor would each win their third WNBA title. Currently, only nine players have ever won three or more titles, with a quintet of Houston Comets holding the all-time record with four apiece (1997-2000).

When asked about this, Taurasi responded: "I'm worried about 12:30 (Sunday). In fact, I'm worried about what I'm going to have for lunch and then we'll go from there."

Priorities aside, the feat at hand for Taurasi and Taylor also speaks to the experience discrepancy in this series. In addition to Taurasi and Taylor, Mercury guard Erin Phillips recently won a title in 2012 with Indiana Fever. On the other hand, the Chicago Sky earned their first Playoff victory as a franchise this postseason.


For Jessica Breland and Allie Quigley, success has not come easily in the WNBA. Breland, a 6-foot-3 forward, has played for four teams over the course of three WNBA seasons. For Quigley, this is her fifth team since 2008 when, ironically, she began her career with Phoenix. This year, however, has been an awakening for both. Breland stepped into a major role with Sylvia Fowles out for 14 games to start the season, and she responded by being named a 2014 All Star. Quigley, on the other hand, logged 24.8 minutes per game off the bench (her previous career-high was 9.4mpg), and parlayed that into winning the Sixth Woman of the Year Award presented by Samsung.

With many calling Phoenix the heavy favorite in this series, here's two players that will not take time to think about the odds stacked against them.


The conversation has to be had now.

After Phoenix won a WNBA record 29 games during the regular season -- passing the record previously shared by Los Angeles (28-4 in both 2000 and 2001) and Seattle (28-6 in 2010) -- they already found themselves in rare air. Now that they've cruised to the Finals and defeated the defending champion Lynx in the process, the valid question now is: If the Mercury win the championship, are they the greatest team ever?

The Mercury will try to make that claim starting Sunday, 3:30PM ET on ABC.