PHOENIX — From 1969 to 1977, the Minnesota Vikings played in four Super Bowls. In 1987 and 1991, the Twins won two World Series Championships thanks to Hall-of-Famer Kirby Puckett. Lately, it’s the Minnesota Lynx showing the big boys how to get it done.
In the last five years, the Lynx have reached five Western Conference Finals. Sunday here in Phoenix, with the mercury at 101 degrees, they completed a two-game sweep of the WNBA Western Conference Finals, beating defending WNBA Champion Phoenix 72-71 to reach the WNBA Finals for the fourth time.
Superstar Maya Moore scored a WNBA and career playoff high 40 points in the Lynx victory. The Lynx now wait for the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals, which is tied at 1-1 between New York and Indiana. If Indiana wins it, the Lynx will have the home-court advantage in the best-of-five WNBA Finals.
Head Coach Cheryl Reeve says the more this team plays the better they will get. The Lynx acquired center Sylvia Fowles during the season in a trade with Chicago and Atlanta. They also traded for reserve guard Anna Cruz from New York and guard Renee Montgomery from Seattle.
The foundation remains solid with Seimone Augustus, who had 14 points in game one; Lindsay Whalen; Rebekkah Brunson, who pulled down 19 rebounds in the 67-60 game-one win over Phoenix; and of course Moore, the star of stars. Brunson is now the WNBA’s all-time playoff rebound leader.
This team’s consistency and excellence is a motivating example for all the other teams in town on what winning year after year is all about. They shook up their roster to add a different power dimension to their style. They are more inside-out now. And it’s working.
Augustus and Whalen have been troubled with injuries for big parts of the season. However, they are back now and playing great. The Lynx are a dynasty in pursuit of title number three in five years.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.