The 2013 WNBA Finals are officially underway, as the Atlanta Dream battle the Minnesota Lynx for league supremacy. Minnesota, representing the Western Conference, is currently up 1-0 in the series over Eastern Conference representative Atlanta.
Here's how you can watch the WNBA Finals unfold as the league's elite square off.
|Game||Date||Road Team||Home Team||TV|
|Game 1||Sunday, Oct. 6||Atlanta Dream (59)||Minnesota Lynx (84)||ESPN|
|Game 2||Tuesday, Oct. 8||Atlanta Dream||Minnesota Lynx||ESPN2|
|Game 3||Thursday, Oct. 10||Minnesota Lynx||Atlanta Dream||ESPN2|
|Game 4*||Sunday, Oct. 13||Minnesota Lynx||Atlanta Dream||ESPN2|
|Game 5*||Wednesday, Oct. 16||Atlanta Dream||Minnesota Lynx||ESPN|
* - if necessary
Game 1 Recap
Game 1 of the series was a lopsided affair, with the Lynx earning a dominant 84-59 win. Three separate players scored at least 19 points for Minnesota, and the Lynx's defense clamped down on Atlanta to help the team take an early advantage.
Maya Moore led all scorers with 23 points, adding seven rebounds, two assists and two steals on 10-of-16 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from three-point range. Monica Wright added 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting, and Seimone Augustus had 19 points and four rebounds.
That kind of production was more than enough on a day Atlanta shot just 31.2 percent from the field as a team.
To make matters worse, the Lynx were strong defensively on the perimeter, taking away the three-ball and disrupting Atlanta's flow on offense. The Dream were 0-of-15 from the three-point line, and they were forced improvise for buckets as a result.
Angel McCoughtry scored a team-high 17 points for the Dream but shot just 6-of-24 from the floor. Aneika Henry had 14 points and 14 rebounds coming off the bench, and Erika de Souza added 10 points and seven boards.
Still, the Lynx won the battle on the boards and took away second-chance scoring opportunities, which proved to be a crucial factor in this contest.
Game 2 will be held in Minnesota as the Dream look to avoid an 0-2 hole.
When it comes to WNBA basketball, few players are on the same level as Maya Moore of the Lynx and Angel McCoughtry of the Dream. Not only are they extraordinary athletes, but the two are also all-around quality basketball players who thrive in every area.
During the Finals, McCoughtry and Moore will go toe-to-toe.
Which team will win the WNBA championship?
Moore finished the 2013 regular season with averages of 18.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 block per game. During the playoffs, she's posting numbers of 21.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals per contest.
Clearly, Moore is living up to the hype as one of the best in the world.
McCoughtry finished the regular season with impressive averages of her own, going off for 21.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.7 steals. During the playoffs, she's stepped up to lead Atlanta with numbers of 19.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 block.
What more could you ask of these two stars?
McCoughtry will need to lead Atlanta out of a 0-1 hole, but if any player is capable of doing that, she is. Moore, meanwhile, is looking to win her second WNBA championship after earning two national titles at the University of Connecticut.
Only one of these decorated athletes will emerge victorious, but both are capable of putting on a series to remember.