2017 WNBA Finals: Winner-Take-All Game 5 Preview

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(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

In this Oct. 16, 2016, file photo, Minnesota Lynx guard Renee Montgomery, left, shoots as Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker defends during Game 4 of the WNBA Finals in Los Angeles. The two team meet again Thursday, July 6.(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

This past Sunday, the Minnesota Lynx kept their Championship hopes alive with an 80-69 win over the Los Angeles Sparks. Led by WNBA MVP Sylvia Fowles, the Lynx were able to save their season and force a winner-take-all game 5 at home. With this back-to-back finals matchup, this is also the second consecutive year that these two teams will play a deciding game in Minnesota for the coveted title.

While Minnesota is trying to win it’s fourth title in seven years, the Sparks are hoping to become the league’s first repeat champion since [their own franchise] in 2002. In order to do that, they’ll have to win on Minnesota’s home floor… again. Last season, during the league’s historic 20th season, Los Angeles claimed the title with a nail-biting 77-76 victory over the Lynx –who [at the time] were also fighting for the chance to become  the first WNBA team to repeat as champions.

The fact that the Sparks and Lynx–the league’s two best teams all season long–are playing for the championship the second year in a row, as opposed to the Western Conference Finals, is due to the revamped postseason format. In this new format, the top eight teams, regardless of conference, make the playoffs. The format has faced some criticism since its inception last season, but is once again vindicated, by providing one of the best Finals match-ups that the league has seen, for the second year in a row.

With the series tied at 2-2, catch Game 5 of the 2017 WNBA Finals TONIGHT, Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 7:00 PM on ESPN.

 

Subria A. Whitaker is currently a Master of Arts in Sports Administration Candidate at Northwestern University. She recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with honors, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences with Distinction in Communication. Subria became a TrueStar in 2010, and is a graduate of Morgan Park High School.

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