Edmonds: Tune into the WNBA Finals
Charlotte Edmonds | Tuesday, October 1, 2019
The postseason is in full swing, and no I don’t mean baseball. Game 1 of the WNBA Finals was Sunday night with the top-seeded Washington Mystics taking a 1-0 lead over the No. 2 seed Connecticut Sun. Reigning MVP and first woman to join the illustrious 50-40-90 club, Elena Delle Donne, led the way with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
I imagine most people weren’t even aware that the WNBA playoff had begun, much less two rounds had passed, so allow me to catch you up to speed.
In the matchup against the Chicago Sky and the Phoenix Mercury, both teams entered on a skid, having dropped several key matchups down the stretch of the regular season. Chicago eventually picked up the dominant 105-76 win, thanks in part to an early exit by Brittney Griner who was sidelined with a knee injury.
On the other side of the bracket, the Seattle Storm defeated the Minnesota Lynx by 10. The Lynx were without four-time WNBA champion Maya Moore, who stepped away from basketball for the season to focus on ministry and family, particularly dedicating her time to criminal justice reform. On the other side of the ball, Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart were out for the entirety of the Storm’s season, leaving notable absences on the court.
The Storm’s run came to an end when the Los Angeles Sparks bested them 92-69. Similarly, Los Angeles had suffered their own share of injuries and seen countless players step up throughout the season. The other second-round game ended in thrilling fashion with the Las Vegas Aces beating Chicago on a half-court heave in the final seconds by WNBA Sixth Man of the Year Dearica Hamby.
Moving past single-elimination play, the Mystics beat the Aces in four games. Their three wins were decided on average by less than five points and featured numerous players stepping up on both teams. The other side of the bracket was decided a little more definitely, with the Suns sweeping three straight games on their way to the Finals. Although their first game was a nine-point win, the two others that followed were decided by at least 22 points.
And now, here we are in the Finals. Game 2 set to begin Tuesday in Washington, D.C. As shown above, this season has been one of close matchups, impressive offensive performance and new faces stepping up time and time again. Look no further than our own Notre Dame bubble. Three of the five selections for the 2019 WNBA All-Rookie Team — Arike Ogunbowale, Jackie Young and Brianna Turner — played under Irish head coach Muffet McGraw just this past year.
While some of you, myself included, might be counting down the days until Oct. 22, when the NBA returns following the insanity that was free agency this summer, take a second to enjoy the basketball we’ve got in our presence. The next two games between the Mystics and Suns are scheduled for Tuesday and Sunday, with Games 4 and 5 set for Oct. 8 and Oct. 10 if needed. Tune in, and you might be surprised by what you find.
We support the women’s team at Notre Dame. Why can’t we extend that support this postseason?