Series Preview: (1) Minnesota Lynx vs. (4) Seattle Storm

By: Aman Ali, WNBA.com


The Seattle Storm are looking for revenge after coming so close last season in stopping the Minnesota Lynx in the playoffs.
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Which team will win the Conference Semifinal matchup between Minnesota and Seattle?
Which team will win the Conference Semifinal matchup between Minnesota and Seattle?
View Results

Game 1: Minnesota 80, Seattle 64
Game 2: Minnesota 58, Seattle 55
Game 1: Minnesota 80, Seattle 64 RECAP | VIDEO
Game 2: Minnesota 58, Seattle 55 RECAP | VIDEO

The Seattle Storm were just two points away from beating the Minnesota Lynx to advance to the Western Conference Finals last year when nobody thought they even had a chance to be competitive in the series. Now they have a chance at a rematch.

This year, the Storm are continuing to buck expectations by even making the playoffs without their superstar players Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson. With multiple wins against the Phoenix Mercury and Los Angeles Sparks, in addition to other wins against the Chicago Sky and Atlanta Dream, the Seattle Storm have held their own against some of the league's finest this season.

But they'll need to scrap with everything they've got against the Minnesota Lynx, currently on one of their best regular season runs ever. The ferocious Lynx are on the warpath to make it to their third consecutive WNBA Finals. If any team wants to get a crack at a championship this season, it is widely believed they'll have to go through Minnesota.

It's going to be a bittersweet affair watching the Storm's playoff run this season as it will be the last time fans will get to see Tina Thompson in WNBA action. As the first player ever to be selected in the WNBA in 1997, the legendary guard will hang it up after 17 historic seasons. And don't get it twisted, at 38, she can still play, capable of putting up 20-25 points on any given night.

For the young Storm roster going against the goliath lineup on the Lynx, Thompson's leadership will be crucial in keeping the team focused. And there's a lot of budding talent on the Storm that can keep things interesting. Expect the trio of Shekinna Stricklen, Temeka Johnson and Camille Little to do some scoring damage in this series.

The Lynx on the other hand have the league's most star-studded lineup with four of their starters named to the All-Star team this season. Maya Moore has taken over as the team's general and her sheer athleticism and ability to knock down threes will be a constant worry for the Storm. And the increased scoring production from Lindsay Whalen and always reliable Seimone Augustus will keep the Storm on their toes too.

The Storm will have to give everything they've got to stay competitive in this series. And having one of the notoriously strongest fan bases in the WNBA, it will come in handy for them. The Lynx meanwhile may be the favorites on paper, but it's the playoffs so anything can happen. In order to win, the Lynx will have to play the same way they did to get into the playoffs - and that's steamrolling through their opponents no matter what team they play for.



2013 Regular Season: Minnesota 4, Seattle 0

Saturday, August 4, Target Center, Minneapolis, MN: Lynx 90, Storm 72 | Box Score | Highlights
Minnesota Leaders: Lindsay Whalen (22 pts., 7 ast.), Seimone Augustus (18 pts., 6 reb.)
Seattle Leaders: Shekinna Stricklen (24 pts., 3 ast.), Tina Thompson (12 pts., 2 stl.)

Saturday, August 31, Target Center, Minneapolis, MN: Lynx 79, Storm 55 | Box Score | Highlights
Minnesota Leaders: Maya Moore (30 pts., 5 reb.), Seimone Augustus (16 pts., 1 ast.)
Seattle Leaders: Tina Thompson (18 pts., 2 blks.), Temeka Johnson (16 pts., 3 ast.)

Saturday, September 7, KeyArena, Seattle, WA: Lynx 75, Storm 60 | Box Score | Highlights
Minnesota Leaders: Rebekkah Brunson (19 pts., 2 stl.), Seimone Augustus (14 pts., 3 ast.)
Seattle Leaders: Tanisha Wright (22 pts., 3 ast.), Shekinna Stricklen (12 pts., 3 reb.)

Tuesday, September 10, KeyArena, Seattle, WA: Lynx 73, Storm 60 | Box Score | Highlights
Minnesota Leaders: Maya Moore (20 pts., 5 stl.), Lindsay Whalen (19 pts., 7 reb.)
Seattle Leaders: Tanisha Wright (14 pts., 5 ast.), Noelle Quinn (7 pts., 8 reb.)



See how the teams match up position by position (regular-season stats)

Lindsay Whalen, G, Lynx
14.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 5.8 APG
Temeka Johnson, G, Storm
10.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 4.0 APG
Seimone Augustus , G, Lynx
16.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.5 APG
Tanisha Wright, G, Storm
11.9 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.1 APG
Maya Moore, F, Lynx
18.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.0 APG
Shekinna Stricklen, G/F, Storm
10.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG, .8 APG
Rebekkah Brunson, F, Lynx
10.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 1.5 APG
Tina Thompson, F, Storm
14.1 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.1 APG
Janel McCarville, C, Lynx
6.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.9 APG
Camille Little, F, Storm
10.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.4 APG
More

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