With four WNBA titles in place already, the Minnesota Lynx begin the quest for number five when the 2018 WNBA season kicks off.
It's more than just chasing five titles. This veteran team of WNBA All-Stars has already achieved greatness. They have etched their names deep into the WNBA record books standing alongside the greatness of the Houston Comets — with an opportunity to surpass them.
This year, the Lynx are as motivated as ever to achieve something they have never been able to do before: A repeat.
The same narratives are in place as always, it's nothing new for the Lynx.
The age of the veteran starters, bench depth and finding ways to strategically divvy up minutes. The additions of Tanisha Wright, Danielle Robinson and Lynetta Kizer were offseason moves to help alleviate some question marks, but it is too soon to tell. Temi Fegbenle and Cecilia Zandalasini have an opportunity to step up, and depending on Kizer's health, may need to more than the Lynx expected.
Maya Moore is playing at an incredibly high level right now, potentially the best in her career. Sylvia Fowles is the most dominant post player in the league, in my opinion. With plenty to be excited about in 2018, lets recap the Lynx dynasty to this point with four WNBA titles and four chances to repeat:
2011: Title No. 1
The Lynx swept the Atlanta Dream in three games of the finals to secure their first WNBA title. Seimone Augustus was named Finals MVP.
2012: Repeat Opportunity No. 1
After one of the hottest starts in WNBA history — the Lynx began 10-0 on the season — Minnesota eventually fell to the Indiana Fever in the finals three games to one.
2013: Title No. 2
Fueled by a dominant Maya Moore, the Lynx swept through the entire playoffs to secure title number two, defeating the Atlanta Dream. Maya Moore was named 2013 Finals MVP.
2014: Repeat Opportunity No. 2
Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury defeated the Lynx 3-1 in the playoffs. This would be the first time Minnesota did not make the WNBA finals since 2010.
2015: Title No. 3
An intense playoff pushed to five games against the Indiana Fever, the Lynx won 3-2. The Sylvia Fowles era began as she was named 2015 Finals MVP.
2016: Repeat Opportunity No. 3
The shot. In a WNBA Finals pushed to a final game five, it was tied 2-2 against the LA Sparks. Nneka Ogwumike secured the win with an offensive rebound put-back to defeat the Lynx by one point. The heartbreaking moment for Minnesota can be seen again here:
2017: Title No. 4
After closing out the regular season with the best record in the league at 27-7, the Lynx advanced to the WNBA finals in a rematch with the LA Sparks. The series was, once again, pushed to five games and Minnesota outlasted the Sparks for their fourth WNBA title. Fowles was named the 2017 Finals MVP.
2018: Repeat Opportunity No. 4
With plenty to be written and many unknowns, one thing is for certain: The Lynx know this feeling, they have been here many times before and they believe they have to the tools to do so.
"This isn't necessarily new for us, a new feeling, you know, I think we've collected a lot of information along the way the years that we were defending our title that would position us well to have a lot of knowledge. I thought we accomplished everything after the 2015 championship in 2016 to get back to the Finals and to be seconds away from doing it. So, if we were able to have that same mindset in 2018, I like our chances of again trying to be one of the best teams and position ourselves to defend again," said head coach Cheryl Reeve during media day.
Can the Lynx accomplish what they have never been able to do — a repeat? Will they jump ahead of the Houston Comets as arguably the greatest team in WNBA history? We're about to find out. The quest begins this weekend as the the Lynx will play host to the LA Sparks on Sunday, May 20th at 5pm ET.
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