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Thursday WNBA Open Thread: Western Conference Finals Begin at 8 PM EDT on ESPN 2

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Now that four teams, two per conference have made the conference finals, we can now return our attention solely to one game at a time. Today, the Western Conference Finals begin, with the Minnesota Lynx hosting the Los Angeles Sparks for Game 1 of a best of three series, at 8 PM EDT, and 7 PM CDT locally. Watch this game on ESPN 2.

Marilyn Indahl-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Links

League Series Preview | Game Preview | Lynx Preview | Jessica's preview | Nate believes that point guard play will be key for this series | SBN Minnesota storystream (preview, in-game updates, etc)

The Lynx return to their 2nd conference finals appearance in franchise history, and look to return to the Finals. However, the Sparks under the leadership of new head coach Carol Ross, the combined resurgence of Candace Parker and Alana Beard, the continued improved play of Kristi Toliver (who is also the MIP), and the overall hustle of their star rookie, Nneka Ogwumike, won't be an easy opponent at least on paper. Both teams split their four regular season matchups against each other.

As for the Lynx, though they were the victors in their first round series against the Storm, they were also one made shot away from losing that same series, so it is also possible that they will play with a higher degree of urgency in this round, but it's not like they haven't either, because admittedly, Seattle is as battle tested as any other team in the league.

If you are a regular poster (or lurker... and please join in on this thread) on this SB Nation blog, you know I love younger teams or at least teams that started building with youth as the foundation for their future. Both teams tonight have developed with a number of younger players in recent years, and if it hasn't been stated yet, I'll also add this tidbit aside from the fact that Candace and Seimone are playing, or that Lindsay and Kristi will be another point guard battle.

The top picks from the last two drafts will also be facing off against each other like the cover photo shows above. They may not play the exact same position, but perhaps we'll get to see these two go at it for this series.

That's all I have to say on this one. Enjoy watching yet another great match between two deserving teams.