In the end, I was sort of right. The deeper pool of talent proved too much for the Fever to wade through. They were thoroughly handled in this last game, scoring only 12 combined points in the second and third quarter. The Fever fought back, outscoring the Lynx in the fourth, but they started from too far behind.
What I was wrong about was the player that eventually took them there. If I had a vote for the WNBA Finals MVP (I don't, which makes me very sad), I would've picked Maya Moore. I've been more than a little effusive in my praise of her performance in these playoffs and her game, in general, but she did not win the MVP tonight; Fowles did.
Fowles was a monster on both ends of the court. She scored 20 points on 7-11 shooting, including 6-8 from the free throw line. She patrolled the defensive end like a woman possessed, and she and Rebekkah Brunson did whatever they wanted on the boards. The Lynx as a team outrebounded the Fever by nine, 39-30, and grabbed six more offensive rebounds, 15-9.
The more games played, the more likely, the better team is to emerge victorious; that's why in the NBA you rarely see upstart teams make it very far. In one game, the 76ers might be able to topple the Warriors. Over a series of games? That is much less likely to happen.
I think that for as well as the Fever played, and as well-coached as they are, they just didn't have the horses necessary to win it all. They could push back, but in the end, the better team really did win. The Fever may have seen their future championship window shut with this loss
The Minnesota Lynx have solidified their place in history. Three titles in the last five years, having played in four WNBA Finals, in general, is one of the greatest runs in the history of the sport.
Only one team stands in their way, and that is the four in a row Houston Comets team of the late 1990s early 2000s. This Lynx team is built to last, too. Moore is still in her absolute prime, Fowles is still a wrecking ball, and Seimone Augustus is as good as a second option as you will find in this league.
If the Lynx can keep this team together, there is no telling the heights they can reach. Having another year together will only make them even stronger.
And that, my friends, is a very scary thought.