The 2017 WNBA season will come to an end on Wednesday night. If history has anything to say about it, it will go out in incredible fashion.
It’s Maya Moore and Candace Parker. It’s Lynx vs. Sparks, one superteam against another in a rematch of a thrilling finals from a year ago. It’s an entire season coming down to 40 minutes of basketball
1. Hello ... IT’S A GAME 5.
I shouldn’t have to say anything else. But in case you’re still on the fence about following this epic series, I’ll still give you eight more reasons after this.
No, “Game 5” doesn’t have the same ring as “Game 7” and oh how I wish the WNBA would give us seven games between these two teams. But it’s winner-take-all on Wednesday, and it’s going to be glorious.
It’s the third straight decisive Game 5 in the WNBA Finals and second for these two teams. Last year, this game-winner by the Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike with less than four seconds left provided the final one-point margin.
We can only hope this year’s Game 5 is just as good. Here are eight more reasons to watch.
2. Candace Parker’s dang passing ability
Candace Parker is a 6’4 forward, which puts her at a considerable height advantage in the WNBA. She scores, rebounds, and blocks shots like a big, yet she passes like a point guard. At 31 and in her 10th year in the league, the Sparks’ star is the original unicorn.
If you give Parker the chance to survey the floor, it’s over.
candace parker is a 6'4 passing wizard pic.twitter.com/DNxqMxw0Fn— Whitney Medworth (@its_whitney) August 14, 2017
And the one-handed no looks are her specialty.
Candace Parker is out here slangin' no look passes again pic.twitter.com/UI07sGNi5c— Whitney Medworth (@its_whitney) August 17, 2017
3. Maya Moore’s ice cold jumper
The Lynx’s most well-known star just became the WNBA’s All-Time leader in field goals made in the playoffs and is sitting in third place on the league’s all-time playoff scoring list. She’ll be No. 1 by next season.
If you love stop-and-pops, you’ll love Maya Moore’s. Her shot is textbook. She creates space, then rises up.
And she can finish, too.
4. Cheryl Reeve sideline interviews
Cheryl Reeve has been on my favorite coaches for a while now, but she just keeps getting better. She does a Gregg Popovich sideline interview better than Gregg Popovich.
reason 452 to watch game 5 of the wnba finals tonight: cheryl reeve sideline interviews pic.twitter.com/dkunzf2baP— Whitney Medworth (@its_whitney) October 4, 2017
5. Sylvia Fowles’ complete dominance
The league’s MVP (and future embalmer!) has four straight double-doubles in the WNBA Finals. She’s the Lynx’s 6’6 center who is so powerful that it’s nearly impossible for teams to stop her.
She’s an anchor on defense, too. Not only was this a nasty block on Parker in Game 4, she actually grabbed the ball before it touched the ground.
6. The Sparks’ backcourt duo of Chelsea Gray and Odyssey Sims
These two are the spark plugs that get the Sparks going. They’re feisty and full of energy, and their defensive pressure is more than most teams can handle. They also attack the rack on the other end and make plays in the pick-and-roll.
Gray’s game-winner at the end of Game 1 was just stupid good.
Sims is a lefty who is too quick for most guards to keep in front of them.
Just ask Lynx counterpart Lindsay Whalen, who basically had to tackle Sims in Game 4 to stop her.
8. Maya Moore has history on the line
It’s hard to comprehend how often Moore wins. Dating back to high school, she’s never gone more than one year without winning a championship.
A Lynx loss in Game 5 would cause Moore’s longest championship drought ... of two freaking years.
9. History is on the line for Sparks, too
Only two teams in the history of the WNBA have ever won back-to-back titles: the legendary Houston Comets, and a Lisa Leslie-led Sparks team.
If this iteration of the Sparks were to pull this off, they’d put themselves in a beautiful spot in the history books.
Game 5 is Wednesday night on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET. We look forward to watching with you.