The Minnesota Lynx resume the chase for their second straight WNBA Championship on Sunday when they face the Indiana Fever in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.
The Lynx swept the Atlanta Dream in three games last year to win their first WNBA title. They can join the Houston Comets, who won the first four WNBA titles, and Los Angeles Sparks as teams to successfully defend their championships.
Minnesota swept Los Angeles to advance to the championship and boast three Olympic gold medallists in the starting five. Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore helped the U.S. to gold in London this summer. Rebekkah Brunson and Taj McWilliams-Franklin, the oldest player in the WNBA, round out the starters for the Lynx.
The Fever have a pretty talented roster as well, highlighted by 2011 MVP, Tamika Catchings. She has averaged 16.8 points and 10.2 rebounds in the playoffs and her role may be expanded.
Katie Douglas, Indiana's second-leading scorer, injured her ankle in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Her availability is in question as she was taken to the hospital during Thursday's clinching win for the Fever.
As if Catchings doesn't have enough on her plate, she is probably the best player in WNBA history without a title.
"This is what you play for. You play to make it to the Finals," Catchings said. "So when you get in a situation like this and we're sitting there and we're all circled around her when (Douglas) is laying on the floor, the one thing when we went back is that we talked about, 'hey, one person goes down, everybody steps up,' and everybody stepped up."
Minnesota won both regular-season match-ups.
Game 2 is Wednesday, also in Minnesota. The series shifts to Indiana for Game 3 on Friday, then, if necessary, Game 4 is scheduled for Oct. 21. The finale would be back in Minnesota on Oct. 24.
All games are at 8:00 p.m. ET.