I already know what you’re going to say. I can already see the comments ripping me as I type now. But that’s how real this is, that I’m willing to put up myself out there like that.
I have been utterly captivated by the WNBA Finals. Yeah, I said it.
I’ve been watching all of the playoffs (remember, this is Hoop Junkie, not NBA Junkie), but these finals have been riveting. I DVR’d Game 4 and watched it at like 1 a.m. Had to wait until the wife and baby was sleep so I can have freedom to throw pillows and jump around. Full disclosure: I am a huge Diana Taurasi fan, and therefore, a Phoenix Mercury fan.
This series — which concludes Sunday — has everything. Phoenix plays like the Suns, they run Paul Westhead’s uptempo system. They want to jack threes and run the break. Detroit is the blue-collar, grind out squad you might expect. It’s like Phoenix v. Detroit in the NBA. Obviously, the players aren’t as good, but the clash of styles is entertaining. And there’s been beef brewing the whole series. Lot of mean-mugging. Lot of trash talk. Lot of hard fouls.
One of the highlights is the match-up of two of the most explosive guards in the league, Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix) and Deanna Nolan (Detroit). Seriously, this is like the women’s version of T-Mac vs. Gilbert Arenas. They both are so athletic and so skilled. Both are ballers.
These two have been going at it. Cappie can get to the rack at will, and she has a stepback jumper you will be surprised to see a woman pull off. Deanna has an unbelievable pull-up jumper
Gotta mention Cheryl Ford, who plays just like her dad, Karl Malone, who was at Game 4. You also have crazy Bill Laimbeer storming Detroit sidelines, and all his antics. He’s mic’d up, so you get to hear all his complaining and smart remarks. One time, Taurasi came down with an offensive rebound, Laimbeer turned to his bench and said, “How come it’s always Swin’s man getting an offensive rebound?”
He called her out on national TV.
Then there’s Katie Smith. Anyone who knows anything about women’s hoops knows she’s a baller. She’s been around a while, clutch like Chauncey Billups. She can shoot the lights out and she’s cagey. She’s matched up with Taurasi, and doing as good a job as you could expect.
Game 5 (the WNBA Finals is best-of-five), is in Detroit, so Phoenix has a tough job. They beat the Shock once in the D already in Game 2 (Diana dropped 30, hitting pull-up 3-pointers from Ann Arbor), but that wasn’t with the series on the line. Detroit, which won last year’s title, is experienced and clutch. Which means if the Mercury wins, it’s likely going to because Diana did something magical.
If you don’t watch, you could miss it.