September 06, 2014

A look at the WNBA Finals, which starts Sunday:

Phoenix (29-5) vs. Chicago (15-19)

Season Series: Mercury won 2-0.

Phoenix: The Mercury had the best regular season in WNBA history winning a record 29 games, which included a 16-game winning streak - the second-longest in league history. They swept Los Angeles in the first round and topped defending champion Minnesota in the conference finals in three games. The Mercury have been in the Finals four times and have come away with two titles. After a relatively quiet first few playoff games, Diana Taurasi came to life in the decisive third game against the Lynx. She had 31 points, seven assists and five rebounds, not to mention a momentum-breaking 3-pointer from beyond halfcourt at the end of the third quarter. But the Mercury are no longer just Taurasi's team. Brittney Griner has been spectacular in the playoffs lately. She's shooting 77 percent (33 for 43) from the field and is 14-for-14 from the free throw line over the past four games.

Chicago: While the Mercury cruised through the regular season, the Sky struggled with injuries from the beginning. Finally healthy, Chicago made a run to the playoffs and then topped both Atlanta and Indiana each in three games. Elena Delle Donne was a big reason why the Sky were able to prevail in the first round win over the Dream. She guided the team to one of the biggest comebacks in league history to help the team win its first playoff series. The sensational second-year player wasn't as effective against Indiana because of a balky lower back. She'll need a quick recovery for the Sky to have a chance to win the franchise's first title. Playing on the road doesn't seem to faze Chicago, which won the decisive third game of each playoff series on the road. The Sky won't even be able to play their home games at their regular home as a scheduling conflict at Allstate Arena will face the team to play its home games this series at the UIC Pavilion, Chicago's home court from 2006-09. The team has been at Allstate Arena since 2010.

Prediction: Mercury in 4.

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