— HoopSmart (@HoopSmart) September 15, 2017
The Los Angeles Sparks are up 2-0 in the semifinals against the Phoenix Mercury putting them one win away from a return trip to the Finals.
Being a top seed has its perks. The Sparks are benefiting from the WNBA’s revised playoff format for the second year in a row. As a No.2 seed going into the postseason, L.A. received a bye to the semifinals (as did the No.1 seed Minnesota Lynx).
That meant the Sparks had fresh legs for the Phoenix Mercury who headed into the best of five series with L.A. after surviving two rounds of winner take all against the Seattle Storm and the Connecticut Sun.
After two games at home, the Sparks have taken a 2-0 lead over the Mercury. Game 1 L.A. beat Phoenix 79-66, and Game 2 they won 86-72.
Now the series shifts to Arizona as the Sparks will try to sweep the Mercury at home and head back to WNBA Finals for a second straight year.
No lead in professional sports is safe as we learned with the 2016 Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Indians, but the Sparks look destined for a Finals rematch with the Lynx who are also up 2-0 in their series with the Washington Mystics.
This inevitable crash course between L.A. and Minnesota would add to the growing rivalry between the two teams, which is just as good if not better for the WNBA than their new playoff format.
Both the Sparks and the Lynx will go for Sweeps on the road Sunday, September 17. The games will air on ESPN as Minnesota faces Washington at 3:00 p.m. ET and L.A. plays Phoenix at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Winning in front of hostile crowds won’t be easy for either the Sparks or the Lynx, but both series have been one-sided enough so far that the chances they end Sunday is high.