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WNBA 2017 season preview

LA Sparks win 3rd title

The Los Angeles Sparks topped the Minnesota Lynx in a dramatic WNBA 2016 Finals Game 5, with Nneka Ogwumike playing the hero in the final minute. Ogwumike, the reigning WNBA MVP, hauled in a critical offensive rebound and mustered up a putback on the Sparks' last possession of the game for a 77-76 lead. Neither team had a timeout left, but the Lynx missed a good look from halfcourt on the next play, sealing their fate.

The title is the third in franchise history and first since 2002, when the Sparks went back-to-back after their 2001 title. The Lynx, led by star guard Maya Moore, were in search of their fourth title in the past six years.

WNBA 2016 Playoffs
Minnesota - LA Sparks2 : 3
LA Sparks - Chicago3 : 1
Minnesota - Phoenix3 : 0
Chicago - Atlanta108 : 98
New York - Phoenix94 : 101
Atlanta - Seattle94 : 85
Indiana - Phoenix78 : 89
East
1New York61.8
2Chicago52.9
3Indiana50.0
4Atlanta50.0
5Connect.41.2
6Washing.38.2
West
1Minnesota82.4
2LA Sparks76.5
3Seattle47.1
4Phoenix47.1
5Dallas32.4
6San Ant.20.6

2017 key dates

  • April 13 : WNBA Draft
  • May 3 : Regular season starts
  • September 3 : Regular season ends
  • September 7 : Playoffs starts

The preseason odds for the outright winner

These are odds to win WNBA 2017 Championship published by online bookmakers before the start of the season:

teamoddsteamodds
Los Angeles Sparks3.6Indiana Fever17
Minnesota Lynx3.6Atlanta Dream23
New York Liberty5.5Chicago Sky34
Washington Mystics8Connecticut Sun34
Phoenix Mercury10Dallas Wings34
Seattle Storm12San Antonio41

After finishing last year as the last team standing, the Los Angeles Sparks will enter the 2017 WNBA season as the favorites to win the championship once again. The core remains strong for the Sparks with Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike patrolling the frontcourt. One key member of the 2016 squad that will not be in a Sparks uniform this season is point guard Kristi Toliver, who left in free agency to sign with the Washington Mystics. Toliver was the team's top 3-point threat. To help fill that void, the Sparks traded for Odyssey Sims from Dallas, drafted Sydney Wiese and will get Riquna Williams back from injury after she missed all of last season with an Achilles tear.

Since the arrival of Maya Moore in 2011, the Lynx have played in five WNBA Finals and won the championship in each odd year - 2011, 2013, 2015. Minnesota will return basically the entire team that finished in the top three in the league in every major offensive and defensive category last season. If anything, the team looked to bolster its bench depth with the signing of 13-year veteran Plenette Pierson.

This is introduction to 2017 WNBA season. Latest news, statistics, results and predictions you can find on our main WNBA page.

The New York Liberty have finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference in each of the last two seasons and have a total of three playoff wins to show for it. Will this be the year that their regular season success translates into a long playoff run? While the Liberty return much of the team that finished 21-13 last season, they did lose a few players - Swin Cash (retired), Carolyn Swords (traded) and Tanisha Wright (sitting out 2017 season). In exchange for Swords, the Liberty received guard Bria Hartley and center Kia Vaughn from Washington. The Liberty also added a standout point guard in the 2017 Draft in Notre Dame's Lindsay Allen.

The Washington Mystics pulled off one of the biggest trades in WNBA history by acquiring former MVP and scoring champ Elena Delle Donne from the Chicago Sky. The Mystics didn't just make a splash on the trade market, they also did in free agency. The club signed Kristi Toliver from the Los Angeles Sparks, fresh off her WNBA championship victory over the Minnesota Lynx.

WNBA Champions

2016   Los Angeles
2015   Minnesota Lynx
2014   Phoenix Mercury
2013   Minnesota Lynx
2012   Indiana Fever
2011   Minnesota Lynx
2010   Seattle Storm
2009   Phoenix Mercury
2008   Detroit Shock
2007   Phoenix Mercury
2006   Detroit Shock
2005   Sacramento
2004   Seattle Storm
2003   Detroit Shock
2002   Los Angeles
2001   Los Angeles
2000   Houston Comets
1999   Houston Comets
1998   Houston Comets
1997   Houston Comets

teams

Atlanta Dream

Centers: Rachel Hollivay, Elizabeth Williams; Forwards: Damiris Dantas, Sancho Lyttle, Aneika Morello, Angel McCoughtry; Guards: Matee Ajavon, Layshia Clarendon, Tiffany Hayes, Bria Holmes, Brianna Kiesel, Tyaunna Marshall, Darxia Morris, Meighan Simmons, Brittney Sykes

Chicago Sky

Centers: Imani Boyette, Alaina Coates, Stefanie Dolson, Astou Ndour; Forwards: Jessica Breland, Shayla Cooper, Keisha Hampton, Amber Harris, Cheyenne Parker, Tamera Young; Guards: Makayla Epps, Jamierra Faulkner, Tori Jankoska, Cappie Pondexter, Allie Quigley, Courtney Vandersloot, Kahleah Copper

Connecticut Sun

Centers: Brionna Jones; Forwards: Reshanda Gray, Jonquel Jones, Lynetta Kizer, Chiney Ogwumike, Kayla Pedersen, Alyssa Thomas, Morgan Tuck, Danielle Adams, Shekinna Stricklen; Guards: Rachel Banham, Alex Bentley, Kelly Faris, Allison Hightower, Jessica January, Leticia Romero, Jasmine Thomas, Courtney Williams

Indiana Fever

Centers: Nadia Colhado, Victoria Macaulay; Forwards: Natalie Achonwa, Candice Dupree, Bashaara Graves, Erlana Larkins, Erica McCall; Guards: Feyonda Fitzgerald, Briann January, Shenise Johnson, Tiffany Mitchell, Jeanette Pohlen-Mavunga, Erica Wheeler, Marissa Coleman

Los Angeles Sparks

Centers: Saicha Grant-Allen, Jantel Lavender, Avery Warley-Talbert; Forwards: Ah-Ra Go, Ify Ibekwe, Tiffany Jackson-Jones, Nneka Ogwumike, Mikaela Ruef, Candace Parker, Essence Carson; Guards: Chelsea Gray, Chelsea Hopkins, Karlie Samuelson, Odyssey Sims, Jamie Weisner, Sydney Wiese, Riquna Williams, Alana Beard

Minnesota Lynx

Centers: Temi Fagbenle, Sylvia Fowles; Forwards: Rebekkah Brunson, Natasha Howard, Maya Moore, Plenette Pierson, Breanna Richardson, Shao Ting, Chantel Osahor; Guards: Lisa Berkani, Alexis Jones, Moriah Mack, Renee Montgomery, Jia Perkins, Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus

New York Liberty

Centers: Tina Charles, Kai James, Kiah Stokes, Kia Vaughn, Amanda Zahui B; Forwards: Cierra Burdick, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe; Guards: Rebecca Allen, Lindsay Allen, Ameryst Alston, Brittany Boyd, Jacki Gemelos, Bria Hartley, Epiphanny Prince, Sugar Rodgers, Shoni Schimmel, Tanisha Wright, Shavonte Zellous

Phoenix Mercury

Centers: Brittney Griner; Forwards: Sophie Brunner, Emma Cannon, Camille Little, Danielle McCray, Katherine Plouffe, Cayla George; Guards: Leilani Mitchell, Shay Murphy, Alexis Prince, Danielle Robinson, Stephanie Talbot, Diana Taurasi, Yvonne Turner

San Antonio Silver Stars

Centers: Kayla Alexander, Briana Day, Clarissa Dos Santos, Isabelle Harrison; Forwards: Nia Coffey, Monique Currie, Dearica Hamby, Schaquilla Nunn, Haley Peters, Erika de Souza; Guards: Sydney Colson, Jazmon Gwathmey, Roneeka Hodges, Sequoia Holmes, Moriah Jefferson, Kayla McBride, Kelsey Plum

Seattle Storm

Centers: Lanay Montgomery, Carolyn Swords; Forwards: Alysha Clark, Crystal Langhorne, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Jenna O'Hea, Breanna Stewart, Ramu Tokashiki; Guards: Sue Bird, Jewell Loyd, Jennifer O'Neill, Alexis Peterson, Noelle Quinn, Sami Whitcomb

Dallas Wings

Centers: Ruth Hamblin, Breanna Lewis, Courtney Paris; Forwards: Evelyn Akhator, Jordan Hooper, Glory Johnson, Theresa Plaisance, Aerial Powers, Kayla Thornton; Guards: Tiffany Bias, Saniya Chong, Kaela Davis, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Allisha Gray, Erin Phillips, Karima Christmas-Kelly

Washington Mystics

Centers: Emma Meesseman, Krystal Thomas; Forwards: Tianna Hawkins, Ally Malott, Asia Taylor, Caira Washington, LaToya Sanders, Elena Delle Donne; Guards: Natasha Cloud, Tayler Hill, Mehryn Kraker, Ivory Latta, Ashley Morrissette, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, Jennie Simms, Kristi Toliver, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough

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