In the many storylines surrounding the 2021 WNBA Finals-from losers to goat arrive Hometown girl ——This is the rematch of the 2014 WNBA Finals. At that time, the Phoenix Mercury swept the Chicago Sky 3-0, ending what can be said to be the greatest single season in WNBA history.
However, although both lists have undergone major changes, the situation in 2014 and 2021 looks more similar than expected.
What has changed since the championship series eight seasons ago? What stays the same?
Looking back at the 2014 WNBA season
To set up this stage, here is a quick overview of the 2014 WNBA season.
Maya Moore defeated Taurasi to win the MVP award, averaging 23.9 points per game, leading the league, leading the Minnesota Bobcats to second place in the Western Conference with a record of 25-9. Candace Parker, She was the core of the Sky team’s 2021 playoffs. At that time, in the heyday of the Los Angeles Sparks, she finished fourth, and Griner ranked fifth in the final rankings.
Moore is the captain of the 2014 WNBA All-NBA First Team, and the team also has many stars in the 2021 Finals. Taurasi and Griner won their tenth and first WNBA selections respectively. Parker was selected to the WNBA All-NBA Team for the 5th time out of 9 times. Another player in the 2021 finals- Skylar Diggins-Smith, And then Tulsa Shock’s second-year player who won the first of her four WNBA honors.
Griner was also named the Defensive Player of the Year for the first time in her career, leading the league in defensive efficiency and blocked shots. This season, Griner has once again become the WNBA’s blocking queen.
Similarly, Diggins-Smith was a foul-prone expert in 2014 and 2021 because she led the league in free throw attempts in both seasons. Although she missed half a season due to injury, in her fourth season, Van der Slott led the WNBA in assists per game for the first time in her career; in 2021, she became the number one in assists for the sixth time. Quigley was only the sixth woman on the Sky team in her second full WNBA season, which was her role at the beginning of the 2021 season.
In short, many of the names that defined the 2014 WNBA season are still doing their own thing in 2021.
Similarities and differences with the 2014 and 2021 editions of Mercury and the sky
However, whether it is 2014 or 2021, Diana Taurasi is Diana Taurasi. In 2014, the Goats kicked off the playoffs with 34 points against Parker’s Sparks.This is her career high in the playoffs this season 37 explosion Vs. Las Vegas ace. Despite the past eight seasons, her playoff scoring average has barely declined, from 21.9 in 2014 to 19.3 in 2021.
In contrast, Griner has shown significant growth since her second playoff experience. In the 2014 playoffs, she averaged 16.7 points and 6 rebounds per game. In 2021, when she often looked like the best player in the world, rather than a talent with the potential to become the best player of all time, her scoring average jumped to 20.9 points per game, and she also grabbed 9.3 points per game. Rebound every game.
Although the differences on the list are greater, Sky’s 2014 and 2021 seasons have more similarities.
It is expected that the 2014 Sky, headed by head coach Pokey Chatman, will become the title contenders led by Sylvia Fowles and Elena Delle Donne. These two players have since become synonymous with their second team. However, Fowles and Delle Donne and Vandersloot have all experienced injuries. Epiphanny Prince, Tamera Young and Jessica Breland are the main contributors to an ups and downs Sky team. They finished the season 15-19 and ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference.Sounds no different from 2021 Sky Unbalanced regular season.
The sky in 2014 is like their 2021 peers, Also began to peak in the playoffs. After just entering the playoffs, Chicago defeated the No. 1 seed Atlanta Dream in the Eastern Conference in an exciting three games in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Then they defeated Indiana Fever in three games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Unexpectedly, Sky advanced to the finals.
During the Chicago 2014 playoffs, Van der Slaughter was a key player. However, unlike 2021, she did not improve her performance in the playoffs. In particular, Van der Slaughter shot 38.3% from the field and 13.3% from three-pointers in the 2014 playoffs. In 2021, she claimed to be a more aggressive scorer, averaging 13.7 points per game in the playoffs after averaging 10.5 points per game in the regular season.A pair of historic performances-only The second triple-double in WNBA history In the game against the Connecticut Suns, and in the first game of the Finals, 11 assists and zero turnover performance-recording Van der Slaughter’s past eight seasons as an undoubtedly elite operation The maturity of the business.
Quigley has remained stable since 2014. When the Sky team entered the finals in 2014, she averaged 14.2 points and 34.2% from three-point range. In this playoffs, she averaged 14 points per game and shot 35.3% from three-point range. However, reflecting the changes in the range of motion that have occurred since 2014, Quigley attempted 7.3 three-pointers per game in the 2021 playoffs; in 2014, she averaged only 4.2 three-pointers per game in the playoffs. Split the ball.
Can the 2014 finals predict the 2021 finals?
Fortunately for the sky, their first trip to the finals since 2014 has had a better start.
Currently trailing 0-1, Phoenix may hope that the second game tonight will be similar to the second game of 2014. The Mercury team achieved an easy victory, 97-68, All starting points are in double digits. Griner had the best 28 points in the game, and Taurasi shot 58.3% from the field and 60% from the three-point range. If these numbers can be replicated tonight, this will be a positive sign for Mercury.
In the third and final game of the series, the Sky team made a more competitive effort, leading 63-61 into the fourth quarter. However, no one should be surprised by what happened in the final stage-Taurasi entered GOAT mode. In order to push the Mercury team to the full, she failed five of her six shots, including her two three-pointers. 87-82 Victory and third WNBA championship.
In 2021, after experiencing two injuries at the age of 39, can Taurasi once again dig her great well and release more epic efforts? Or, would Candace Parker hope to turn back the clock to 2016? In Game 5 of the Sparks’ championship, Parker had a double-double of 28 points and 12 rebounds.
Or, for all the resonance between 2014 and 2021, it would not be surprising if a new face appeared in the finals. If there are any signs in the first game and throughout the playoffs, then Kahleah Copper’s influence will run through these finals.Brianna Turner also showed that she can Improve her performance In the test of the playoffs. Shey Peddy has proven her acumen many times. Diamond DeShields also has Has the potential to do something special.
Although everything has remained the same and has changed, the 2021 Finals reminds people of the greatness of the WNBA.