Looking Back: Ranking the Four Minnesota Lynx WNBA Titles

Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

There is no question we are currently going through unprecedented times in the United States while dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak.

Among the widespread impact the virus has had throughout the country, that impact has also landed in the sports world with a no-sports mandate currently in effect.

While other sports leagues who are currently in-season or near the start of their seasons have experienced the biggest impact of putting hopefully a temporary halt to their seasons, the Minnesota Lynx and the rest of the WNBA might be affected by all of this as well.

When it comes to the WNBA, its regular-season schedule doesn’t begin until May 15, but there are multiple upcoming events that could be canceled or pushed back while the country tries to fight back against COVID-19.

Most notably in the coming month, the next scheduled event for the league is the WNBA Draft on April 17. Following that, training camp is set to begin around the WNBA later in the month on April 26. It is unknown just how long the current pandemic will occur and how that might impact those key dates.

While we all wait for sports to return and continue to look forward to the eventual start of thee WNBA, let’s get a little creative and look back at some brighter times in Lynx history to fill your sports fix in the meantime.

As we all know, Minnesota just exited a decade that will go down as one of the best decades by a franchise in league — and maybe even sports — history. From 2010-19, the Lynx dynasty reached the WNBA Finals a total of six times in those 10 years, winning four championships in every odd season with the exception of the 2019 campaign.

Those four titles in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 moved Minnesota into a tie with the Houston Comets for the most titles by an organization in WNBA history.

While anxiously awaiting the start of the season in 2020, why not go back and rank each one of those championship runs?

In a trip down memory lane, here’s a look back at each one of those four titles, covering the regular season, the playoff run and ultimately a WNBA trophy at the end of the season:

NO. 4: TITLE NO. 2 IN 2013
(Minnesota Lynx 3, Atlanta dream 0)

Coming in at No. 4 on the list is the second title in Lynx franchise history, which was accomplished during the 2013 season.

During the 2013 campaign, Minnesota was the best team in the league throughout the course of the regular season. That resulted in the Lynx cruising through the postseason to claim their second title in three years while bouncing back from falling to Indiana in the 2012 WNBA Finals the year prior.

It was also the year when the rest of the WNBA likely began to realize that Minnesota was in the middle of a dynasty run.

Throughout the 34-game regular season schedule, the Lynx finished with a league-best record of 26-8 overall to grab the top seed in the playoffs.

In the postseason, that dominance continued, with Minnesota sweeping Seattle 2-0 in the conference semifinals, Phoenix 2-0 in the Conference Finals and Atlanta 3-0 in the WNBA Finals.

NO. 3: TITLE NO. 1 IN 2011
(Minnesota Lynx 3, atlanta dream 0)

The second year on this ranking of Minnesota’s four championships is the 2011 summer and the Lynx’s first championship in their history.

The 2011 season is really when the dominant dynasty run began for Minnesota, with a majority of the core group coming together before the 2010 season while using that year to get familiar with each other.

Going into the 2011 campaign, the Lynx were coming off a season where they went 13-21 overall and missed the playoffs for a sixth straight season and for the 10th time in the previous 12 years.

In 2011, that all changed. With a core group consisting of Lindsay Whalen, Rebekkah Brunson, Seimone Augustus and rookie Maya Moore under second-year Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve, Minnesota went from missing the postseason in 2010 to winning a title in 2011.

During the regular season, the Lynx finished with a WNBA-leading record of 27-7 overall, recording the most regular-season wins in franchise history at the time while once again grabbing the top overall seed in the playoffs.

Much like in the 2013 season, Minnesota went on to cruise through the postseason in 2011, taking down San Antonio 2-1 in the conference semifinals and Phoenix 2-0 in the conference Finals, going on to sweep Atlanta 3-0 in the WNBA Finals.

In 2011, the Lynx managed to bring their first professional sports championship back to the state of Minnesota, and the title signified the start of what would become an incredibly impressive dynasty run over the course of the decade.

NO. 2: TITLE NO. 3 IN 2015
(Minnesota Lynx 3, Indiana fever 2)

Coming in at No. 3 on the list of top WNBA championships in Minnesota’s history is the organization’s third league title during the 2015 season.

During the summer of 2015, the Lynx continued their dominant run during the decade and even somewhat retooled or reloaded during the course of the season.

Minnesota entered that year coming off of a disappointing loss to Phoenix in the conference Finals in 2014, ultimately coming up short of reaching the WNBA Finals for a fourth straight season.

The Lynx responded to that shortcomings in 2014 by going 22-12 overall during the 2015 regular season. In July of that summer, they also brought in All-Star center Sylvia Fowles to throw into the mix of an already talented group in Minnesota.

In the playoffs, Minnesota grabbed the second overall seed, taking down Los Angeles 2-1 in the conference semifinals and Phoenix 2-0 in the conference Finals to return to the WNBA Finals yet again.

In the best-of-five Finals series against Indiana, this series was one of the more entertaining battles to that point in history, with Minnesota ultimately taking down the Fever 3-2 in five games.

One of the top moments in that series came in Game 3, a playoff memory that stands out in the minds of many Lynx fans. With the series tied 1-1 in Game 3 in Indiana, the Lynx and Fever were tied 77-77 with 1.7 seconds left on the clock.

That was until Maya Moore took over, hitting a game-winning three at the buzzer to lift Minnesota to a Game 3 win and 2-1 lead in the series.

The title in 2015 was the third championship in Lynx history, but one of the reasons why this title was extra special was due to it being the first championship Minnesota was able to accomplish in front of its home crowd at Target Center.

And along with the many fond memories, especially in the postseason, the Lynx brought in the dominant force of Fowles that helped them continue their dynasty run for the upcoming years.

no. 1: title no. 4 in 2017
(Minnesota Lynx 3, Los Angeles Sparks 2)

Coming in as the top title that Minnesota has been able to achieve throughout its history is the fourth and latest title in 2017.

There have been multiple seasons throughout Lynx history that you could go back and look at as one of the top years in their history, but one season that stands out from the rest of them is the 2017 campaign.

Minnesota entered that season with the mission of getting revenge and trying to get back to the WNBA Finals. After falling to the Los Angeles Sparks in five games the year prior, the Lynx also began receiving many questions as to if this team was too old to make another run at a league title.

The Lynx responded to all of that by doing what they do best in odd years during the decade, going on a dominant run in the regular season that ended in another ring at the end of the year.

Minnesota was dominant throughout the regular season, finishing with a league-leading record of 27-7 overall. The Lynx grabbed the top seed in the playoffs and received a first-round bye, ultimately sweeping Washington 3-0 in the semifinals to return to the Finals for a rematch with the Sparks.

After falling behind 2-1 in the best-of-five WNBA Finals series, the Lynx went to Los Angeles and evened the series before returning back home — at the time to Williams Arena — for a championship-deciding Game 5 at The Barn.

Game 5 ended up being one of the more thrilling and back-and-forth battles to date between Minnesota and Los Angeles in the playoffs, but it resulted in the Lynx taking down their rivals to claim their fourth WNBA title in seven years.

That fourth and latest championship also moved Minnesota into a tie with the Houston Comets for the most titles by an organization in league history.

This year had many storylines that made for a memorable season and it ended up being the last championship run for a group that put together an impressive dynasty stretch.

That 2017 Lynx season will go down as one of the top and most memorable seasons in the franchise’s history, and that latest championship is the best Minnesota has been able to win to date.

Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me, basketball fans. Here’s to hoping you all stay healthy so that we are able to enjoy watching live sports and the memories they present us with here soon.

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