Best Teams Ever bracket: WNBA edition, Final Four

Yahoo Sports

Welcome to the Best Team Ever bracket series, where the greatest of all time have their most dominant seasons stacked up against each other until we ultimately crown a champion in each sport. The tournament will be decided by fan vote, so be sure to submit yours below! Check out the first round of voting here and the second round of voting here. Final Four polls will close at noon ET on Saturday.

[Brackets: NFL | NBA | MLB | NCAAF | NCAAB | NCAAW | WNBA | Soccer | NHL | Nascar]

The 2000 Houston Comets are widely considered the greatest WNBA team of all time — until the 2019 Washington Mystics offense started obliterating their stats. But the Mystics fell out early and the ’00 Comets have cruised to the semifinals.

Can they keep up the domination, like they did 20 years ago? You make the call.

Best Teams Ever bracket: WNBA edition, Final Four. (Yahoo Sports illustration)
Best Teams Ever bracket: WNBA edition, Final Four. (Yahoo Sports illustration)


2000 Houston Comets vs. 2014 Phoenix Mercury

No. 1 Houston Comets (27-5)

OffRtg: 109.4 | DefRtg: 94.0 | Net: 18.4

  • 3 Naismith Hall of Famers

  • Rank second in points per possession

  • Starting 5: Sheryl Swoopes, Cynthia Cooper, Tina Thompson, Janeth Arcain, Tiffani Johnson

The 2000 Comets, who cemented their dynasty status with a fourth title in four years, moved on easily with 74 percent of the vote against the 2016 Los Angeles Sparks. They won the first round with 87 percent of the vote.

Sheryl Swoopes (20.7 PPG, 50.6 FG%) was named MVP and Defensive POY in 2000 while 37-year-old Cynthia Cooper earned Finals MVP for a fourth time and the ESPY for best WNBA player. Tina Thompson (16.9 PPG, 41.7 3FT%) completed the first — and continuously most celebrated — big three in WNBA history.

The team scored 1.091 points per possession, which was the most efficient offense in WNBA history until the 2019 Washington Mystics. Their plus-12.8 point differential is best in league history and their nine 20-point wins rank second, again behind the ’19 Mystics.

No. 4 Phoenix Mercury (29-5)

OffRtg: 106.4 | DefRtg: 94.1 | Net: 12.3

The 2014 Mercury won 61 percent of the vote against the 2018 Seattle Storm team that featured Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart. It was a 71 percent victory in the first round.

Taurasi (16.2 PPG), Griner (15.6 PPG) and Bonner (10.4 PPG) led Phoenix to the ’14 title. Griner, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, was named the Defensive Player of the Year for her league-leading 153 blocks and the Mercury swept the Chicago Sky in the finals even though she missed Game 3.

Griner ranks third in career blocks (636) and Taurasi continues to add to her career lead in points (8,575). Their 2014 team lost only one game in the postseason (to the defending champion Lynx) and lost only one of five games in the regular season by more than eight points.

2001 Los Angeles Sparks vs. 2017 Minnesota Lynx

No. 7 Los Angeles Sparks (28-4)

OffRtg: 106.7 | DefRtg: 94.7 | Net: 12.0

  • Three-time MVP Lisa Leslie

  • Last team to win back-to-back championships

  • Starting 5: Lisa Leslie, Tamecka Dixon, Mwadi Mabika, DeLisha Milton-Jones, Ukari Figgs

The 2001 Sparks advanced past the 1999 Houston Comets with 59 percent of the vote. The ’99 Comets beat opponents by an average 9.3 points, eighth all-time, but statistically weren’t as good as their 1998 and 2000 teams.

The Sparks’ Lisa Leslie won her first of three MVPs (2004, ’06) in 2001, averaging 19.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.3 blocks. The Sparks lost four regular-season games, three of which came in a streak in June and included two four-point losses. In the penultimate game, the margin was two. They dropped only one game in the playoffs, which were a best-of-three series then.

No. 3 Minnesota Lynx (27-7)

OffRtg: 108.5 | DefRtg: 94.4 | Net: 14.1

  • Rank sixth in all-time offense (net rating)

  • Two league MVPs

  • Starting 5: Sylvia Fowles, Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Lindsay Whalen

The 2017 Minnesota team won by the slimmest margin in either of the first rounds. The modern WNBA dynasty defeated the first one with the 2017 team winning 51 percent against the 1998 Houston Comets. It was the last Lynx squad to win a championship, the final pillar in the dynasty that made them equals to the Comets with most WNBA titles (four).

The 2017 Lynx iteration had two of the franchise’s four biggest victories back-to-back in July. They beat Indiana by 59 (111-52) and Phoenix by 36 (105-69). They were another all-around quality squad, ranking sixth in offense and fourth in net rating differential.

Sylvia Fowles was named the 2017 league MVP and both she and ’14 MVP Maya Moore were named first-team All-WNBA selections. Rebekkah Brunson was named to the second all-defensive team and Lindsey Whalen led the playoff offense, dishing out 4.9 assists per game. The starting five are all over the record books with at least three holding the top-five spots in every category (excluding disqualifications).


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