Defending champ Lynx are team to beat in ’18
The defending champion Minnesota Lynx begin the season atop the preseason Associated Press WNBA poll.
The Lynx received nine first-place votes from the 14person national media panel Thursday, the eve of the opening of the 2018 season. It’s the second time in the three seasons that the AP has been doing the poll that the Lynx were the preseason No. 1.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve thanked the media for showing her team “that kind of respect.”
“We’re confident that we have a strong group this year that will compete for another championship,” Reeve said. “At the same time, we know how
difficult this league can be and we couldn’t be more excited to start our historic 20th season.”
Los Angeles was second, garnering the other five firstplace ballots. The Sparks and Lynx have faced off in the past two WNBA Finals. The Sparks were three points behind the Lynx in the preseason poll; the two teams open against each other Sunday in Minneapolis.
Minnesota is led by Maya Moore, who was the panel’s preseason player of the year selection for the second straight season.
Moore highlighted the AP preseason all-WNBA team. She was joined by reigning AP player of the year Sylvia Fowles of Chicago, Los Angeles’ Candace Parker, Dallas’ Skylar Diggins, Phoenix’s Brittney Griner and Washington’s Elena Delle Donne.
A’ja Wilson, who was the first pick in the WNBA draft last month, was selected as the preseason rookie of the year.
Briefly: The WNBA is teaming up with several organizations that support women and girls. The league will donate $5 for each ticket purchased to select games during the season to one of six groups as part of the “Take a Seat, Take a Stand” campaign. All 12 teams will participate, designating up to six games to the initiative. The six organizations are Bright Pink, GLSEN, It’s On Us, MENTOR, Planned Parenthood and The United State of Women . ... The WNBA is extending its partnership with FanDuel for two more seasons. The league became the first women’s professional sports league to have a deal with one-day fantasy games last year and there were more than 2.2 million entries in WNBA contests.
Maya Moore (left) helped the Minnesota Lynx to the WNBA title in 2017, and is the preseason player of the year in 2018.