For the first time since I’ve started following the WNBA, I didn’t really have an emotional investment in either of the teams playing in the Finals. Of course, since the Lynx are not yet a championship-caliber team, my investment has typically been negative, rooting against the L.A. Sparks. Luckily for my blood pressure, I didn’t have to spend much time rooting against them this year, as they were knocked out in the first round by Sacramento, who went on to lose in the Conference Finals to Seattle. Speaking of the Storm, they beat the Connecticut Sun last night, 74-60, to win the WNBA Championship, 2 games to 1.

Seattle belongs to its star players, Lauren “Please Stop Comparing Me to Dirk Nowitzki” Jackson and Sue “Please Stop Comparing Me to Michael Myers” Bird. In this series, however, Connecticut did an excellent job of harassing and frustrating those two out of their rhythm. The Storm’s greatest strength, however, is not their star power but their depth. Betty Lennox had a huge series, scoring 17, 27, and 23 points in the three games to become the Finals MVP. Kamila Vodichkova was a beast in the paint.

Connecticut clawed its way to the top of a very tightly packed Eastern Conference despite having an even more rookie-heavy squad than the Lynx. I’m ambivalent about this team: I love all their players, but I can’t stand Mike Thibault, who’s the old-school, bossing-and-screaming type of coach that really gets on my nerves. The game is won and lost on the floor, though, and the players on the floor gave it their best effort. Nykesha Sales almost single-handedly won Game 2 with a 32-point explosion, and tried to carry the Sun in Game 3 as well, but because of poor spacing in the half-court, Seattle was able to pack the paint while still limiting the perimeter scoring of Sales (“only” 18 points) and Katie Douglas, who shot a John Starks-like 0 of 11 from the field. Unlike Starks in ’94, though, Douglas can’t take all of the blame: Lindsay Whalen’s penetration and Taj McWilliams-Franklin’s low-post offense were both off-kilter, and Wendy Palmer was hampered by a shoulder injury.

The Sun’s main weapon is their running game, but the Storm beat them both on the break and in the half-court in a thoroughly entertaining end to the WNBA season. For continuity’s sake, it pleases me that the last WNBA game was played on the same day as the first NBA preseason games. Every year I promise to start following college basketball, but truth be told, nothing moves me like professionals playing at a high level, and when I can see that happening all year around, I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Postscript: Last year, the Shock beat the Sparks for the championship; this year the Storm defeated the Sun. It’s almost enough to make you think they’re fixing the whole thing so that the teams make good puns, doesn’t it? Based on this, I’m going to call next year’s Finals matchup: Sacramento Monarchs vs. Charlotte Sting, for a little bit of an insect theme. Being more a fan of alliteration than punnery, though, I’d rather see a Lynx-Liberty or Mercury-Mystics series.