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Tuesday, May 31, 2011
WNBA players predict close NBA Finals

By espnW

With the NBA Finals about to begin, it seems a natural question for the women of the WNBA -- who's going to win? While most pick the Heat to prevail, all think it will be a close series.

Diana Taurasi, G, Phoenix Mercury: Miami in six.

"Their defense has been stifling lately, and LeBron is guarding everyone on the court. I would like to see J-Kidd win a ring, and I see Dirk and the Mavs winning a couple of games, but I'm going with the Heat in six."

Monica Wright, G, Minnesota Lynx: Dallas in seven.

"I think it's going to be 4-3, Dallas. It's got to go down to the seventh game. Both teams really want to win. You've got LeBron who wants to win; that's the reason he came to Miami. Dirk, he's been working forever to get here. It's definitely going to go down to the wire. You've got titans to stop on both sides. On one hand, you've got D-Wade, Bosh and LeBron, and on the other hand, you still have Barea, who's been playing out of his mind, Dirk, Jason Terry and Jason Kidd. They have a lot of veterans. It's going to go down to the wire."

Seimone Augustus, F, Minnesota Lynx: Miami in seven.

"I've got Miami. They're playing well right now. King James is doing his thing, he's ready to get that championship. It just seems like déjà vu all over again. Dwyane won his last championship against Dallas in '06, so it must be destined for them to get one. I think they're going to go seven. I've got Miami in seven, closing out at home."

Renee Montgomery, G, Connecticut Sun: Miami in seven.

"Because the D-Wade, LeBron and Chris Bosh trio is too hard to stop. I think all the games are going to be close, but Miami is going to manage to win four of seven. I think Dirk will still get his average, but Miami has the defensive tools to stop their other players. On the other hand, Dallas does not have the players capable of stopping D-Wade or LeBron.''

Sheryl Swoopes, G, Tulsa Shock: Dallas.

"Being from Texas, I'm going to have to pull for Dallas. I'm not a Miami Heat fan, but I do think what they created down there is a force to be reckoned with. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are amazing individually, and together they are almost unstoppable. So obviously you shouldn't totally count them out. But the Dallas Mavericks are a team. From the first player on the bench to the last, everyone understands their role and plays it well.''

Angel McCoughtry, F, Atlanta Dream: Miami in seven.

"I want the Miami Heat to win because I saw everything that LeBron James went through when he left Cleveland: the fans burning his jersey, tossing it everywhere and saying mean things about him. After going through all of that, I think it's his time to be great. Also, they call him King James, and in my eyes you aren't a king until you get a ring. He needs the ring to be worthy of that name.''

Katie Smith, G, Seattle Storm: Miami in six or seven.

"Dallas reaching the Finals is kind of neat. Miami beat Dallas last time in the Finals [in 2006], so there's a lot of motivation on that side. For the Heat, there are guys that've never won -- LeBron, Chris Bosh. I just feel like they're clicking on all cylinders right now and there's enough players who can make plays when the time comes.''

Cappie Pondexter, G, New York Liberty: Miami in seven.

"It's going to be a tough series that will go the distance. The Big Three -- LeBron, Wade and Bosh -- are going to be hard to defend. Dirk and Kidd will put up a good fight, but ultimately Miami will take it in seven."

Kristi Toliver, G, Los Angeles Sparks: Dallas in six.

"They have the best closer in the playoffs on their team [in Dirk Nowitzki] and they have the most consistency as well. Their bench is always ready to contribute big, and they have the most versatility and more weapons than Miami. I think it'll be a fun series to watch, but I think Dallas is going to give Miami too many different looks and keep Miami off- balance. I guess you could say 'Don't mess with Texas.'"

Courtney Paris, C, Los Angeles Sparks: Miami in six.

"I know there was a lot of controversy with how that team came together, but I think they have gotten to this point and they are going to fight to justify their decision by winning this championship. Honestly, I wanted OKC to win it all this year, and I have a great amount of respect for Jason Terry and for how Dirk Nowitzki is playing, but my prediction is Miami."

Ticha Penicheiro, G, Los Angeles Sparks: Miami in six.

"It should be a great series as both teams are playing unbelievable basketball, but Miami has more firepower with its Big Three."