Best Teams Ever bracket: WNBA edition, Round 1

Which team is the best ever?
Which team is the best ever?

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! The first round of polling closes at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31.

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2000 Houston Comets vs. 2005 Connecticut Sun

No. 1: Houston Comets (27-5)
OffRtg: 109.4 | DefRtg: 94.0 | Net: 18.4

The 2000 Comets team cemented its legacy as the WNBA’s first dynasty with a fourth championship in four years, sweeping the playoff competition. It was the final season together for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductees Sheryl Swoopes, Cynthia Cooper, Tina Thompson and Brazil’s Janeth Arcain. They are the second most-efficient offense in WNBA history at 1.091 points per possession.

No. 16: Connecticut Sun (26-8)
OffRtg: 104.1 | DefRtg: 94.4 | Net: 9.7

The Sun made it back to the Finals after an appearance in 2004, but lost to the Sacramento Monarchs, 3-1. They shot 45.2 percent from the floor and 34.9 percent from range while keeping opponents to 39.8 percent overall, all league-bests. Margo Dydek, a 7-foot-2 No. 1 overall pick who died of a heart attack in 2011, led the league in blocks (71) and is first all-time with 877 in her career.

No. 8: Minnesota Lynx (27-7)

OffRtg: 108.6 | DefRtg: 96.5 | Net: 12.2

The 2012 Lynx fell short of a title, losing in four games to the Indiana Fever and Defensive Player of the Year Tamika Catchings, a future Hall of Famer. Despite the lack of a title, which would have made them the third team to do it back-to-back, the group had the fourth-best offensive rating in history and a top-10 net rating. They had four players on the 10-player all-WNBA team.

No. 9: Los Angeles Sparks (26-8)

OffRtg: 107.8 | DefRtg: 98.6 | Net: 9.2

The Sparks, led by league MVP Nneka Ogwumike, Candace Parker and Kristi Toliver, locked up a third title in a thrilling Game 5 against the powerhouse Lynx. Ogwumike was tops in nearly every shooting category and offensive rating (135.0). The team’s effective field goal percentage (53.3) ranks third all-time.

2018 Seattle Storm vs. 2013 Minnesota Lynx

No. 5: Seattle Storm (26-8)

OffRtg: 108.5 | DefRtg: | Net:

Breanna Stewart (21.8 ppg), named league MVP, added to one of the most decorated 12-months in basketball history by winning a title alongside Sue Bird. The Storm defeated the Mercury in a Game 5 and swept the Mystics in the Finals.

No. 12: Minnesota Lynx (26-8)

OffRtg: 106.6 | DefRtg: 96.5 | Net: 12.2

The 2013 Lynx outscored opponents by at least 20 points eight times, tying their own 2012 record for third-most in a season. It was the second title for the dynasty group of Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus, Lindsey Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson.

No. 4: Phoenix Mercury (29-5)

OffRtg: 106.4 | DefRtg: 94.1 | Net: 12.3

The original Mercury “Big 3” of Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner brought another title to the desert. Griner led the league with 153 blocks (including the playoffs), but missed the Game 3 sweep of the Sky.

No. 13: Detroit Shock (23-11)

The Shock got by the Fever, Sun and defending champ Monarchs in the playoffs behind Deanna Nolan, Katie Smith, Cheryl Ford, Swin Cash, Ruth Riley and Pienette Pierson. It was the second consecutive championship for the team, which won the final two games of the best-of-five Finals.

2019 Washington Mystics vs. 1999 Houston Comets

No. 2: Washington Mystics (26-8)

OffRtg: 115.9 | DefRtg: 100.3 | Net: 15.6

The reigning first-time champions had the most efficient offense in history (1.129 points per possession), most 20-point wins in a season (12), highest offensive rating (115.9) and a host of other WNBA records. League MVP Elena Delle Donne became the first WNBA player to join the 50-40-90 club.

No. 15: Houston Comets (26-6)

OffRtg: 105.8 | DefRtg: 92.5 | Net: 13.3

The 1999 team won the title with Cooper (22.1 PPG), Swoopes (18.3) and Thompson (12.2) continuing to lead the way. The ’99 team trailed the Comets’ 1998 and 2000 squads as well as the 2019 Mystics in point differential, though it ranks top-10 in league history.

2001 Los Angeles Sparks vs. 2010 Seattle Storm

No. 7: Los Angeles Sparks (28-4)

OffRtg: 106.7 | DefRtg: 94.7 | Net: 12.0

Lisa Leslie and the Sparks won the title in both 2001 and ’02, the last team to win back-to-back championships. Leslie won her first of three MVP awards with averages of 19.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.3 blocks per game.

No. 10: Seattle Storm (28-6)

OffRtg: 108.2 | DefRtg: 97.7 | Net: 10.5

Lauren Jackson, Cash and Bird won the Storm its second title in franchise history. Jackson (20.5 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.2 BPG) won league and Finals MVP honors. The Storm swept the Sparks, Mercury — which had one of the league’s all-time best offenses that year, but struggled on defense — and Atlanta Dream to win the championship.

1998 Houston Comets vs. 2009 Phoenix Mercury

No. 6: Houston Comets (29-3)

OffRtg: 104.1 | DefRtg: 86.7 | Net: 17.4

The 1998 Comets have the best win percentage in WNBA history and trail only their 2000 squad in point differential (12.8) and net rating (17.4) in league history. Cooper (22.7 PPG, 4.4 APG) shot 44.6 percent from the floor, including 40 percent from 3-point range. Swoopes (15.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG) and Thompson (12.7 PPG, 7.1 RPG) rounded it out. All three were first-team selections.

No. 11: Phoenix Mercury (23-11)

OffRtg: 109.2 | DefRtg: 104.9 | Net: 4.3

Offense won the Mercury their second WNBA title and Diana Taurasi won both league and Finals MVP. She averaged 20.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Cappie Pondexter averaged 19.1 points per game while Bonner and Penny Taylor were key players off the bench.

2017 Minnesota Lynx vs. 2015 Chicago Sky

No. 3: Minnesota Lynx (27-7)

OffRtg: 108.5 | DefRtg: 94.4 | Net: 14.1

The 2017 Lynx squad is the last to win a championship and most of the roster has retired or, in Moore’s case, moved to other pursuits at the moment. It was their fourth title, pulling them into a tie with the Comets for most in league history. Sylvia Fowles, the 2015 WNBA Finals MVP, led the team in scoring.

No. 14: Chicago Sky (21-13)

OffRtg: 108.4 | DefRtg: 98.6

The Sky, led by 2015 league MVP Delle Donne, fell short of a title in the late 2000s, but were in the running. Chicago had the second-lowest turnover percentages in that time and one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios with Courtney Vandersloot. The team was one of the best offensively in the WNBA.