Greetings from U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix.

We’re about a half-hour away from tip-off here in the decisive game in this best-of-three WNBA Western Conference finals.

I watched the Lynx go through their normal pre-game warmups. And while the ritual was the same, these players know how hard it will be to beat the Mercury on their home court in an elimination game.

Before the series began I picked the Mercury in three games. But, as the game nears, I must say I won’t be surprised if the Lynx win.

Here, in my opinion, are three things that have to happen for Minnesota to advance:

--Rebounding. The Lynx held their own in this department in Game 2, and look what happened.

--Free throws. The more aggressive team will get to the line more.

--The Lynx need an x-factor. Maybe it could be Monica Wright, who has yet to play her best this series. Maybe Rebekkah Brunson. She has rebounded well, but maybe she’ll breakout scoring-wise tonight. If the Lynx can get a significant contribution from the bench it could make the difference tonight.