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"Whalen" on the Lynx


Whether it be the men's or women's game, the concept is still very simple: if a team shoots 33 percent from the floor, that team generally loses. Still, the fact the Lynx got on national TV (ESPN 2, at least), and the game was competitive says a lot about the start the ladies have undertaken. Lindsay Whalen came back to her hometown and didn't have the greatest stat line--5-15, with six assists--but she clearly was in charge when the Sun needed her, which is the hallmark of all great point guards.

At the risk of being incredibly redundant and boring (something my wife tells me all the time), not giving up the farm to acquire her was the biggest mistake the Lynx franchise ever made. Since they went on to have abysmal seasons after Whalen was drafted, what would have been the difference in giving up a bunch of players in order to secure her services? Some may say it's hindsight, but it's the type of personnel mistake the Taylor organization makes time and time again, both on the women's and men's teams.

As for the current club, they are still playing well, but depending on rookie energy to surprise folks is starting to wear. Although the Lynx are still enthusiastic on defense, opposing teams with either frontcourt size or slashing guards are using a variety of plays off of picks to get point blank shots at the hoop, or in last night's case, layups. On Sunday against San Antonio, we saw the pick and roll run to perfection time and time again. Last night it was Whalen who used picks effectively to drive right to the basket; the rotation was late in coming, and the angles Lindsay took to get the bucket made it difficult to defend the shot.

As teams scout Minnesota more and make their adjustments, can Zierden himself adjust? One adjustment that could be made is to start Candice Wiggins at the point, and get her into the flow of the game earlier. They have enough depth coming off of the bench to not be concerned about scoring; get your best players on the court and let them mesh.

So far though, a very entertaining--and much needed--brand of basketball. Let's hope it can continue.