Perhaps a better venue for the Minnesota Lynx would be Valleyfair, given the roller coaster season they've had to date. Much like their Wolves counterparts, the Taylor organization seems content to build a team from the offensive end first, with little thought of how to play defense past opportunistic steals and blocked shots on undersized point guards. Don't get me wrong, as opposed to the last two dreadful years, this team is fun to watch, but yesterday's game against LA gave me no sense the club is ready to be a true contender, especially in the clutch. When it comes down to it, it's still Seimone Augustus or bust; if she scores, they're in it, when she's cold--like yesterday's overtime stint--the team can't manufacture a heartbeat.
I blame this on Hillary Clinton. Since she dropped out of the presidential race, the Lynx's marketing whizzes must have believed they had to also retire their original campaign, which included a reference to "a women in the White House", as well as Seimone split screen with an actual Lynx, the fiercest yawn ever photographed. Instead, they've once again employed the 70's time machine first used in creating the Wolves God-awful Sweetwater Jones concept and produced the horrible "Lynk up" ads. Would someone please tell the Taylor marketing department to turn off the Starsky and Hutch/What's Happening reruns and put down the bong(s)? I'd be put in a funk too if that's the best a professional organization could do to promote me. What's for next year, an 80's motif with Donna Summer's "She Works Hard for the Money'? Kevin McHale sporting a Mike Score/Flock of Seagulls haircut? Imagine the Iron Ranger looking like this:
Ah, but I digress. The basic problem with the Lynx is that they're second best offensively and third worst defensively in the league. With those extremes, is it any wonder they're on a team roller coaster? The top acquisition of last year--point guard Lindsey Harding--shows no ability to finish around the basket even when healthy. I hate to break it to Jim Pete and Tom Hanneman, but her numbers in coming back from injury this year resemble the numbers she had before she was hurt last year--low to mid 30's FG shooting and mid to high 60's FT percentage respectively. Nicky Anosike has been feisty but undersized around the basket, giving the ladies no real low post option to compliment Augustus. Houston and Wiggins give the club a great lift off the bench, but Wiggins--when healthy--should be starting at the point. Despite her not being a true PG, she gives the team the only other threat for the opposition. Until they can get someone to score consistently in the post, this is what they have to work with.
And please, find a coach who can teach defense. I can't sugarcoat this...they're awful. The one thing they were able to do in the second half was limit leading rookie and current WNBA take down champ Candice Parker. However, that was at the expense of allowing Lisa Leslie--offering her best petulant Kobe Bryant "get a technical, get calls for the rest of the game" imitation--and DeLisha Milton-Jones, who helped put the dagger in the Lynx yesterday.
It was nice to see a decent crowd at the TC yesterday, but they're going to have to make the playoffs consistently to keep the team in Minnesota. With a young group like this, a few more pieces would give them a fighting chance. Hopefully the Olympic break will allow the ladies to regroup, heal, and make a final push in the games remaining.