The Minnesota Lynx moved to 6-0 to start the season with a 79-69 win in New York over the Liberty. Once again, the Lynx started very strong, racing out to a 28-11 lead after the first quarter, with Maya Moore scoring 11 of her game high 25 in the first. The Liberty tried to get back into the game, closing within five in the 2nd quarter before another Lynx run, and getting as close as six late in the game, but the Lynx were able to close out the game to remain unbeaten.
One of the reasons why these games have followed a similar pattern is just how reliant the Lynx are on Maya Moore. She was a +20 in last night's game--the next best among the starters was Brunson and Augustus at +3. Similarly in their previous game against the Fever Moore was a +28, next best on the team was McCarville's +6. They tend to dominate early as Moore plays most or all of the first quarter, then opponents get a foothold once Moore takes a rest.
The rest of the roster has been up and down--Syl Fowles has had some big games, but struggled over the last couple. Whalen and Augustus have been good in spots, but a bit inconsistent. Last night the reserves, especially Renee Montgomery (10 points, 4 assists, 2 steals) and Natasha Howard (only 3 points, but 4 boards, 3 steals and 2 blocks) played well, but again have been up and down. Moore has been the constant.
It's clear that Cheryl Reeve is making a concerted effort to get her veteran starters more rest early in the season--something that is absolutely necessary if the Lynx want to be in top shape come playoff time. So far, it certainly isn't hurting them, as the 6-0 record attests, and as long as they keep winning, there is no reason to push players who have a lot of mileage on them. It has led to bouts of inconsistency, but the talent is good enough--especially Moore, who is once again looking like the best player in the league--that it isn't costing them.
The Lynx return home to face the Dallas Wings on Saturday.
In Wolves related bits:
It was reported that Luol Deng is seeking a 2 year, $24 million deal. I would be shocked if he doesn't get more than that, but certainly at that cost it's something the Wolves (and just about any other team) should do...which is why it will be higher in the end.
In draft workout news:
Hear Kentucky big Skal Labissiere will workout for the #Twolves on June 14. Henry Ellenson due in this week. @APkrawczynski first on Henry.— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) June 1, 2016
The Wolves open with the 5th highest odds--behind the Warriors, Spurs, Thunder, and Clippers to win the Western Conference next season, at 30-1 (along with the Rockets and Pelicans). I believe they are 60-1 to win the NBA title.
Running late so no today in history.
Today's musical birthday is Brandi Carlile, born in 1981