Following four straight losses, Minnesota had almost an entire week to retreat and regroup in the friendly confides of the Twin Cities. The Lynx defense and rebounding have put the team in position to win many times this season only to be spoiled by poor crunch time play. One of those instances was ten days ago in New York. Minnesota’s victory on Saturday returned the Lynx to their winning ways, it was also an act of revenge.
Syl & O
Sylvia Fowles and Odyssey Sims took turns shouldering the offensive load against New York. In the first half it was all about Sims getting into the paint. She torched rookie Asia Durr a number of times as she knifed into the lane to get to her floater or to earn a pair of free throws. She had 14 of her team-high 20 in the first half.
Fowles was limited to begin the game due to being in foul trouble. After halftime the team seemed to make even more of an emphasis to enter the ball into her in the post. The Lynx wisely tasked Damiris Dantas with throwing the entry pass from the top of the key. This allowed Syl to establish deep position without the worry of Dantas’ man doubling her. In general, New York just didn’t do a good enough job bringing help to her. Fowles was the engine of a third quarter that would end up being the team’s highest scoring frame of the season. She finished with 19 points and ten rebounds on the night, ten of those points coming in the third quarter.
‘Phee Gotta Shoot
With the roster as presently constituted, the Lynx are going to need meaningful offensive contribution from Collier to help them win. After a little bit of a rough patch she pitched in 19 points, the most since she had 18 two weeks ago against LA. 15 of her points came in the second half as she confidently knocked down three 3-pointers. Her unorthodox shot motion takes quite awhile to load up and fire, but the results have been there. She’s 11-31 (35%) on the season from long range.
Rip and Run
The Lynx looked like the best defense in the league in this game. Again, this has been a constant for most of the season, but that hasn’t always translated into wins. In addition to the offense generated by the previously discussed individuals, Minnesota forced a lot of live ball turnovers which kickstarted their fast break. Danielle Robinson, Lexie Brown and Sims found themselves with layup opportunities in open court situations. Collier had a game high four steals talked after the game about pushing the pace,
“Yeah that was something we really worked on this week. Making our defense turn into transition points. I think we did a great job of that, especially in the first half pushing the ball up. So, I think those few days off were really helpful.”
The Lynx half court offense might be a work in progress for awhile, but they can use their other strengths to make the game a little easier on themselves.
Karima Christmas-Kelly hit four shots including two threes on her way to a season high 12 points. Most importantly she got to the free throw line three times. Her impact was felt.
The Liberty’s Amanda Zahui B missed this game as she departed for Sweden to train for and participate in EuroBasket 2019. Her absence might have had something to do with Minnesota’s 50 points in the paint.
Kia Nurse yet again played all 40 minutes for Katie Smith and the Liberty. She’s a really fun player to watch so count me in!
Minnesota will travel to Indiana to face the Fever on Tuesday evening. Shockingly the Fever have the second best offensive rating in the league! Tip off is at 6pm ET.
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