This entire condensed WNBA season is going to be fast and furious, but opening with four games in seven days is quite the task. Minnesota played the second of those four games Tuesday night in the Bradenton Bubble. All due respect to the Connecticut Sun, but the competition level jumped up a notch as the Lynx took on the Storm.
Sylvia Fowles passed her former teammate and current coach Rebekkah Brunson to become the WNBA’s all time leading rebounder. Fowles is simply the greatest center in WNBA history. She’s a two-way force who’s consistency is unrivaled. Fowles is also a genuinely nice person. The rebound that sealed the deal occurred right before halftime which allowed Fowles and Brunson to share a moment and a photograph at midcourt. This was by far the high point of the evening.
Minnesota hung around in the first half due to their ability to get to the line and crash the offensive glass where they held huge advantages over Seattle. Napheesa Collier and Fowles had many good looks in the paint. The ball movement looked good and the Lynx were finding just enough ways to score.
The third quarter is where things got ugly for Minnesota. They had a hard time containing the Seattle backcourt which sent the Lynx help defense scrambling. The Storm shot 5-12 from three in the third quarter. The vast majority of those attempts were uncontested. Meanwhile Minnesota’s offense in the quarter was bizarre. Damiris Dantas dominated the ball shooting 5-9, but only one other Lynx player (Rachel Banham) made a shot.
Seattle might be the most impressive team through the season’s first few days. They probably lead the league in continuity and are re-adding a top three player in Breanna Stewart. Seattle has multiple players who started on last season’s team now assuming a more limited role off the bench. They are a well-oiled machine All five of their starters are a credible threat from beyond the arc. Their offense is a thing of beauty and the Lynx had the (dis)pleasure of seeing it up close.
Karima Christmas Kelly went down late in the first quarter with an ankle injury. She was visibly upset and stayed on the floor for a few minutes. Let’s hope for good news.
Mikiah Herbert Harrigan logged her first WNBA minutes, but mostly played after the game was out of hand.
Lexie Brown collided with another player and hit her head on the court. She left the game with a few minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Let’s hope she’s ok.
The other most impressive team through the season’s first few days are the Chicago Sky and the Lynx face them on Thursday evening. Tip off is at 7pm CT.
WATCH: NBA TV, FSN and WCIU.