The Minnesota Lynx begin their 2020 postseason quest in a single-elimination game versus Diana Taurasi (now 7-0 in this format) and the Phoenix Mercury later today. You can catch it on ESPN2 at 6:00 p.m. CT. Support women's sports!
The Lynx Signature Series
- Who this is for: Long-time Lynx fans. Aspiring Lynx fans. Anyone who’s a fan of the game of balls and baskets.
- What this is: A highlight reel of Top 10’s (#SCTop10) from this year’s Minnesota Lynx squad. I’ve determined these rankings as the committee of one.
- Why did you do this: As mentioned above, one barrier for me in getting more invested in watching the W was unfamiliarity of players. Hopefully you will use this to help you build your familiarity with the team as I detail some of our best moments!
Honorable mention: Damiris Dantas Entry
If you’ve had a chance to catch any games this season, you’ve probably seen at least a handful of these high-low passes from a number of players. Dangerfield to Collier. Banham to Fowles. And literally Damiris Dantas to anyone. In my first season watching every single minute of Lynx basketball, I was constantly in a state of euphoria as I discovered entry passes are possible (*cough* JFT *cough*). This is a staple of the offense and I just had to throw one of these on the list.
#10: MOE$ through the wickets?
I’ve watched this pass zoomed in, slowed down, and upside down 100 times and I still don’t know if Shenise “MOE$” Johnson five-holed Cheyenne Parker. Look it over and you tell me.
#9: Dangerfield pocket pass
It took these two former UConn teammates no time to build chemistry, as evidenced by this slick pocket pass from (soon to be) Rookie of the Year, Crystal Dangerfield, to last year’s Rookie of the Year, Napheesa Collier.
#8: Banham lob to Dantas
The resident Minnesota native, Rachel Banham, is so creative on the fly and will appear many more times on this list. The fifth year vet is always painting on the canvas that is the hardwood floor. Check out the quick thinking, and surgical precision, by Banham off the broken play.
#7: Brown in transition
Formerly known as just a 3-point specialist, Lexie Brown has surprised the masses with not just her improved defense, but her playmaking abilities. She recognizes her teammate sprinting in transition and rewards her with a laser of a pocket pass, right as she crosses the half court line.
#6: Dangerfield delayed pocket
If you read the first edition of this series, you’ll see just how talented Crystal Dangerfield is at creating offense for herself. Now with her second appearance on this list, Crystal shows off how intelligent she is with the ball in her hands. She forces Candace Parker onto her by brushing the paint, smartly keeps her dribble alive, and rockets a pocket pass to Erica McCall, who has a helpless Brittney Sykes on her back, for an easy bucket.
#5: Banham draw and kick
This pass snuck into the bottom half of the list because it reminds me of one of my favorite plays of all-time. Yes, you know I wasn’t going to go a full article without mentioning the great Ricky Rubio. Rachel Banham read the defense like she was spending time in a library.
#4: Brown wrap around
Just watch this play and tell me what shaggy haired point guard from El Masnou it reminds you of. Lexie Brown knew the way straight to my heart with this beautiful looping pass to Damiris Dantas. This was actually just one example of the many times she’s served up beautiful dishes like this all season.
#3: Banham no-look
Rachel Banham may not be the most athletic or physically imposing guard in the W, but she single-handedly slices and dices 3 defenders up like she was playing fruit ninja. Ariel Atkins (2019 All-Defensive 2nd Teamer) gets washed in the spin cycle, Emma Meesseman (2019 Finals MVP) gets crossed up, and then Myisha Hines-Allen (current heartbeat of the team) gets duped as she drops the no-looker to Big Syl. *Chefs kiss*
#2: Lexie does it all
As mentioned just a couple plays earlier on this list, Lexie Brown has really impressed with her defense this year. She was second in steals this season and starts this sequence off by deflecting the pass of New York Liberty’s star rookie, Jazmine Jones (yeah I said it!). Then Banham hits the floor to wrestle the loose ball away and taps a gorgeous 1-handed pass (bonus assist) back to Brown. Lexie finishes it off by shedding the transition defender before showing everyone the definition of “throwing your teammate open.” Look that phrase up in a sports dictionary and this is the entry you’ll see.
#1: Banham serves Dangerfield on the post route
This play is awesome for two different reasons.
First: the obvious pass. Rachel Banham gathers the defensive rebound and immediately pushes the ball up the court. After taking a snapshot of everyone on the court, she fires an absolute dart of a bounce pass through two defenders right on the money from half-court.
Second: the receiver. A great point guard knows their personnel and more importantly knows how to help them shine brighter. Banham is certain that Crystal Dangerfield is the fastest person on the court. Watch as the play unfolds; Dangerfield outruns 3, THREE, defenders starting from her own free throw line.
Let me know below if you think the pass or the route was more impressive!
On the next Lynx Signature Series: Top 10 Defensive Plays