In the realm of theoretical physics, there exists the concept of perpetual motion, a form of motion that carries on ad infinitum without the need to continuously input energy into the system. A theoretical machine that runs on this theoretical form of motion would be infinitely efficient and, thus, infinitely powerful and effective.
The issue, however, is that perpetual motion is impossible as in any system it would violate either of Newton’s first two laws of motion. Well, apparently, Sylvia Fowles doesn’t give a damn about this Newton guy and his laws.
Fowles needed only 24 minutes Friday evening to post a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double en route to lifting the Minnesota Lynx past the Indiana Fever, 92-73.
Despite playing in her 13th season in the WNBA and being one of the most long-in-the-tooth players in the league at age 35, Fowles has displayed virtually no signs of slowing down. The four-time All-Star and former MVP is perpetual motion made manifest, an exception to the otherwise unyielding rules of physics and the cosmos.
“Geritol,” Lynx coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve said after the game of what has kept her center running so well to this point. “That’s the only thing that I can think of … That’s the only thing I can come up with because otherwise, she’s superhuman.” (Fowles vehemently denied this allegation.)
Fowles response, emphatically: "That's a lie! Did Cheryl really do me like that?!" https://t.co/T7O5eEyRHo— Lucas Seehafer (@seehafer_) September 18, 2021
The Lynx are the beneficiaries of Fowles’ inability to play by the natural laws that govern our existence and will look to ride her Hall of Fame-bound coattails to their first WNBA title since way back in 2017. Whether or not they will remains to be seen, however, arguably no other team in the WNBA possesses as solid a rock as Fowles to anchor their roster.
No matter the matchup, Fowles’ presence will be an advantage for the Lynx.
Crystal puts the ‘Danger’ in Dangerfield
However, Fowles wasn’t the only Lynx player to excel against the Fever. Crystal Dangerfield, the 2020 WNBA Rookie of the Year, put together one of her strongest performances of an otherwise somewhat disappointing sophomore campaign.
Dangerfield’s season has been up and down, no doubt influenced by not only adjusting to a new role off the bench but also the WNBA’s awareness of how dangerous she can be when she’s playing well. Neither factor mattered on Friday evening, though, as the diminutive guard contributed 15 points (3-for-5 from deep) and three assists in 29 minutes as the starting point guard.
Got the W and the first-round bye.— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) September 18, 2021
Syl - 21 pts. / 10 reb. / 2 stl.
Phee - 17 pts. / 7. reb. / 3 ast.
Crystal - 15 pts. / 3 ast. / 2 reb. pic.twitter.com/1zzLPUhIgD
“I just think Crystal, overall, her body language since we got back from the hiatus was one of confidence and wanting to find ways to be a part of what we’re doing and give us a punch off the bench,” Reeve said. “I think her mindset has been correct … You were part of the Big 3 last year, you’re not part of the Big 3 anymore because we have things we’re trying to do, big places we’re trying to go and so now we’ve got to tweak [her role]. Well, for her, it wasn’t great in the beginning. Just kind of climbing and navigating all of that. She’s gotten into a mature place where she understands how to help the team and not focus on minutes or anything else. I think she’s handled it well.”
Dangerfield’s role during the upcoming playoffs will largely depend on both Layshia Clarendon’s health as well as opposing matchups, but her strong play down the stretch can only be seen as a positive for the Lynx, fans, and Dangerfield herself.
Fever Down to Six
Indiana entered Friday’s game with seven active players on their roster. They were further cut down to six after Aaliyah Wilson exited with a knee injury.
The Fever are not a good team — they’ve clinched ownership of the number one overall pick for the 2022 draft — and having another player or two active on Friday likely wouldn’t have changed the final result of the game. However, to have a professional team only able to field six players in a sport that requires five has to be considered a bit of a black eye for the WNBA.
Injuries are an inevitable part of sport and, in most cases, cannot be prevented despite advances in nutrition, rehabilitation and prevention science, and a better understanding of the impacts of fatigue on health. The league should not put their teams in such a precarious position; it’s pretty clear, in my opinion, that roster sizes should be expanded moving forward.
The Lynx conclude their regular season on Sunday when they face off against the Washington Mystics in the nation’s capital. Tip is set for 2 p.m. CT.