Depending on how you sliced it, the Minnesota Lynx entered the game with their postseason hopes very much alive. A two-game Lynx win streak and recent slew of Atlanta Dream and Los Angeles Sparks losses have Minnesota just 1.0 GB of the seventh and eighth seeds. Coach Cheryl Reeve’s team would have their work cut out for them though, facing the strongest strength of schedule of the remaining competitive teams.
The Wings are close to clinching a playoff spot, while teams 7-11 are separated by one game.— Jack Borman (@jrborman13) August 3, 2022
Minnesota has the most difficult remaining schedule of the six teams still in the hunt, while Atlanta has the easiest.
Clinched teams locking up seeds could impact MIN, LAS and PHX. pic.twitter.com/RLbM79HVvJ
Their first test would be the Seattle Storm, who was hosting their first home game in 10 days in front of a raucous crowd. They had already defeated their fellow four-time champions in their two meetings this season. Would things break differently for a highly motivated Lynx squad?
A blistering seven of eleven three point performance by the Storm in the first quarter contributed to an astonishing 17 fast break point mark for Seattle. It could have been theorized that the home team was riding the wave of an energetic crowd, but it was just an unfortunate sign of things to come for Minnesota. A 12-point deficit seemed mild compared to the hammering they were about to receive.
Sylvia Fowles (12 points, six rebounds, 3 stocks) would try her hardest to play competent basketball for the Lynx, but most of her team would not follow suit. The Storm lead would grow to 24 by halftime and continue expanding in the second half. It was a night to celebrate in Seattle though, as they accomplished the following:
- Briann January, in her final season, scored her 1,000 field goal made.
- Seattle basketball heroes Lauren Jackson and Isaiah Thomas were honored with standing ovations.
- Storm set a franchise-high in fast break points (27) in a single game... in the first half.
- The nightly #SCTop10 should be filled with Storm plays, including behind-the-back passes and alley-oops.
- Breanna Stewart scored a season-high 33 points.
That is just a quick highlight of things Seattle accomplished tonight. The Lynx were never truly in the game and never posed a threat. Coach Reeve screamed at her team from the bench all night as she watched them blow rotation after rotation. The final 50.0% field goal percentage of the Storm was just as indicative of Minnesota’s defensive effort as it was Seattle’s shot making. The final score is not an accurate representation of the throttling that took place in downtown Seattle as the only “moral victory” was the fact that Seattle coach Noelle Quinn had to reinsert her starters with a little over seven minutes in the game. It was pretty much garbage time through and through, as a late Minnesota Nikolina Milić (13 points) surge was never enough to truly threaten.
It was surely a disappointing night for Lynx fans. Though they still have a
reasonable shot at making the playoffs, this loss was a demonstration of just how far away they are from even thinking of contending. With Fowles riding into the sunset, what is the future of the Minnesota basketball?
A daunting question.
The Lynx return home after their three-game road trip and have three days off to think about this embarrassing defeat. They have a critical match against the ninth place Atlanta Dream on Sunday, 8/7 @ 6:00pm CT.