The Minnesota Lynx won their pre-season opener against the Washington Mystics. Here are three takeaways from the game.
The Minnesota Lynx have had a tumultuous offseason with the retirement of Lindsay Whalen, the ongoing concussion issues with Rebekkah Brunson and the sit out by Maya Moore. While coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve did everything she could to make 2019 a positive season, it did not look too positive for the four-time champions.
It would have been a relief for the basketball to start. With only two starters from last season, this was always going to be a bit of an experiment. Here are the three takeaways from the first game.
Sylvia Fowles is still very good.
The 2017 WNBA MVP is still a very good player. In just 23 minutes she had a double double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. She shot the ball at an incredibly efficient clip of 69.2 percent (9 of 13). It must be noted that Fowles was matched up against Emma Meesseman but she was still able to take advantage of it/
This upcoming season Fowles is going to be the most important member of the Lynx squad. To see her start the season so well must be heartening to the legion of Lynx fans hoping for a positive season.
Odyssey Sims is quality
Coming off the bench, Odyssey Sims had a game high 20 points in 29 minutes, another game high. Her shooting was quality, going 7-of-11 from the field, trailing only Fowles for shooting percentage.Sims also got to the line for seven free throw attempts, nailing six of them.
On top of that, Sims had five rebounds and seven assists, which was another game high. Sims had a hand in 14 of the 33 made field goals for the Lynx team. This is a solid number for her first outing with her new team. Given her ability, the starting job may belong to Sims before the season commences.
The Lynx need to be better from deep
It has been a focus for a couple of seasons for the Lynx that they improve their shooting from beyond the arc. Unfortunately this was not displayed in this game. The entire Lynx team went 1-of-14 from 3-point land. The poor shooting was spread across the majority of the team.
The sole exception was Karima Christmas-Kelly who made her one attempt from deep. Danielle Robinson and Jessica Shephard were unable to connect only any of their three attempts. Odyssey Sims, Napheesa Collier and Lexie Brown all took two attempts, all were unsuccessful. Shao Ting had one try from deep which also missed.
This number will probably not be this bad again but if the Lynx are going to have a shot at finals, they need the percentage from deep to be near 35 percent, not the seven percent from this game.