Before the Lynx face the Sparks on Tuesday night, we’re going position by position and taking a look at the matchups that will define the first-round playoff contest. Next up, two guards who can light it up on any given night…
They might not be playing the same position as much anymore, but the battle between Seimone Augustus and Chelsea Gray still has the potential to be one of the defining matchups of the Lynx and Sparks’ playoff battle on Tuesday.
With the Sparks’ decision earlier in the season to bring Odyssey Sims off the bench, Gray has been the starting point guard for L.A. for much of the season. Augustus, on the other hand, has continued to play shooting guard for the Lynx, but has spent a little time at the three when the Lynx go small.
All this is to say that sometimes the most important matchups in a game aren’t between players who literally go head to head on the court.
The big key for the Lynx has always been getting good production outside of Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore. Augustus is a key part of that equation. Her shooting opens up the floor for the Lynx’s frontcourt and her ability to get her own shot is critical when the Lynx need buckets.
Gray plays a similar role for the Sparks; she’s one of the best three-point shooters on the team, and she’s blossomed as a distributor, averaging a career-high 5.1 assists per game this season
Both Gray and Augustus fill the key role of being their team’s third scorer. While Gray, at an earlier point in her career than Augustus, averaged more points per game in 2018, Augustus has the experience and savvy to put up numbers at the drop of a dime. Gray is in just her second year as a starter, and while she has a lot of playoff experience under her belt, it’s nothing compared to Augustus, who will be playing in her eighth playoffs this year.
Neither Gray or Augustus is afraid to take shots and they’re not afraid of each other either. Fowles, Maya Moore, Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike may attract the most attention, but the battle between the Augustus and Gray may end up being the deciding one. The Lynx and Sparks’ leading scorers are going to get theirs, the biggest question now is who else will step up.
Read the rest of the series:
Lindsay Whalen vs. Odyssey Sims
Sylvia Fowles vs. Candace Parker
Cecilia Zandalasini/Rebekkah Brunson vs. Nneka Ogwumike