Web Editorial Associate
Clinch a playoff spot in July?
The Minnesota Lynx can say they have checked that goal off their list.
Minnesota beat the Seattle Storm 93-82 on Sunday night in St. Paul, clinching a spot in the 2017 WNBA Playoffs. They are the first team in the WNBA this season to secure their spot in the postseason.
In the month of July.
Guys, the playoffs don’t even start until September.
It’s the second straight season and the third time in the last four years that the Lynx have clinched a playoff berth in the month of July. Minnesota clinched a spot in the postseason on July 24 in 2014 and on July 20 in 2016.
If you’ve watched the Lynx at all this season, which you absolutely should be, you’ve realized just how dominant they have been in 2017.
Minnesota is leading the league with a 19-2 record and have won six straight games heading into Thursday’s game against the Atlanta Dream in St. Paul.
And now they can officially say they are a playoff team once again.
But as any Lynx player or coach will tell you, the regular season is far from over and they have their eyes set on much more than a playoff berth.
“It was like, ‘yeah, OK’. . . We still have games to play. We aren’t worried about that,” Sylvia Fowles said. “That’s what makes us us and that’s what makes us good, because everybody is humble and we aren’t losing sight of just clinching playoffs.”
Clinching a playoff spot in July is impressive, a word that could be used to sum up Minnesota’s season thus far.
But for the Lynx, clinching a spot in the playoffs is just the beginning of what they hope is a long playoff journey ending in a third straight trip to the WNBA Finals.
“This team doesn’t want to rest, they want to win games,”Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We have not reached our goal. Just making the playoffs is not the goal, that’s what it used to be. That’s an expectation. I did say in the room (after Sunday’s game), welcome to the 2017 Playoffs and there wasn’t a reaction, they were like ‘and?’ But at the same time, we should have appreciation for how early we did this.
“We have goals that are much bigger than just making the playoffs.”