History Shows Not To Panic About Mid-Season Woes

Todd Barin

Web Editorial Associate


After setting a WNBA record for the best start to a season by going 13-0, the Minnesota Lynx have hit a little bit of a rough patch.

In case you aren’t up-to-date with Minnesota’s recent play, here are the facts:

– The defending league Champions have dropped three straight games.

– So far this season, the Lynx rank second in the league in points allowed with 77. On average, their opposition has scored 92 points in the last three games.

– The WNBA average for made 3-point field-goals in a game is five. In their last three games, Minnesota has allowed an average of 10 field goals from beyond-the-arc.

– The Lynx currently are ranked second in the league in field-goal percentage, making 47 percent of their shots. Over their last three loses, they are shooting at a 42 percent rate, which would put them third to last in the league.

– In 16 games, Minnesota has caused their opposition to shoot 42.2 percent from the field, putting them at third best in the WNBA. In the past three games, the Lynx have allowed their opponent to make an average of 46.8 percent of their shots, which would rank at third-worst in the league.

“We’ve won 13 games, played at a really high level, it’s a very natural thing that the ‘slippage’ happens,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “I didn’t necessarily sense it, I didn’t feel like, ‘come on guys, we’re are winning games, but we have to fix this.’ I think a little bit of it to is not overreacting to it, we’re not made of steel, I mean we’ve had a pretty emotional six weeks, coming out of training camp and playing at such a high level. We’re human, we’re not made of steel, and I think the important thing is to make sure that you don’t make excuses, you don’t settle, and you know what you have to do to get back on track, and this group knows that.”

Fortunately for Minnesota, Championships aren’t won or lost midway through the regular season. The Lynx are still 13-3 with the second-best record in the league with four Olympians on their roster. Those are facts.

Although it may feel as if the Lynx are spiraling downhill, let’s take a quick look back on the regular seasons of the past five WNBA or NBA Champions.

– In 2012, the 20-9 Indiana Fever lost three games in-a-row, two to the Lynx, right before the playoffs were about to begin.

– In 2013, with a 17-3 record, the Lynx dropped four-out-of-five games and every fan/expert seemed to be losing their minds. Minnesota, however, didn’t lose their cool and went undefeated in the playoffs.

– In 2014, the 31-8 San Antonio Spurs lost five-out-of-seven games in late January. Shortly after that small bump in the road, they won all of their 16 games in the month of March.

– In 2015, tallying an 18-6 record, the Lynx came up short six times in their last 10 games, finishing the season at 22-12.

– In 2016, the 13-4 Cavaliers came up short in three straight games.

“For me as a coach, trying to have perspective and kind of look at through the years, I’ve learned that things happen for a reason,” Reeve said. “There are often times that you have to go through something like this because it’s going to come in handy down the road. You hope that that’s something that you can turn into a positive.”

Yes, the Lynx have lost three games in-a-row, but according to history, that’s no reason to panic.

In the words of the great Rocky Balboa, “It ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

Minnesota was just hit with a solid right hook. Now let’s see how the 3-time WNBA Champions respond.