Scouting Report | Lynx at Liberty

The Game

The Lynx are looking to get back in the win column by picking up a road win in a single-game trip out East to take on the Liberty.

The Liberty’s entire game plan revolves around one of the best forwards to ever play the game—Tina Charles. Charles is averaging 23.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Outside of her, the Liberty don’t have many weapons, but Kia Nurse and rookie Asia Durr have both been playing well to start the season.

The Lynx are 4-2 going into the contest and just dropped a close one to the Sparks at home on Saturday. It’s always hard to get a victory on the road but this is a game the Lynx should win. The Liberty are 1-4 on the season and though they’re hungry they don’t have the depth of talent that the Lynx do. While they average 80.6 points per game as a team, New York has one of the worst defenses in the league. Playing the Liberty could be a good opportunity for the Lynx to work out some of the kinks in their offense provided they can keep the defense up.

Stopping Charles will be key, and the Lynx will probably throw both Damiris Dantas and Sylvia Fowles at her at different times. Cutting her off from passes will also be important—Charles can’t hurt you if she doesn’t have the ball.

For an early-season single-game road trip, there’s actually a decent amount of intrigue surrounding this game as the Lynx looks to make several adjustments to set themselves up for success going forward. 

What: Lynx at Liberty
When:  6:00 p.m.
Where: Westchester County Center
Watch: League Pass

Adjusting To Injury 

The Lynx lost Jessica Shepard for the season on Saturday to a torn ACL—a big blow to their depth and rebounding off the bench. Now they’ll turn to Napheesa Collier, who has emerged as a great option at the three spot, to fill in that backup power forward role.

It will be a transition for Collier, who will move from having to handle the speed and quickness of small forwards to the strength of power forwards. However, the trust that head coach Cheryl Reeve has shown in the rookie is a testament to Collier’s work ethic and intelligence. She’ll be prepared for the switch, and she will give the Lynx a different look at the post spot as well. There’s a good chance that most of the Lynx’s bench units will have legit shooters at four positions and that’s an exciting thing.

A New Offense

On Monday, Reeve said that the Lynx were done turning the ball over. That certainly would be nice. One thing Lynx fans should watch for is a change in how the team is getting the ball inside to Fowles. A lot of the lob passes that the Lynx have been throwing are being picked off or deflected—that simply must change.

The Lynx made some serious changes to their offense during practice on Monday and are prioritizing shooting shots over throwing contested passes—it seems obvious but sometimes the search for the perfect shot can lead you to pass up on perfectly good ones.

Injury Report:

Lynx: Seimone Augustus (knee) and Jessica Shepard (ACL) are out.
Liberty: Asia Durr (illness) is questionable and Kiah Stokes (personal) is out.

Probably Starters:

Lynx: PG—Robinson, SG—Sims, SF—Christmas-Kelly, PF—Dantas, C—Fowles
Liberty: PG—Boyd, SG—Nurse, SF—Hartley, PF—Charles, C—Zahui B