Lynx vs. Sparks, 4 p.m.
ESPN2, BOB 106.1
Here we go Lynx fans! It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the 2018 season is here! We’re picking up where we left off, playing the Los Angeles Sparks at home. You probably don’t need a reminder of what happened the last time these teams met, but in case you’d like to relive the moment:
But that was last year, and now instead of chasing a title the Lynx are defending one. On Sunday night they’ll be hosting an extremely motivated Sparks team that can’t be feeling great about watching the Lynx raise their championship banner and receive their rings. But when you win championships, you get to celebrate, and though it will be a night to remember, the biggest attraction of the evening will be on the court.
Coach Cheryl Reeve isn’t too concerned about her players being able to enjoy the moment of celebrating their fourth championship, then locking in for the game.
“We’ve done it before, so we understand what it feels like. We understand how to take care of our business. We’re big on making sure they get a chance to enjoy the celebration. We’ll talk about that as well,” Reeve said. “Soak that up, get your rings, be gracious, hand your rings off, and get back locked in on the game plan. I think through the years we’ve been pretty good at that.”
The Lynx have several new members that will be seeing their first game action with the team. Notably, backup guards Danielle Robinson and Tanisha Wright and forward Lynetta Kizer. There won’t be much time for soaking up the moment; they’ll need to focus and do their jobs. Luckily, this is a group of smart, savvy veterans who have a keen understanding of what it takes to win big games. They won’t be starstruck.
When the Lynx and the Sparks play each other, the exciting matchups cross every position, but the frontcourt battle on Sunday will be particularly intriguing. While center Candace Parker will not play due to a back injury, Rebekkah Brunson, who will be entering her fifteenth season in the WNBA, and reigning MVP Sylvia Fowles will be up against another proven star in Nneka Ogwumike. Both Brunson and Ogwumike are excellent rebounders, but Brunson’s addition of a more reliable three-point shot late in her career should help her pull Ogwumike away from the basket and open up the paint for Fowles as well as the Lynx guards. Also expect the Lynx to go small for stretches and play Maya Moore at power forward to try and outrun LA’s bigs.
The Lynx are back in Target Center. If you haven’t got your tickets yet, there’s still time. If you can’t be at the game in person you’ll be able to catch it on ESPN2 or listen on BOB 106.1.
Lynx: PG—Whalen, SG—Augustus, SF—Moore, PF—Brunson, C—Fowles
Sparks: PG—Simms, SG—Gray, SF—Beard, PF—Ogwumike, C—Carson
Lynx: No injuries to report.
Sparks: Candace Parker (back) is out, Jantel Lavender and Maria Vadeeva are still overseas.