On Friday night, the Lynx will be fighting to avoid going winless against the Sun this season and looking to keep their ability to move up in the WNBA standings alive.
Minnesota holds the No. 7 seed right now, but if they can win one more game than Phoenix (both teams have two games left) they could move up to No. 6. The Mercury play the Liberty and the Dream in their final two games and they’re unlikely to lose both.
In order to move up to No. 6 and earn home-court advantage in their single-elimination playoff game, the Lynx probably need to win out. But they shouldn’t spend too much time thinking about the big picture. The first step is defeating the Sun.
What: Lynx at Sun
When: Friday, August 17, 6 p.m. CT
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena
Watch: League Pass
Listen: Bob 106.1 FM
Pick Your Battles
While the scouting report on a few teams in the league is centered around stopping a couple key players, with the Sun that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Connecticut has the deepest roster in the league, and gets contributions from a different set of players every night. They have five different players that average double-digit scoring, and several who are capable of going off for 20+ on any given night.
The Lynx players will need to lock down their individual assignments as well as working to cut off passing lanes. Even if they can’t stop everyone, they should try to put their opponents on an island and prevent them from working together. Easier said than done, but the Sun have torched the Lynx on defense in each of their previous matchups. That has to change tonight.
The Lynx have been playing decent defense lately, but they’ll need to stay focused on their game plan and execute.
One of the Sun’s most important contributors is Jonquel Jones. Jones doesn’t start for the Sun, but she’s one of their best scorers. The third-year pro is averaging fewer points per game than she did last year, but lately she’s been on fire. Since the All-Star break she’s failed to reach double digits only once and has had four scoring outings of more than 15 points.
Jones is a 6-6 forward with a killer outside shot and a nose for rebounding. She’s exactly the type of player you’d love to put Rebekkah Brunson on, but if Brunson is unable to play (she’s still experiencing concussion symptoms), Erlana Larkins and Temi Fagbenle will need to step up and contain Jones.
Having such a good scorer off their bench gives the Sun the ability to rest their starters without fear that their offense will take a hit. The depth of Connecticut’s squad is one of the main things that makes them so dangerous. The Lynx will need to lock in.
Projected Starting Lineups
Lynx: PG – Wright, SG – Augustus, SF – Zandalasini, PF – Moore, C – Fowles
Sun: PG – Thomas, SG – Williams, SF – Stricklen, PF – Thomas, C – Ogwumike
Lynx: Danielle Robinson (ankle) is out and Rebekkah Brunson (concussion) is doubtful.
Sun: No injuries to report.