Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lynx Need Augustus, Wiggins and Brunson in the Worst Way

It took the Washington Mystics a good long while to get un-tracked tonight at the Target Center, but once they did the Minnesota Lynx were no match for them. The Lynx led 33-18 at the 8:20 mark of the 2nd quarter as Lindsay Whalen had already scored 10 points. But over the next 2-and-a-half quarters, Washington hammered Minnesota 63-30 for their largest lead of the night at 81-63. The final was 87-76.

The Lynx made 16 of their first 28 shots (57 percent). But from there the Lynx made just 12-of-42 (29 percent) the rest of the way, and Whalen scored just 2 points in the final 25 minutes of play.

Monique Currie led Washington with 27 points, while Crystal Langhorne added 16 and 9 boards. In the battle of the Lindsays, current Lynx point guard Whalen got just slightly the better of former Lynx point guard Harding, who had 14 points, 4 assists and 3 turnovers. Whalen had 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals to go with her 12 points.

From 33-18, the Lynx still led by 10, 39-29, at the 5:00 of the 1st half. But by half-time the momentum was swinging to Washington, who closed the half on a 20-9 run to get within 43-38. Currie already had 18 points.

The Mystics came out red-hot in the 3rd period, however, scoring the 1st 8 points for their 1st lead of the night at 46-43. Rashanda McCants scored the next 5 points for a 48-46 Lynx lead, but Washington scored 8 of the next 10 to take the lead for good. Minnesota's last lead was at 50-48, but Currie hit a put-back and then Katie Smith hit a pair of 3s for a 56-50 Mystics lead. Minnesota stayed within about 6-8 points the rest of the quarter, but then Washington opened the 4th with another run, 18-7, to put the game away.

The possession game was pretty even as the Mystics got 2 more offensive rebounds than the Lynx (11-9) and the turnovers were 17-17. But Washington shot about 50 percent (30-for-61) and got to the FT line 29 times to the Lynx' 15. Overall, the Lynx shot 41 percent but only 20 percent (4-for-20) from beyond the arc. Minnesota looks like an all-time great FT shooting team, however, making 14-of-15 after a 15-for-17 performance at Tulsa on Saturday night.

Charde Houston and Rashanda McCants continued to be the Lynx' big offensive threats with 19 and 18 points, respectively. Houston was the Lynx' co-leader in rebounds, too, with 4, but then all 5 of the Lynx starters had 4 rebounds each. Whalen led all players with those 7 assists and 4 steals, but Nicky Anosike led all players with 5 turnovers.

Monica Wright continued to look like a rookie, scoring 5 points though her turnovers were much reduced after having 7 against Tulsa. And other than McCants, the Lynx' bench right now is virtually non-existent. Nuria Martinez in particular continues to be completely over-matched as the back-up point guard.

The Lynx are now 1-1 after the 1st 2 games of the Lindsay Whalen era. With the roster the Lynx have right now, .500 might even be on the high side. They need Seimone Augustus back in the worst way, as if you didn't know that. Rebekah Brunson and Candice Wiggins wouldn't hurt, either. Hopefully they're not going to be in too deep of a hole in the standings by the time the 3 of them return.

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