Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lynx Unbeatable So Far with L.A. Sparks Coming to Town Thursday

The Lynx are at it again. They've started the 2012 season right were they left off in 2011, with 2 more wins--no, make that, easy wins. The Phoenix Mercury were the 1st victim in a 105-83 route. I should say that defending WNBA scoring leader Diana Taurasi was out the other night (and will remain out for awhile), sob eating the Mercury was probably never in doubt.

Then it was the New York Liberty, that is to say the "winless New York Liberty," as the WNBA's game report says. Again, it was pretty easy at 80-62.

So while the Lynx haven't yet been tested, you could say that they've won with a couple of different styles of play. Uptempo (86 possessions) vs. Phoenix, not so much (70 possessions) vs. NYC. What is a little surprising is that the Lynx have not been winning the possession game so far with 156 in 2 games to their opponents 164. The Lynx have 20 offensive boards, the other guys have 25. And the Lynx have 29 turnovers, same as the opposition.

But what the Lynx have by way of advantage, they have in spades, and that is the simply ability to put the ball in the hole. And I don't mean from 3-point range where the Lynx are 7-of-18 while Phoenix and NY have made 17 shots.

I mean from good old-fashioned 2-point range. The Lynx have made a phenomenal 69-of-121 2-pointers for 57 percent. They have outscored the other guy with 69 2-pointers to just 38 (38-for-102 or 37 percent).

Seimone Augustus tied for the WNBA's pre-season MVP in the coach's poll, and has come out accordingly. I mean, she is smokin' with 41 points and 10 boards in the 2 games. May Moore has 28 points, 9 boards and 11 assists. Rebekah Brunson 26 points, 17 boards and 5 blocks. Monica Wright has added 23 points off the bench. Lindsay Whalen and Taj have k17 and 15 points, and Taj has added 15 boards and 7 assists. Candace Wiggins has 14 points off the bench.

No wonder 10 of 12 WNBA coaches picked the Lynx to repeat as WNBA champion.

So, will Thursday night's contest against the L.A. Sparks be a better test for our local juggernaut? The Sparks feature another (along with Seimone) of the WNBA's top performers in Candace Parker, who scored 21 points with 10 boards and 4 assists in the Sparks' opener last night. And guards Alana Beard and Kristi Tolliver are a seasoned duo who scored 31 points with 12 boards, 6 assists and 3 steals between them last night. And L.A. easily won the possession game against the declining Seattle Storm, and will give the Lynx a battle on that score.

But L.A. shot just 28-for-64 last night and just 20-for-44 (45 percent) on 2s. The Lynx should be able to show L.A. a thing or two about the good old-fashioned 2-point game. Moore and Brunson match up especially well against the Sparks' forwards and may be poised for big games.

So, no. Tested? The Lynx will have to be tested another night. I will be there Thursday and will let you know what I see.

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