Minnesota Lynx Preview: June 7th to 14th

There's no point in denying it: the Lynx are in trouble. Coming into this week, they are 2-5. Can they step up their game this week and turn their season around?

There's no point in denying it: the Lynx are in trouble. Coming into this week, they are 2-5. Minnesota currently has the third-worst win percentage in the WNBA. If the regular season ended today, they would not make the postseason.

The Lynx played two games this week. Both were losses and even more concerningly, neither were very close. Of course, these defeats came against the Phoenix Mercury and Los Angeles Sparks, who have been hot through the first three weeks of the season. Still, these sting for Minnesota as they head into this week on a four-game losing streak. 

In order to stay in the playoff picture, the Lynx need to kick it up a notch. They have to start playing like the title-contender they were cracked up to be, or risk dropping into the lottery for the first time since 2010.

Thursday, June 7th vs Washington Mystics

The Mystics have been working like a well-oiled machine so far this year. Already, they defeated the Lynx in their fourth game of the season. While Minnesota played solid defense against Elena Della Donne, they couldn't seem to stop the Mystics' rookies. Ariel Atkins and Myisha Hines-Allen combined for 29 points. To make matters worse, Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus, and Rebekkah Brunson all failed to score in double figures. 

In order to pick up a win, Minnesota must not only contain Della Donne but play consistently better defense. No matter what the Lynx try, they are an aging team playing against a squad that is much younger and more athletic. To make up for this gap, Minnesota needs to use their experience to make more timely switches and play smarter help defense.

If the Lynx drop this game, which is very possible, they will have lost five games in a row for the first time since 2010.

Saturday, June 9th vs Connecticut Sun

Saturday's matchup will be even tougher than Thursday's. The Sun are playing with a chip on their shoulders this year. They are off to a hot 5-1 start, defeating legitimate opponents like the  Sparks and Mystics. Although the Lynx and Sun have not yet met this season, the odds look to be heavily in Connecticut's favor. 

Connecticut's greatest weapon is their ability to score prolifically. They are averaging an impressive 94 points per game this season, which is worlds above Minnesota's average of 76.6 points per game. The Sun play at the fastest pace in the league and get off ten more field goal attempts per game than the Lynx.

A fast-paced game will undeniably favor Connecticut's younger, more athletic players. In order to have a shot, Minnesota needs to muck up the game. They must force the Sun to play at half court. This means not only getting defensive stops but also limiting turnovers that may lead to transition buckets for the Sun. 

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