The Lynx beat up the visiting Mercury tonight, 99-79, in a win that could have been far greater if Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve hadn’t put in her bench.
Those who watched on LiveAccess – which has been good or bad, depending on whom you talk with – saw Minnesota get out to a blistering start. They shot 67 percent in the first quarter and lead 60-33 at halftime. Phoenix never got into a rhythm, while the Lynx showcased inspired play and were firing on all cylinders. If the championship game were to be played tonight, Minnesota would win it. They begin the season 2-0.
The Mercury are now 0-3, which of course has fans in a panic and calling for coach Corey Gaines’ head. But not only is it way too early for such proclamations, it’s not that simple. Take a look at the box score. Four players in double figures on each team; similar shooting percentage after the reserves went in. The lopsidedness tells the rest of the story.
The Lynx play team ball, and the Mercury don’t know how to play together yet.
Lynx 30 assists, Mercury 16 assists.
Lynx 17 offensive rebounds, Mercury four offensive rebounds.
Lynx 41 overall rebounds, Mercury 30 overall rebounds.
Minnesota has something to prove after losing in last year’s finals. Phoenix doesn’t seem to have chemistry right now, and it’s not hard to see why from their roster. Two of their stars missed most of last season, four others are newbies and two veterans are still new to the team. Then they have this big center piece whom no one is quite sure how to play with yet.
Just because you have a bunch of good ballers on a team doesn’t mean they’ll win if they have no chemistry.
Which is not to say the Mercury won’t develop some. They just don’t have a whole lot of it right now.
The Lynx play defense, and the Mercury need work on defense.
Lynx six steals, Mercury three steals.
Lynx six blocks, Mercury two blocks.
Mercury 11 turnovers, Lynx six turnovers.
Other teams are going to be out to prove something/get the Mercury.
Lynx center Janel McCarville almost broke something trying to keep Brittney Griner from dunking. When Griner clanked a dunk in the second half, fans could be heard snickering.
Media and fans picking Phoenix to win the championship because of Griner’s arrival seems to have sparked fire in some other teams. With Indiana and Los Angeles next for the Mercury, the road out of “they’re trying to get us” won’t get any easier.