The Minnesota Lynx are well rested and ready to put last season’s defeat behind them by winning a WNBA Championship in 2017.
Record last season: 28-6
Western Conference champions, lost in WNBA Finals to the Los Angeles Sparks
Projected Starters/ Potential Subs:
Lindsay Whalen /Alexis Jones
Maya Moore/ Jia Perkins
Seimone Augustus/ Renee Montgomery
Rebekkah Brunson/ Natasha Howard/Plenette Pierson
Sylvia Fowles/ Chantel Osahor
As the saying goes, history repeats itself. Well if that is to be the case, this is the year for another WNBA championship for the Minnesota Lynx. The three-time title winners seem to have set a trend, winning the franchises’ first in 2011, again in 2013, and again in 2015. If we’re talking numbers and trends here, 2017 seems to fit right in their history books. In fact, the Lynx have made five appearances in the WNBA Finals spanning over the last six years.
Whatever odds (literally and figuratively) the Lynx might have going for them from a numbers standpoint, they have that triple in size when you look at their roster. Minnesota returns the entire core from their team last year, a roster that got beat in a gut-wrenching Game 5 WNBA Finals loss to the Los Angeles Sparks. Although guard Anna Cruz and center Janel McCarville played a big part in the Lynx’s success this past season, their loss actually might not be felt that much, if at all.
I collaborated with eleven year Minnesota Lynx Season Ticket Holder, Ben Wagner (@mntwins020733), with thoughts on the offseason and upcoming future for the Lynx franchise. One thing is for sure; Minnesota is still destined for greatness.
Minnesota brings back a very well rested team, with only one projected starter, Sylvia Fowles, playing a full season of basketball overseas in the WNBA offseason. Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, and Seimone Augustus all took this offseason to rest and recover. Rebekkah Brunson also notably only played overseas for two months. Now, one thing that comes with such a star-studded roster is troubles keeping the salary under cap. Coach Cheryl Reeve will carry 11 players instead of the max of 12 due to cap issues again this year. Ben and I don’t even blink at this to be a possible problem.
The Lynx also signed free agent Plenette Pierson, a two-time WNBA Champion with the Detriot Shock, 2015 All-Star, and 2007 Sixth Woman of the Year. Peirson, known as ‘The Enforcer’, brings immense aggressiveness to an already in-your-face defense and has recently expanded her three-point game to add to her solid play in the paint.
Minnesota also picked up highly touted Baylor guard, Alexis Jones, at 11th overall in this years WNBA Draft. Jones deepens the bench significantly, especially with her above average three-point shooting. The Lynx also gained draft rights to Chantel Osahor on draft night by trading Keisha Hampton to the Chicago Sky. Osahor brings an interesting talent to Minnesota, or as Ben puts it, “the flatfooted, sweet-dishing rebound machine could add a nice piece for the Lynx.” I like his wording better! Osahor will be fighting for what our opinion would be the ‘last’ roster spot on the star-studded Lynx line-up. British National Temi Fagbenle, the Lynx 2016 third round draft pick who sat out the season last year to finish her education at the University of Southern California, will be vying for that roster spot as well.
More WNBA: Los Angeles Sparks 2017 Season Preview
With all this being said, 2017 might very well be Minnesota’s championship to lose. The ‘Big 3’ are rested, the bench is 11 deep, and the #LosLynx fans are itching for redemption. Ben thinks Minnesota wins at least 26 games this year and I say at least 28. Anything less than a Finals appearance will be a huge failure, and a loss again in the Finals would be an even bigger blow. For now, we just can’t wait to get this season started and watch these women produce greatness, game after game after game.