July 13, 2020
The 2020 WNBA season is ready to be essentially the most distinctive within the league’s 24-year historical past. Teams have arrived on the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL to start coaching camp for a 22-game season with all video games performed at a single web site with out followers as a result of coronavirus pandemic. The bubble is ready and the season is ready to tip off on July 25. In the lead as much as the season, WNBA.com will break down every staff within the league, starting with the Minnesota Lynx.
2019 Season Recap
- 18-16, 4th in West, seventh in League
- Eliminated in first spherical of playoffs by Seattle
- Draft: No. 6 Mikiah Herbert Harrigan F; No. 16 Crystal Dangerfield G; No. 26 Erica Ogwumike (through commerce with New York for Stephanie Talbot), who has been waived
- Players Added: Acquired Shenise Johnson (from Indiana) and Rachel Bahnam (from Connecticut) through trades for 2020 and 2021 draft picks; Signed free brokers Megan Huff and Kayla Alexander; Re-signed free agent Bridget Carleton
- Players Lost: Seimone Augustus signed as a free agent with Los Angeles; Danielle Robinson signed as a free agent with Las Vegas; Odyssey Sims is out for the season following childbirth; Jessica Shepard and Cecilia Zandalasini have chosen to not play in 2020 for private causes
Who’s at IMG Academy
Between free company, trades, the draft and gamers selecting to not take part within the season as a result of well being issues, the groups that take the courtroom in 2020 could look rather a lot totally different than they did in 2019. Here’s a have a look at a number of the key gamers that can characterize the Lynx in 2020.
- 2019 Stats: 34 GP, 13.6 PPG, eight.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.four BPG, zero.9 SPG, 58.eight FG%, 14 DD2
- Fowles posted her lowest scoring common in six seasons in 2019, however nonetheless completed within the prime 10 in each rebounds (threerd) and blocks (T-7th). The Lynx will want the 2017 league and Finals MVP at prime kind this season to make one other playoff run.
- 2019 Stats: 34 GP, 33.three MPG, 13.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.9 SPG, zero.9 BPG, 49.zero FG%, 36.1 3P%
- The reigning Rookie of the Year led the WNBA in minutes performed and completed fourth within the league in steals, 15th in each rebounds and blocks, and 10th in effectivity score.
- 2019 Stats: 33 GP, 18.three MPG, 7.6 PPG, 1.four RPG, 1.four APG, zero.9 SPG, 1.6 3PG, 38.5 3P%
- Brown was a key bench participant in her first season with the Lynx in 2019 after spending her rookie season getting only a few minutes on a deep Sun squad. In Minnesota, she was a set off the bench due to her three-level taking pictures as she ranked 9th within the league in taking pictures share from behind the arc.
- 2019 Stats: 6 GP, 12.zero MPG, 2.7 PPG, zero.eight RPG, 1.zero APG, zero.eight SPG
- Christmas-Kelly’s debut season with the Lynx was reduce quick due a season-ending knee damage. She has performed simply 12 complete video games over the previous two seasons, so evidently the veteran wing is raring to get the 2020 season began.
- 2019 Stats (Indiana): 17 GP, 12.9 MPG, four.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.1 APG, zero.7 SPG
- After struggling a torn ACL in her left knee halfway by way of the 2017 season, Johnson missed all of 2018 and returned in 2019 for Indiana. Midway by way of the season, she felt ache in that very same knee and was pressured to have one other season-ending surgical procedure to restore cartilage harm. The expertise and drive are usually not in query with Johnson, however the well being of her knee is.
- 2019 Stats (Connecticut): 29 GP, 12.2 MPG, three.6 PPG, 1.zero RPG, zero.9 APG, zero.eight 3PG, 30.6 3P%
- In 4 seasons with the Sun, Banham by no means averaged greater than 12 minutes per recreation. The sharpshooter has a profession three-level share of 36.four%, together with a 41.four% mark in 2018.
1. Can the Lynx push their playoff streak to double digits?
There are two groups in WNBA historical past which have made the playoffs for at the very least 10 straight years (*energetic streak):
- Fever: 12 straight seasons (2005-2016), 1 title, 2 Finals appearances
- Storm: 10 straight seasons (2004-2013), 2 titles, 2 Finals appearances
- *Lynx: 9 straight seasons (2011-2019), four titles, 6 Finals appearances
- *Sparks: eight straight seasons (2012-2019), 1 title, 2 Finals appearances
- Sparks: eight straight seasons (1999-2006), 2 titles, three Finals appearances
- *Phoenix Mercury: 7 straight seasons (2013-2019): 1 title, 1 Finals look
- Detroit Shock: 7 straight seasons (2003-2009), three titles, four Finals appearances
- Houston Comets: 7 straight seasons (1997-2003), four titles, four Finals appearances
The Lynx have an opportunity to affix that choose group if they will end within the prime eight for a 10th consecutive season. Fowles is the final lady standing from the core of the Lynx dynasty; Lindsay Whalen is a head coach at University of Minnesota, Maya Moore is doing unbelievable work targeted on social justice, and Seimone Augustus (the face of the franchise since being drafted first total in 2006) is now a member of Minnesota’s prime rival from the previous 5 years – the L.A. Sparks.
Fowles has proven prior to now that she will carry a heavy load, however is she able to do it once more in her 13th WNBA season? The Lynx additionally nonetheless have Cheryl Reeve on the helm; the 2-time WNBA Coach of the Year owns the very best win share of any coach in WNBA historical past (231-109, zero.679) and a knack for pushing the fitting buttons to get essentially the most out of her groups.
2. Can Collier make a leap in season two?
Napheesa Collier made a right away influence for the Lynx final season and held off a charging Arike Ogunbowale within the race for Rookie of the Year. While Ogunbowale was the superior scorer, Collier shined together with her excellent all-round play.
Collier averaged 13.1 factors, 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.91 steals and zero.94 blocked photographs whereas beginning all 34 common-season video games and logging a WNBA-high 33.three minutes per recreation. She shot 49.zero p.c from the sphere, 36.1 p.c from three-level vary and 79.2 p.c from the free throw line.
Among WNBA rookies, Collier ranked second in scoring, rebounding, blocks and discipline objective share and completed third in assists and three-level discipline objective share. She led rookies in steals and ranked fourth in that class amongst all WNBA gamers.
As spectacular as her WNBA debut season was, Reeve and the Lynx should ask extra of Collier in 2020. In addition to commanding additional consideration on the courtroom, Collier has additionally been chosen as a staff captain and might want to step up as a staff chief regardless of her youth.
three. Which of the newcomers will emerge rapidly?
This offseason noticed a ton of participant motion throughout all the WNBA, which implies most groups will look to include new faces when the season ideas off later this month. With solely 22 video games to work with, this can be an all-out dash to the Playoffs, so the groups that may combine these new faces and set up chemistry rapidly can be at a big benefit.
The Lynx have a pair of rookies in Crystal Dangerfield and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan that ought to get loads of alternatives to point out what they will do as they transition to the professional stage.
Dangerfield was projected as a prime 10 decide, however was nonetheless on the board when the Lynx got here up with the No. 16 decide. She joins her former UConn teammate in Collier and the 2 ought to see loads of time collectively as Dangerfield fills a necessity for guard depth.
The Lynx struck gold with the No. 6 decide final season with Collier, did they do the identical in 2020 with Herbert Harrigan? The 6-2 ahead presents a robust mixture of size, athleticism and power that would assist her make an on the spot influence taking part in subsequent to Fowles.
In addition to grooming a pair of rookies, the Lynx additionally acquired a pair of veterans in Shenise Johnson and Rachel Banham to assist fill the gaps left by departing gamers reminiscent of Augustus and Danielle Robinson and gamers that can miss the season like Sims, Shepard and Zandalasini.