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Hoops Happening: Today in women’s basketball (and beyond) — Wednesday May 30, 2018

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Are the Minnesota Lynx on track to becoming toothless kittens? The Atlanta Dream get a monster win over the reigning champs. PLUS, game results from all of yesterday’s matchups, Players of the Week and other stuff.

Atlanta Dream

The Dream got past the reigning WNBA champions in Atlanta last night, courtesy of a game-winning three-pointer from Angel McCoughtry. To get to that culminating shot, however, the Dream kept it close all game with strong defensive execution that prevented the Lynx from ever getting ahead by more than four points.

Atlanta also finished strong, besting Minnesota in the fourth quarter 26-18.

McCoughtry finished with 18 points, but Tiffany Hayes was the game-high scorer for the Dream with 20. Renee Montgomery contributed a healthy 10 points and 5 assists to the win, while Jessica Breland and Elizabeth Williams each went for 8 points and 7 rebounds.

Final score: 76-74

A case of the toothless kittens?

Julian Andrews outlined in exhaustive detail why the Lynx (and, by default, Lynx fans) should not panic despite the team’s slow start. Andrews makes a lot of insightful points, and it is true that many dominant teams overcome slow starts to a season and go on to win the championship. However, despite Andrews’ quelling of panic in Lynx Nation, there are some real concerns surrounding this team that cannot be ignored.

The Minnesota Lynx have won only two of their five games in the 2018 WNBA season and have fallen to eighth in the standings. Minnesota is ahead of only the winless Indiana Fever and Las Vegas Aces and the New York Liberty, who got their first win of the season last night in a comeback victory over the Dallas Wings (with whom the Lynx are tied at 2-3 in the standings).

As explained in a preview before the start of the season, a major obstacle for the Lynx would be their own success (because of the many commitments that come with it). Against the Atlanta Dream last night, Minnesota players — especially in the second half — looked fatigued, flat-footed and slow. So, the question bears repeating (with an additional obstacle thrown in for good measure):

Will last year’s long WNBA season, Maya Moore’s long overseas season/late arrival to the team, Team USA participation by Sylvia Fowles and Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen’s moonlighting, and the bad karma the team picked up in their first game of the season spell the end of this incarnation of a winning Lynx team?

Another question: Shaq is known for saying that no one wins against Father Time. Is age becoming a factor for this Lynx team more quickly than anyone expected, especially considering the strong play from women in their first and second years in the league, with stellar newbies arriving every season?

Granted, it is hard to imagine a scenario in which the Lynx do not make the playoffs. But, at this early stage of the season, other teams are showing their ability to compete against Minnesota — just as the Houston Rockets in the NBA found a way to compete against the Golden State Warriors (although Houston lost in the Western Conference Finals).

Other teams are neither intimidated nor afraid, which should make for exciting WNBA action all season.


Other game results

Liberty (94) vs. Wings (89)

How good is this league when the following sentence needs to be written?

Liz Cambage’s 28 points and 16 rebounds were not enough for a Dallas victory, courtesy of Tina Charles’ 34 points and 10 rebounds for New York! A whopping 18 of Charles’ points came in the fourth quarter!! Three other players were in double digits for the Liberty and four other players had double figures for the Wings.

Storm (81) vs. Mystics (77)

Seattle handed the Washington Mystics their first loss of the season. How did the Storm get it done?

Jewell Loyd is playing out of her ever-lovin’ mind and has been all season. Loyd finished with 27 points, Breanna Stewart added 25 and Natasha Howard chipped in 14. For the Mystics, four players were in double figures on a night when Elena Delle Donne was inactive due to illness.


Game of the night

Liberty vs. Wings

New York hard a hard-fought first victory of the season against a Dallas team that has come out of the gate blazing since the start of the season. The Wings have benefited from Liz Cambage’s dominance in the paint and Skylar Diggins-Smith’s firepower from deep. But the Liberty clawed their way to a win from down 17 points after the first quarter, but the team did not tie the game until the fourth. It’s a great come-from-behind victory, complete with chippiness, trash talk and veteran Tina Charles’ handy reminder to the league that she’s not done yet.

WATCH ON LEAGUE PASS


Play of the night

Shavonte Zellous drives to the basket to tie the game with just over four minutes left in the game.


Players of the Week

East — Alyssa Thomas (Connecticut Sun)

Here’s how she got it done:

West — Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Lakers)

Here’s how she got it done:


Links Appeal

Poll

Does the WNBA have much less drama than the NBA?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    No. Drama is there but lack of media attention means it doesn’t get exposed.
    (10 votes)
  • 50%
    Yes. WNBA has limited drama. It’s a classy league because it’s less ego-driven.
    (10 votes)
20 votes total Vote Now

Also, which WNBA team, player or team president would you peg as most likely to “go Colangelo” in an attempt to push a narrative and defend his or her goodness? Tell us in the comments.


Everyday Sexism, Everyday Racism — Literally. Every. Day.

  • California Golden Bears Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb was asked by Southwest Airlines to prove her biracial son is hers. People supporting the airline kind of have a point by saying the attendant was following the “if you see something, say something edict.” But a bigger, more pertinent issue must be addressed: Why is a mixed race family “something” to report? Surely this agent has heard of biracial families before and, perhaps, seen them on TV? Has the agent heard of Angelina Jolie, and know that multiracial, multi-ethnic families also exist through adoption?
  • Did you know that until the early 1990’s Shoal Creek Golf Course excluded “just the blacks”? Before, before only “the blacks” were excluded, it was all persons of color who were panned from the club.
  • New York Jets players are grateful for the team’s CEO who “gets it” about the anthem protest (and offered to support it by paying the players’ fines).

How to #WatchThemWork all season


Shine brighter. C’mon! You can do it. * flicker flicker *