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Preview: Unbeaten Lynx look to keep streak alive in Dallas, plus 3 more Saturday games

In two waves of home openers tonight, it’s Liberty-Fever and Dream-Mystics at 7 p.m. ET, followed closely by Storm-Sky and Lynx-Wings at 8 p.m. ET.

Just one of the Lynx’s newest stars, Odyssey Sims contributed a team-high 15 points and five assists in Minnesota’s win over Seattle on Wednesday.
Courtesy of Minnesota Lynx via Twitter

After what was widely considered to be an off-year for the 2017 champion Minnesota Lynx, they’re back in 2019 and seeking their first 3-0 start since that championship season.

What’s currently the best start in the league is encouraging, especially considering what the team is missing. Maya Moore is taking the year off and Lindsay Whalen retired, of course, but Seimone Augustus is now officially out indefinitely following knee surgery this week.

The Lynx appear undeterred, though. Sylvia Fowles is averaging a double-double early on, demonstrating her stalwart consistency. Odyssey Sims is proving an incredibly valuable addition to the team, leading all Minnesota scorers in Wednesday’s win over the Storm. Then, of course, there’s rookie standout Napheesa Collier, who’s averaging a blistering 73.3 percent shooting in her first two games.

Will the Lynx meet their match in Dallas in their first road game of the year? The Wings are looking for their first win after a close loss in their opener, and would love to pull even on the season — especially if it means slowing Minnesota’s roll. But that will be a difficult task.

To kick things off today, the New York Liberty and Indiana Fever will square off in a quick rematch of both team’s opener, which of course ended with the Teaira McCowan buzzer-beater to give Indiana the win. Since then, the Fever have played (and lost to) the Sun, while the Liberty have had all week to prepare for this game.

The Atlanta Dream, who lost to the Storm last night, are in Washington, DC to take on the Mystics. While the Mystics will try for their first win of the season, the Dream seek a quick turnaround to get back in the win column.

Finally, the Storm — fresh off the win in Atlanta — head up to Chicago to take on the Sky. Seattle has played two away contests since Chicago’s sole game of the season, so the Sky will look to take advantage of any potential fatigue. But considering the way Seattle bounced back from its loss in Minnesota in such punishing fashion against the Dream, perhaps it’s the Sky who should be worried.

Here’s what to expect in each of today’s games and how to watch:

Game information

New York Liberty vs. Indiana Fever

When: Saturday, June 1, at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

How to watch: WNBA League Pass, WNDY (Indianapolis-area TV)

Keys to the matchup: In just their second game of the season, the Liberty are out for revenge. It’ll be a big test for New York, who hasn’t won a game of any kind since its defeat of China’s national team in the very first preseason game last month. Of course, Teaira McCowan’s buzzer-beater was the final dagger in what could have been a hard-fought season-opening win, but the Liberty should be expected to show improvement today, considering they’ve had the whole week to prepare for this rematch. Tina Charles and Kia Nurse should stay consistent, but either the rest of the Liberty’s starting five must also step up, or this game should be used to shuffle players around to find the perfect combination of starters. It may only be the second game of the season, but if New York opens 0-2 against an Indiana team still not entirely expected to compete for a playoff spot, that could be hard to come back from.

Atlanta Dream vs. Washington Mystics

When: Saturday, June 1, at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington, DC

How to watch: WNBA League Pass, NBC Sports Washington, WSB Now (Atlanta-area live stream)

Keys to the matchup: Elena Delle Donne should return tonight for the Mystics after sitting out their first game, which could help close the offensive gap seen in their 84-69 opening loss to Connecticut. It’s not that the Mystics were necessarily hurting for offense individually, with four players in double figures, but they were missing the type of game-changing, bona fide star power that Delle Donne brings. That said, if Delle Donne is slow to get back to her regular form — which is to be expected — the Mystics will still need to find a way to compensate. Against a Dream team that saw its own offense stunted just one night ago, the Mystics will either have to win this one on defense or hope that the shots don’t suddenly start falling for Atlanta.

Seattle Storm vs. Chicago Sky

When: Saturday, June 1, at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, IL

How to watch: WNBA League Pass, The U Too (Chicago-area TV)

Keys to the matchup: Although Seattle is off to a fast start and Chicago is decidedly not, the Sky have a specific advantage against the Storm this season: not having to deal with Breanna Stewart, whose 29.3 points per game against the Sky last season was her highest against any team. Of course, Jewell Loyd was either the top or second-highest scorer in each of those games — all Storm wins — and Natasha Howard has also improved considerably, but the Sky do have an opening to try to take advantage of Stewart’s absence. While not putting up Stewart-level numbers, Allie Quigley’s 20.3 points per game against the Storm last season was tied for her most against any team, so getting her good looks is a solid place to start. The Sky also need to start heating up from three, an area where they bested the Storm (in terms of total threes) in two of three games last season. While Seattle is still heavily favored tonight, it’s not like the Sky don’t have some clear ways they can keep it close — they just have to execute, something that’s already shown to still be a problem this season.

Minnesota Lynx vs. Dallas Wings

When: Saturday, June 1, at 8 p.m. ET

Where: College Park Center, Arlington, TX

How to watch: WNBA League Pass, FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports North

Keys to the matchup: With all their success of late, it’s easy to forget that the Lynx are still playing shorthanded, missing several players from both last year’s roster and this year’s: Karima Christmas-Kelly is still questionable after missing the first two games, while Seimone Augustus’ above-mentioned knee surgery will keep her out indefinitely. The Wings are in a similar situation, though, with Skylar Diggins-Smith still coming back from pregnancy and Azurá Stevens recovering from a concussion (though Stevens could return tonight). History is on Minnesota’s side, as the Lynx have never lost to the Wings (their last loss to the franchise came when the team was the Tulsa Shock). But with both teams very much in experimentation mode to open the season, this matchup will speak volumes about both teams’ abilities to play as cohesive units as the summer goes on.