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WNBA preview: Minnesota a big underdog vs. Connecticut

The Connecticut Sun are a top team, but the Minnesota Lynx will look to pull off the upset and win their first game of 2023 on Thursday.

Connecticut Sun v New York Liberty
Brionna Jones
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Only one game is on the slate for Thursday and it’s the Connecticut Sun vs. Minnesota Lynx. This matchup is a tale of two seasons with Connecticut looking as good as ever, starting the season off looking like championship contenders, while Minnesota can’t find success and is at the bottom of the WNBA standings.

The Sun have been on a roll with four players averaging double digits in points; they’ve overwhelmed their competition and their sole defeat was against the New York Liberty, who have super team potential. It’s early, but the Sun are the best rebounding team in the W and top five in points, assists, steals and 3-pointers made.

For Connecticut to move to 5-1, they’ll have to continue relying on DeWanna Bonner’s scoring and Alyssa Thomas’ ability to clean up the glass and distribute the ball, as she’s averaging 5.2 dimes a game. On the defensive side, the Sun bigs will have to work on slowing down Naphessa Coller, who leads the Lynx with 16.6 points a night and is clearly the team’s engine.

If Minnesota wants to celebrate win No. 1 of 2023, Collier will need help. Can guards Kayla McBride and Tiffany Mitchell step up and help carry some of the offensive burden? What about forward Jessica Shepard? Can she have a double-double performance and take some of that rebounding energy and apply it to the offensive side of the ball?

Game information

Minnesota Lynx (0-5) vs. Connecticut Sun (4-1)

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

Where: Target Center in Minneapolis, MN

How to watch: WNBA League Pass

Lynx inury report: Diamond Miller (questionable; ankle), Natalie Achonwa (out; personal)

Sun injury report: None

Key Takeaways

No rebounds, no wins. Connecticut will be looking to dominate the boards and overwhelm Minnesota with their bigs and the emergence of their newest addition, guard Tiffany Hayes. For the Lynx to put a W in the win column, they must execute a near-perfect game plan. That means a big performance from Collier, dominate the points in the paint and other role players will have to step up and play above their season averages.