The defending WNBA champions haven’t looked quite like themselves early in the season. They have gottne off to a surprising slow start with a record of 3-6 to start the season. They have lost five out of their last six games. What is their problem and will they be able to turn around their season in time to make an extended playoff run?
Right now the Lynx are 9th in offensive rating and 10th in points per game. Lindsey Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson, their 3rd and 4th leading scorers last year are both having down years. Brunson’s points per game average has dropped from 10.2 to 6.7 and Whalen’s from 8 to 5.1. This doesn’t look good for players who are both currently 36 years old. Because of their age, it may be difficult for Brunson and Whalen to turn around their seasons.
Not only are their veterans aging, but as a team struggling with turnovers. You wouldn’t typically expect that out of a team filled mostly with veterans. The Lynx lead the WNBA in turnovers per game at 15.7. Cutting down on turnovers could be a fixable issue plaguing the defending champions.
Finally, the Lynx have had second half issues and specifically problems in the third quarter. They were outscored by a total of 42 points in the third quarter this season. In the second half, the Lynx have been outscored by 52 points throughout the season. They will have to fix these issues if they want to make another championship run. They can’t expect to win regular or especially playoff games when they’re getting beat in the second half like they are.
The Lynx definitely have some kinks to work out before they can expect a playoff run. Whalen and Brunson’s lack of scoring this year will hurt the Lynx because they will need others to step up when Fowles, Moore, or Augustus have an off game. Because of their age, cutting down on their league leading turnover rate will be of importance if they want to improve their scoring. Lastly, They’re second half efforts will come back to bite them come playoff time if they continue to get burned in that juncture of the game. The Lynx have correctable problems, but if they don’t fix them soon, they could be due for a early exit in the playoffs or possibly not make the playoffs altogether.