Tonight’s Lynx-Seattle game at Target Center is a matchup of two teams playing very well of late, and working very hard to secure good playoff position.
The Lynx have won three straight and four of five while staying one game ahead of Los Angeles in first place in the Western Conference. Seattle, winner of five of six, is fighting it out with Phoenix for the third spot in the West. Seattle would clinch a playoff spot with a victory tonight.
The reason for Seattle's improvement? Pretty simple, according to Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve. It’s more efficiency on offense. The Storm has simply been shooting the ball better of late, led by Tina Johnson, Temeka Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen.
That said, the Storm is still intent on slowing the game down, milking the shot clock, controlling the pace. In the Lynx victory over Seattle here earlier this season the Lynx used a trapping defense to disrupt the Storm offense. Assuming Seattle has prepared for that, Minnesota will have to use other tactics to push the pace tonight.
Tonight’s game will be Seattle forward Tina Thompson’s last in Target Center. That is, of course, unless the Lynx and Storm end up playing each other in the playoffs. Thompson, the first draft pick in WNBA history, is first in the league in career points (7,415), field goals (2,607), minutes (15,954) and is second in rebounds (3,045).
Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen needs two points to overtake Deanna Nolan (3,917) for 20th on the league’s all-time scoring list. She needs 30 to reach 4,000 for her career.
Lynx forward Maya Moore is averaging 20.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.4 blocks in the 11 games since the WNBA All-Star Game break. She is shooting 54.6 percent in that time, 47.3 percent from three-point range.