Out of the gate
The schedule-maker didn’t do the Lynx any favors. Indeed, for a team looking to finish with one of the top two records, Minnesota’s fate could be dictated by a brutal early schedule. The Lynx play Phoenix three times in the first eight games. In their first five games they have the Mercury twice, Chicago, up-and-coming Seattle and a rematch with Indiana, which the Lynx beat in the finals last summer.
The Lynx spent the offseason acquiring veteran talent with the aim of having a bench deep enough to take minutes off the starters — including four Olympians. The result is a team that coach Cheryl Reeve says could be the deepest in her time in Minnesota. With Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus having battled injuries the past two seasons, that bench will have to play up to its billing.
This will be the third time the Lynx will try to repeat as WNBA champions. A lot stands in their way. The Olympics, a Western Conference brimming with young talent, that brutal start to the season. And history. Only two teams have repeated — Houston, which won the first four titles, and Los Angeles, which won the next two. But it hasn’t been done since 2002. The Lynx are also trying to become just the second team in history to win four league titles.