So, is Janel McCarville that important to Minnesota’s success?
I say this only half-jokingly. McCarville sat out tonight’s Lynx loss to Washington with a concussion and is listed as day-to-day. And the Lynx go out and get out-rebounded 44-24 by a Mystics team that entered the game on a four-game losing streak.
The answer: Yes, the Lynx missed McCarville. But that wasn’t the only reason behind the team’s surprisingly flat-footed performance tonight.
Once again, much as they did in a loss in Washington in early June, the Lynx forced up bad shots, while doing a bad job of rotating on defense on the other end. The result: A lot of open shots for Washington. And, led by Ivory Latta, they made a lot of ‘em.
Here are some other thoughts on the game:
--Whether or not McCarville comes back quickly, the Lynx have to get more out of Amber Harris and Devereaux Peters, who combined to go scoreless with five rebounds in 23 minutes of play. They also combined for three turnovers.
--It was amazing how often the Lynx allowed the Mystics to get to the basket tonight. Washington out-scored the Lynx in the paint, 38-36. And that is not a stat you see very often. And all those rebounds the Mystics got – 14 of them on the offensive end, were turned into 17 second-chance points.There is no way Matee Ajavon should have been allowed to drive the lane in the closing seconds to hit the game-winning shot.
--Coach Cheryl Reeve said she could have opted to go small without McCarville, inserting Monica Wright into the starting lineup. But she wanted to avoid that to ensure there would always be a ball-handler on the court. So she gave Harris her first-ever WNBA start. Something will have to change by Sunday, when the Lynx play at Chicago. The Sky is the league's best rebounding team.
--Maya Moore has scored 50 points in her last two games.
That’s about all for now. Have a good Friday and a good weekend.