But Tuesday, it was time. We wanted to see these Lynx for a full stretch ... see if this team that has had such impeccable timing this year -- matching their rise to the fall of pretty much every other conceivable team, all while carrying very likable players (including homegrown star Lindsay Whalen) -- suffered from the Minnesota yips that have plagued so many teams before them.
Instead, after a brief stumble at the start, their great timing continued. While the Twins were next door losing their 10th game in a row (for the first time since 1998, more on that here), while the winless Vikings were searching for optimism and making off-field news, while the NBA remains locked out, while the Wild talked about playing a trapping style (yes, almost everyone does it, but the word alone is enough to scare you), and while we all continued to monitor the health of a college football coach the state has taken an immediate shine to, the Lynx convincingly advanced in the playoffs to face Phoenix -- an opponent against which Minnesota went 3-2 this year, with both teams scoring, on average, more than 90 points per game. Game 1 is Thursday night at Target Center.
No, this does not come close to fixing 1998, 41-donut, 12 men in the huddle or any of those head-bashing playoff losses to the Yankees. But in our fragile state, where even a higher seed on a home court makes us nervous, it was refreshing to see a group of players perform at least very close to the peak of their collective skills in a game with major implications.
Congratulations, Lynx. Hop onto the main stage for a while. It's all yours.