After a 2014 season shortened by her battle with Lyme Disease, Chicago Sky star Elena Delle Donne is having a wonderful season. Friday, the Lynx will get their turn trying to slow Delle Donne down.
Delle Donne leads the league in scoring (27.2), nearly 10 points higher than her average last year. Delle Donne plays mainly a face-up game, getting the ball and getting her own shot, often getting fouled in the process. She is getting nearly 10 trips to the free throw line per game, and she rarely misses; she recently ended a streak in which she made 58 straight free throws.
Last season, when Delle Donne played primarily the small forward, the job of guarding her fell to Maya Moore. This year, with Delle Donne playing more big forward, that job goes to Rebekkah Brunson.
“They’re a highly potent offensive team,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said after Thursday’s practice. “They get to the foul line a lot. They have players on the perimeter who create their shot really well. That puts a lot of pressure on your defense. I know they’re the highest-scoring team in the league, and we’re one of the top defensive teams. So that’s going to be a test of wills.’’
Reeve is very happy about the way her team is playing, coming off back-to-back one-sided victories.
Meanwhile, Anna Cruz, who joined the team this week, has had a very good week of practice, according to Reeve, and is ready to go.
“She got comfortable really fast,” Reeve said. “I didn’t have to stop and tell her things.’’
At least initially, the team’s second unit figures to benefit from the addition of Cruz, who is very good at moving and distributing the ball. Reeve said the second unit took a big jump on offense this week. That will be something to look for Friday.
The Lynx, after having a week off between games, will get a little busier. After Friday’s game, the Lynx will return home to host San Antonio Sunday. They play at Connecticut Tuesday.