That the Fever were able to get a series-opening victory here against the Lynx Sunday isn’t stunning. They closed out the Eastern Conference finals in New York. They came here with many of the same key players in Game 1 of the finals three years ago and did the same thing.
What was rather surprising was that the Lynx were really only able to get two players going Sunday. Maya Moore scored 27 points. Sylvia Fowles had 21. Both had double-doubles. The rest of the lineup?
Kind of MIA.
After the game coach Cheryl Reeve came down pretty hard on the starting backcourt of Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen. She said Augustus, one of the game’s best-ever shot-makers, needs to make more. She said Whalen has gone a long time without helping the team on offense and needs to start doing just that. Sunday they were a combined 4-for-14 for 13 points.
Some thoughts on the game:
--The Lynx are never going to get a slew of points from the bench. But the need more quality minutes off the bench than they got Sunday. Anna Cruz played more than 24 minutes and had four points and three assists. But her defense, down the stretch, was lacking. It’s strange, but for Devereaux Peters, she either seems to be incredibly good off the bench or kind of invisible. Today? Five minutes and not one recordable stat. Zeros across the board.
--While Reeve talked about both Whalen and Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson was kind of off the radar. She did do a good job of guarding Tamika Catchings, who scored 12 points but was just 2-for-8 shooting. But she had just three rebounds. Add her to the list of players who need to do more in Game 2.
--The Lynx picked a bad time to start missing free throws. They missed eight of 23 tonight, shooting 65.2 percent from the line. This from the second-best free throw shooting team in the regular season.
--Reeve said it and she was right. It’s kind of hard to explain how a team an out-shoot its opponent, get to the free throw line more, have the edge in points in the paint and points off turnovers…. And lose. The key stat: a 22-12 Fever edge in second-chance points.
That’s about it for now. Game 2 is Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Target Center.