Last year the recipe was pretty simple for the Lynx.
If both Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore played well, they won. If one played well, maybe they’d win. If neither did? Usually a loss.
Fowles is back. But, so far, she’s the only starter back who played in last year’s playoff loss. Moore is taking the year off, Lindsay Whalen has retired, the Lynx roster is filled with new faces, a bunch of young players, a different chemistry.
And a different recipe.
Witness Wednesday. In a 72-61 victory over Seattle at Target Center, the offense wasn’t always efficient. But it was balanced. Seven players scored at least seven points, but none more than Odyssey Sims’ 15.
Throw in another impressive defensive performance, and you have a young Lynx team that has started the season 2-0.
“That’s how we’re going to have to be successful,’’ Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “That’s what we envisioned for this team. It can be anybody’s night. This group is a little different.’’
The Lynx got 15 points, five assists and four steals from Sims, 12 points from Damiris Dantas, 10 points each off the bench from Lexie Brown and rookie Jessica Shepard. Fowles had seven points and 13 rebounds.
More importantly: Seattle shot 36.4 percent, the second straight Lynx opponent that has been held at or under 40 percent. And once again the Lynx had a double-figure edge on the boards (40-22). Since 2011 the Lynx are 107-3 when holding opponents to 40 percent, 74-4 with a double-figure rebounding edge.
Most impressive holding Seattle to 2-for-15 on three-pointers. In two games Lynx opponents have made just five of 28 three-pointers.
“You have those guards who can fly around,’’ Fowles said. “Get out in transition and do some wonderful things from the defensive end to the offensive end. We have these fresh, young legs that don’t mind going side-to-side multiple times. That helps.’’
Offensively? A work in progress. The Lynx matched their 21 turnovers from opening night but still managed to win rather easily; the Lynx were up 18 with 2½ left in the game. There were three shot-clock violations. The starting backcourt of Sims (six) and Danielle Robinson (five) combined for 11 turnovers.
But the team is 2-0.
Balance? Rookie Napheesa Collier scored all nine of her points in the first quarter, which the Lynx ended on an 18-5 run to lead 22-9. Brown had six points in the second quarter as that lead grew to 15. Sims had eight third-quarter points as the lead grew to 20.
Meanwhile the Storm was struggling, particularly the backcourt of Jewell Loyd and Jordin Canada, who combined to score just 20 points on 7-for-29 shooting. Natasha Howard led the Storm with 18.
“Well, we’re athletic,’’ Reeve said of her team’s perimeter defense. “We’re persistent. They get through screens well. I think they take a lot of pride in that.’’
That said, there is a lot to clean up. The Lynx’s first two wins have come against rebuilding Chicago and the Storm without injured stars Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird.
The Lynx — playing without starters Seimone Augustus and Karima Christmas-Kelly — have committed 42 turnovers in two games.
Things will have to be better as the team heads out on the road for two games.
“We definitely have a lot of work to do,’’ Sims said. “We’re a new team as well, we’re still learning each other. It will come. We’ll take it day by day, in the film room and in practice, keep pushing and keep getting better. But we came out with the win.’’