Three Keys to The Lynx 2020 Season

PHEE-NOM

Napheesa Collier was the 2019 WNBA rookie of the year. This year she, along with Sylvia Fowles, is the foundation of the franchise — and Collier is moving in the direction of becoming the face of the franchise. The Lynx will use her in different ways. More time at the power forward, for example. More involved in the pick-and-roll. Collier’s taking another big step is key for the Lynx to do the same.

BACKCOURT ON FRONT BURNER

The last time the Lynx took the court for a game, in last year’s 10-point playoff loss to Seattle, the starting backcourt of Danielle Robinson and Odyssey Sims was outscored 48-1 by the Storm starting guards.

Robinson is gone and Sims — who was already pregnant when that game was played — has yet to join the team after giving birth to a son in early April. Newcomers Shenise Johnson and Rachel Banham join returner Lexie Brown, a trio of combo guards Reeve hopes will help space the floor. How well the Lynx can play without a true veteran point guard will likely determine their ability to win.

PICK-AND-ROLL

The Lynx offense will look different this year. It will be more pick-and-roll-oriented with the goal of creating space on the floor; this past week, after scrimmages against Las Vegas on Monday and Washington on Tuesday, Reeve said the offense looked best when initiating out of the pick-and roll.

Both Johnson and Brown are adept at it. Look for the pick-and-roll to provide opportunities for all five players on the court, with a lot of drives and dishes to outside shooters. The ability to space the floor will give Fowles more room to operate near the basket.

Kent Youngblood