Yes, in amongst all the off-court shenanigans, they’re still playing some games. However, if the players can do whatever the hell they want, so can I. So chronology is going out the window today, and the Bullet Point Breakdown is kicking off with far and away the most entertaining game of the evening. Who cares if it was the last one to finish? Coverage of all the other games is here as well, you just have to scroll down a little.
San Antonio Silver Stars 84 @ Minnesota Lynx 96
- While the maelstrom has been whirling elsewhere, both these teams just keep on riding the waves. Minnesota came in having won six straight, while San Antonio’s only loss in their last 14 games was last week in Los Angeles. Both teams had their well-established starting lineups out there to open the contest.
- The matchups when these teams face each other continue to be absolutely fascinating. Compared to most teams, Minnesota are big on the perimeter. Lindsay Whalen isn’t huge, but she’s muscular and physical for a point guard; Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore are both pretty tall and strong for wings. San Antonio, on the other hand, are kinda tiny. Danielle Robinson and Becky Hammon make a diminutive backcourt, and while Shameka Christon is a similar size to Augustus and Moore, 5’8” Jia Perkins sees plenty of minutes as the de facto small forward. So inevitably, San Antonio has to deal with Minnesota shooters by using significantly smaller defenders on them, challenging as much as possible, and sending help. The Lynx, at the same time, have to worry about keeping up with the quick and tricky Silver Star guards.
- Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve blinked first in the initial chess match, replacing Whalen and Moore with Candice Wiggins and Monica Wright less than 4 minutes into the game. That fixes the matchup problems for San Antonio, because there are instantly enough smaller players on the floor for them to guard more naturally. It was odd to see Reeve make that move even earlier than her usual rotation would dictate.
- While the use of Hammon to defend Moore in the past has been particularly interesting and effective – and we saw that again periodically throughout this game – San Antonio also seem to have developed a fondness for using Robinson to guard Augustus. Presumably it’s because they like Robinson’s ability to use her quickness chasing Augustus around all the screens that Minnesota set for her, and at least be somewhere near her to challenge on jump shots. Because in straight-up matchups, Augustus can shoot right over her.
- This was a fun game, played by two teams that are obviously brimming with confidence. Both teams were more than happy to push the pace whenever they had the chance, and both have the necessary team ethos to play effective defense. Neither could create much separation on the scoreboard. Continue reading