Lynx Tracks: Season Review

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***********************October 2011: Vol. 3, Issue 7************************

Hoops Scoop

By David Zingler

The 2011 WNBA season is the books and it's one that Minnesota basketball fans will never forget. This column isn't (just) about the Lynx though; there are several other storylines that are noteworthy. Let's examine some of them with a lens looking back and an eye toward the future.

An Opponent's Nightmare
Angel McCoughtry's scoring barrage in the WNBA Finals capped off an MVP-caliber year for the budding superstar. The top pick in the 2009 draft came within a decimal point of unseating Diana Taurasi as the league's scoring champ while leading the Dream to a second straight Eastern Conference title. Her 38 points in Game 2 set a Finals scoring record.

The Sun Rises in the East
The Lynx, with their talent and depth, figure to be serious title contenders for the foreseeable future. One team they could meet an upcoming WNBA Finals is Connecticut. Led by the exciting inside/outside duo of Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery, the Sun tied Indiana for the conference's best record before falling to Atlanta in an exciting, 3-game playoff series. Charles and Montgomery will be just 23 and 25 when the 2012 season starts, so expect them to keep getting better.

Sylvia Diesel?
Chicago's Sylvia Fowles emerged as a dominant force in 2011, becoming the WNBA's version of Shaquille O'Neal. All she needs is a nickname and a rap album. OK, maybe not a rap album. The 6-6 center finished third in the league in scoring (20.0 ppg), second in rebounding (10.2) and first in blocks (2.0), efficiency rating (24.5) and field goal percentage (.591). And she's only 26.

Shock Get a Jolt
Despite a horrendous 3-31 season, there is a reason for hope in Tulsa. Nolan Richardson, who had no history in the women"s game, is out and Teresa Edwards is in as head coach of the Shock. The former Lynx star and all-time great brings instant credibility and direction to a franchise that needs both. In addition, rookie center Elizabeth Cambage showed a lot of promise and gives Tulsa a player to build and market around

Help is on the Way
For some of the teams that finished out of the playoff picture, the WNBA Draft Lottery provides some excitement and hope. Expected to take place in November, the lottery will establish the order of the top four picks in next April's draft. Baylor's 6-8 center Brittney Griner is expected to be the top pick should she decide to leave school after her junior year. Thanks to the Nicky Anosike trade in April, the Lynx own Washington's first round pick and have a chance to land Griner or another blue chip prospect.

A Lynx Dynasty?
Although they are still sweeping up the confetti from the Lynx first title celebration, it's never too early to think ahead. The world of professional sports, of course, doesn't allow anyone to rest on their laurels. With Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson in the prime of their careers and Maya Moore still on the way up, there's no reason to think the Lynx couldn't win another championship or three in the coming years. No pressure, ladies.

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