Lynx need a consistent third scorer behind Sylvia Fowles, Maya Moore

Published 7:50 am Wednesday, July 11, 2018

By Jace Frederick

Pioneer Press

In 2017, Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore combined to average 36.2 points a game, leading a Lynx offense that averaged 85.3 points a game, third-best in the WNBA.

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This season, Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore have combined to average 36.2 points a game, leading a Lynx offense averaging 79.1 points a game, eighth-best in the WNBA.

The superstars are doing their part on the offensive end. Everyone else? Not so much. Lindsay Whalen (5.1 points a game) and Seimone Augustus (10.4) are averaging career scoring lows. Rebekkah Brunson is scoring 7.7 points a game, down from 10.2 last season.

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve has found a pattern. When Moore and/or Fowles has a great game, the Lynx win. When neither plays well, the Lynx lose.

“Obviously, if neither play well, we don’t win. We score 59 points when that happens,” Reeve said, referencing Minnesota’s 71-59 loss to last-place Indiana last week.

If the Lynx want to be more than a barely-above-.500 team, Reeve said they need to find the balance that has been the staple of this dynasty.

“We can win games if Maya and Syl are good,” Reeve said. “But in order for us to achieve higher-level goals, it’s always been about balance. It’s about finding points at the point guard position, it’s about bench coming in. Right now it’s just, ‘Key on Syl, key on Maya.’ Keep (Augustus) under control, don’t let her go nuts. And where else? We have to develop that balance to what we’re doing.”

The Lynx’s most recent two losses can almost entirely be chalked up to their offensive struggles. Minnesota is second in the league in points allowed at 77.3 points a game. The Lynx (11-8) have surrendered fewer than 78 points in five of their eight losses.

“So 80 has got to be our number on offense,” Reeve said. “We’re finding different ways to get there, we’re looking at our actions. This is that point in time when you have a couple of days where you can look pretty hard at what are we doing well, and how can we put ourselves into doing those things. What are you not doing well, let’s try to cull those things back. Some of it is personnel, some of it is schemes. We have to find a way to get more consistent.”