The reality of the WNBA’s current playoff structure is a brutal one: For those outside the top two seeds, if you don’t make your ‘A’ game in either of the first two rounds, you’re going home.
Or, in the case of the Lynx, staying home.
Minnesota’s 2021 playoff experience can’t be described as short and sweet. After just one game – a stunning 89-76 loss to sixth-seeded Chicago at Target Center on Sunday – it’s over. Number 3 seed is out.
Minnesota picked the wrong time to play one of its worst games in months, and in the process spoiled what a special season earned.
The Lynx trailed by 14 points in the final quarter, and while Minnesota pushed late — thanks largely to Ariel Powers, who led with 24 points and whose shot making kept the Lynx around — it was too late. It was over
The Lynx made 20 turnovers, making 22 Chicago points. Minnesota Floor General Lecia Clarendon played just 12 minutes as she was clearly confined by her right fibula. Sylvia Fowles established her presence early in the game, but Minnesota could touch its starting center in the final three quarters either way. Fouls had 17 points from just nine attempts off the field.
Chicago had five players in double digits, led by Courtney Vanderslut’s 19 points.
Minnesota got little from Nafisa Collier. The third year forward seemed to lack in the way of a spark all afternoon, beating several rebounds to finish with just eight points on 3 for 10 shoots. When Collier couldn’t chase down a pass from Kayla McBride that went out of bounds, McBride exclaimed “Come on, Fey!” Screamed. As she went ashore for a timeout.