2005 In Review:
What Went Right?
Looking back, the Lynx were very much in the postseason hunt all season long, but lost their last four regular season games to slide into Lottery contention. In just her second season, center Nicole Ohlde asserted herself as one of the top centers in the WNBA, led the team in rebounding (5.7 rpg). She was joined in the starting lineup by fellow-second year player Vanessa Hayden. The two are living up to their 2004 first round Draft selection worthiness.
Guard Chandi Jones, who was also drafted in the first round
in 2004, was traded to the Lynx in the deal that sent franchise player Katie Smith
to Detroit, showed improvement with increased playing time, going from 16 to 28
minutes a night after the trade, jumping from 1 to 3 assists per game and increasing
her scoring average by more than 25 percent.
What Went Wrong?
Despite an All-Star first half of the season, Katie Smith's production began to diminish in late June and into July. The decision to trade her away could not have been an easy one. She was leading the league in scoring with 13.3 ppg before being traded. The team was one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the league, but that was before Smith was traded.
Center Tamika Williams number were below her career bests as well. In her fourth season, she averaged career lows in minutes per game (22.8), points per game (5.8) and rebounds per game (5.0). She has yet to replicate the promising 10.4 ppg and 7.4 rpg of her rookie season in 2002.
The Minnesota Lynx ultimately had a disappointing
season because they could not score, finding themselves near the bottom of the
league in scoring. The real problem was that they lacked a real scorer down the
Looking Ahead To 2006:
This is a very young team that
was held together by veterans Williams (who signed a three-year deal in early
March), guard Kristi Harrower and forward Svetlana Abrosimova. But the question
remains whether Harrower and Abrosimova will return or spend the summer training
for the World Championships. Also, can forward Adrian Williams, who was signed
in the offseason but did not play in the WNBA in 2005, re-capture any of her past
All-Star glory? If the answers to these questions are all no's, the Lynx might
find themselves with another Lottery pick this time next season.