By Philip Rossman-Reich
Scouting Report - Lynx (10-8) @ Shock (5-9) 6:30 PM
WHERE TO WATCH: WNBA LIVE ACCESS
WHERE TO LISTEN: BOB 106 FM
The Lynx get their first crack at the defending champion Shock as they travel to Auburn Hills, Mich., on Friday night. Both teams have met their fair share of turmoil this season – with Shock coach Bill Laimbeer leaving the team after three games. Unlike Minnesota, Detroit has struggled to right the ship after the coaching change. The Shock sit at 5-9, last in the Eastern Conference but only 1.5 games out of the final playoff spot.
Minnesota still has to give Detroit the respect it deserves as defending champions to come out on top on the road. It is not like the Shock are getting blown out every game. Detroit lost to Atlanta on Wednesday night after playing its fourth time in six games. Center Kara Braxton turned in a monster game in her first start of the season Wednesday with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
Braxton is averaging 9.9 points and 6.1 rebounds in seven games this season after missing most of June while serving a WNBA suspension. It is clear Detroit is a much better team with her on the floor as the team is 4-4 this season with her. In her stead, the Shock relied on Katie Smith to lead the way. She is scoring 14.7 points per game and shooting 40.3 percent from beyond the arc to lead Detroit.
The Shock, like the Sparks from Tuesday’s game, are a team that’s record does not reflect the talent on the team. They are also a team that can slow the pace down and beat opponents in the half court – something the Lynx struggled with Tuesday as shots were not falling and they could not get out on the break.
Detroit leads the league in rebounding, something coach Jen Gillom has mentioned numerous times as a sore spot for her team throughout the season. The team grabs 36.5 rebounds per game including 11.4 on the offensive end while giving up 40.7 percent shooting to its opponents. For Minnesota to get the win on the road, the team will have to control the glass against another one of the top rebounding teams in the league.
Keys To A Win For Minnesota:
--Look to the transition game
--Team defense and communication
--Keep the ball moving
Matchup To Watch:
Nicky Anosike vs. Kara Braxton
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