Lynx Pregame Audio
Jonah Ballow with Jim Petersen
Jonah Ballow with Quanitra Hollingsworth
By Philip Rossman-Reich
Scouting Report - Lynx (4-3) vs. Liberty (2-3) 7 PM
New York got off to a rough start, but seem to have found its footing after winning the team's first two games of the season this past weekend. The Liberty struggled with their field goal shooting and turnovers in their first three games before finding their touch in their past two wins. In its three losses to open the season, New York shot 37 percent and turned the ball over 16.3 times per game. Compare that to the team's two victories, a 77-61 win over San Antonio on Friday and a 93-81 win in Atlanta on Sunday, where it shot 51 percent and had 14 times. In the first five games of the season, the Liberty lose when they struggle from the field and do well when they hit shots. Pretty simple game in that case.
Shameka Christon has been solid since missing a game with a sprained right ankle. She is averaging 16.5 points per game and is making 53.5 percent of her shots. Janel McCarville, the four-year center from Minnesota, is averaging 13.2 points per game on 56.9 shooting and 5.2 rebounds per game to help Christon. She scored 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting in the Liberty's first win against the Silver Stars on Saturday. Those two are the workhorses for the Liberty. But outside of them, the team can struggle offensively -- and those two are not exactly pouring in the points. The rest of the team is shooting 37.6 percent from the floor.
The team does nothing spectacular but is very average at everything else. New York scores 74.2 points per game, eighth in the league, and is giving up 72.4 points per game, good for fifth in the league. The Liberty make up ground on defense where they give up only 39.8 percent field goal shooting, the third lowest in the league. Teams have a tough time shooting against this team. But that is where the turnovers come back in. New York commits more than 16 turnovers per game and can give the ball away.
This could play into the Lynx's hands in tonight's game. Minnesota is a team that has thrived on turnovers to jump-start its fast break. The team forces 17.6 turnovers per game and wants to run and score in transition. The big question is how the Lynx will play in their second game without the injured Seimone Augustus. Minnesota certainly will change some of its strategy without its top player and will get a stiff challenge from the Liberty.
Keys To A Win For Minnesota:
--Keep the Liberty out of the paint
--Control the boards
Matchup To Watch:
Janel McCarville vs. Charde Houston
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.