Lynx Go For Eight Straight
One game at a time. It's not about records, it's about championships. We're going to stay focused on the task at hand. You've heard them all. And if the Minnesota Lynx top the Seattle Storm tonight (8pm ET on WNBA Live Access), you'll probably be hearing a lot more of them.
The defending WNBA champion Lynx have started the 2012 season 7-0, tying three other teams for second-most consecutive wins to begin a WNBA campaign with seven straight W's, joining the 1997 New York Liberty, the 1999 Houston Comets and the 2007 Detroit Shock in also achieving the seven-game milestone.
First place on the all-time WNBA consecutive games to start a season list is held by two different Los Angeles squads, the 2001 and the 2003 Sparks. Both teams led by Lisa Leslie won nine straight without a loss from the get-go.
With a victory tonight over Sue Bird and the Storm, who are operating without the services of perennial All-Star Lauren Jackson -- who is Down Under helping the Australian Women�s National Team prepare for the London Olympic Games this summer -- the Lynx will be alone in second place with eight wins and on the cusp of making WNBA history.
At the risk of jinxing Minnesota, should the Lynx prevail tonight, they could potentially join both L.A. clubs at the pinnacle of the WNBA record book with a victory on Sat, June 9 at Tulsa vs. the Shock, who are also missing a big piece of their on-court puzzle as Liz Cambage is also away on Australian National Team duty. With a win at Tulsa, Minnesota would then have five days off -- enough time for short team training camp according to Head Coach Cheryl Reeve -- before traveling to Phoenix with a chance to set a new WNBA record of 10 consecutive wins to start a season.
You may detect a pattern here, as the Mercury are also currently without their perennial All-Star. Diana Taurasi is not in Australia, however, as health-permitting she�ll be part of the U.S. Women�s National Team competing against the Aussies for London gold this summer. But the high-scoring Mercury guard is sidelined with a hip flexor that may make her unavailable in any Phoenix attempt to block the Lynx from setting a new record on their court.
So, Jackson-less Storm tonight, Cambage-less Shock on June 9 and potentially Tarausi-less Mercury for the all-time record on June 15. Minnesota must be excited about the chance to break the record and are happy to discuss it openly, correct? As noted earlier, not a chance.
"That's teams in the past, the immaturity in past Lynx teams, where we go, 'Oh, we won a few games,' and then we went on a 10-game losing streak," said WNBA Finals 2011 MVP Seimone Augustus, when asked about the streak after edging the Silver Stars on Sunday night. "This team is more focused on one game at a time and doing what we need to do to better ourselves for the playoffs and the road ahead."
And by focusing on one game at a time, clich�s be darned, Minnesota just might make history.