The Minnesota Links (5-7) will end their season streak with the Atlanta Dream (5-7) Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. Minnesota took both of the previous two games between the two teams, defeating Atlanta 86-84 On June 4th and 100-80 On June 6.
If the Lynx wanted to sweep the dream, they would need to do so without the Air Force Services (UCL rupture) and Natalie Achonwa (MCL sprain). According to Lynx, both players indefinitely. Powers has played in just four games this season, missing the previous two games against Dream with a hamstring injury.
Elsewhere on the injury front, Atlanta lost lead scorer Tiffany Hayes to MCL injury. But the dream will bring back Chenedy Carter from an elbow injury. Carter hasn’t played in any of Dream’s previous two losses to Minnesota, so one thing to watch in Game Three is how they performed with Carter in the lineup and Hayes out of the team.
One thing is for sure: Atlanta will need to find a way to slow the Lynx offense. Minnesota’s shooting better than 50 percent off the field in previous victories; While Dream 12 hit triples on June 4 and 10 on June 6, they couldn’t outpace their opponents, who apparently got what they wanted in the half field despite spinning the ball a total of 30 times.
It’s those transformations that could be the biggest threat to Lynx in this match. Minnesota right now ball flip on 19.5 percent of its holdings, the 11th highest in the WNBA; Atlanta, on the other hand, ranks third in Forced rotation percentage by 20.3%.
Minnesota Links (5-7) vs Atlanta Dream (5-7)
when: Wednesday, June 23 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Gateway Center Square, College Park, Georgia
How to watch: BSSEX-ATL, Bally Sports North Plus, TSN5, WNBA League Pass
Lynx injury report: Jessica Shepherd (doubtful, thigh), Natalie Ochonoa (off; knee), aerobics (off; thumb), Renea Davis (off season; foot)
Dream injury report: Shenedy Carter (possible, elbow), Tiffany Hayes (outside, knee)
Match keys: Even without Hayes, Atlanta won’t change how they defend, so the Lynx will need to take care of basketball if they’re going to sweep the series. Getting the ball to Sylvia Fowles early and often is a big deal for Minnesota, but you can bet Dream will try to be as annoying as possible on passes. On the offensive, Carter’s return should be a huge boost to Dream Pick and Roll, but we’ll see if that’s enough to make up for Hayes’ loss and her ability to hit the free throw line.