Sep 24, 2021 - Sports

Can the Minnesota Lynx add a second phase to their dynasty?

Cheryl Reeve wears a blue shirt and holds a basketball next to Napheesa Collier
Can Cheryl Reeve (right) coach the Lynx to another WNBA championship with young star Napheesa Collier (left)? Photo: Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Minnesota Lynx have a chance to extend their dynasty of the 2010s into a new decade when they begin the playoffs on Sunday.

State of play: After starting the season 5-7, the Lynx won 17 of their last 20 games and finished with a 22-10 record, earning a No. 3 seed in the WNBA playoffs.

  • They will take on the Chicago Sky on Sunday at 4pm in a single-elimination game

Why it matters: Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve has already solidified herself as one of the great coaches of all time, but winning a fifth WNBA title with an almost completely new roster would be a feather in her cap.

  • The core of Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus, who won four championships between 2011 and 2017, are long gone. Only Sylvia Fowles remains from those teams.
  • But a new core, led by Napheesa Collier, Fowles, Layshia Clarendon and Kayla McBride, are hoping to run the table this fall.

What they're saying: The Lynx are somewhat long shots to win the title because analysts say it's hard for a No. 3 seed to pull it off.

  • FiveThirtyEight gives Minnesota a 10% chance of winning it all. But regardless, the Lynx have a young team that should make noise for years to come.
  • "The Lynx are my title favorites next season if they remain healthy," wrote Chantel Jennings, the Athletic’s WNBA writer.

The bottom line: With the Twins out of the playoffs, the Vikings off to an 0-2 start and the Wolves in disarray, the Lynx are providing Minnesota sports fans something the other major teams in town aren't: Real hope.

  • OK, maybe there’s also some hope for the Wild, which this week extended phenom Kirill Kaprizov for five more years.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the Sunday game time.

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