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Prospects for WNBA: Sylvia Fowles, Lynx in Minnesota, faces Las Vegas Aces

The Minnesota Lynx (10-7) are on track to put their five-game winning streak at stake against Las Vegas on Friday, at 10:30 p.m. ET. The four games begin Friday with the Atlanta Dream (6-11) against the Connecticut Sun (12-6). On top of that, last place Indiana Fever (2-16) plays New York Liberty (10-9), while first place Seattle Storm (15-4) travels to play the Phoenix Mercury (8-9).

The Lynx beats the Aces 90-89 in overtime in a meeting earlier in the season. The match was defined by the postal players and it can be expected that the match tonight will be more the same. Sylvia Fowles and Napheesa Collier combined 53 points, while A’ja Wilson and Liz Cambage combined 46 points. Fowles and Wilson are playing at MVP levels this season and their performances are critical to the success of their respective teams.

Two-point shooting will be critical. 80.3 percent of the shots the Aces take is within the 3-point line and in the first encounter, the Aces shot 37 percent on two-point shots while the Lynx shot 53 percent. The Lynx are not as dependent on two-point shots, with 69.1 percent of their shots inside the arc.

Sun take on Dream

The Sun dropped their last game against the fever, but won four games before the loss. The Dream have scored just two wins in their last ten games. The Sun has the best record at home (7-1), which will make a tough game for the Dream even harder.

Jonquel Jones clues the Sun with 21.1 points and 10.2 rebounds. In the first event, she had 26 points, while DeWanna Bonner had 21. Bonner scored 15.8 points per game with Brionna Jones contributing 15.4.

After a downward year in 2020, the Sun’s 3-point shot is back at the 2019 level 7.2 made tries per game with 35 percent shooting. Connecticut average just 79.6 points per game while Atlanta scored 84.2 points.

Defensively, there is a large gap between the two groups. The sun boast the best defense in the league, with just 74.3 points per game, while the Dream allows the most points at 89.1.

Inconsistent Liberty gets fever in last place

The Liberty has improved a lot since last year, especially in their long-range shooting. In 2020, New York was 27.7 on three-point shots. This year the number jumped to 36.6 percent. The fever is on track to win just one or two more games this season, a clear regression for a team that has won 13 games in 2019.

Betnijah Laney got underway after her breakout season in 2020. Laney is the top scorer for the Liberty at 19.3 points per game. Sami Whitcomb thrives as a full-time starter after four seasons as a role player at the Seattle Storm. Whitcomb shoots 50.6 percent from the floor and 45.7 percent from outside the arc, while averaging 12.6 points per game.

Kelsey Mitchell clues the fever with 16.2 points per game, but the fever generates only 74.2 as a team that is the last in the league. The fever is defensive give with 86.7 points, which is also the second worst point in the WNBA. The Liberty are not much better in the defensive division as they yield 85.8 points per game.

The league-leading Storm faces Mercury

The Storm and Mercury tackle each other for the first time this season. The Storm have won their last three games and have not had a speed bump this season, despite big losses out of season. Breanna Stewart is farm similar stats as her 2018 MVP season, with 21.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.

Jewell Loyd is average a career high of 18.1 points while Sue Bird is log in 10.8 points, despite playing in her 18th season. Britney Griner has a 33-point, 10-rebound performance and is averaging 20.2 points and 9.5 rebounds. Skylar Diggings-Smith averaged 18.8 points, while future Hall-of-Famer Diana Taurasi averaged 15.7 points.

The storm lead the league in shooting from outside the arc at 40 percent, while the Mercury is one of the worst three-point shooting teams with 31 percent. Phoenix had problems with attack and shooting below 45 percent on shots outside eight feet from the basket. The Storm is pretty good defense they boast the fourth best defense rating at 96.6.

Game information

Connecticut Sun (12-6) Teen Atlanta Dream (6-11)

When: Friday 9 July at 19:00 ET

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT

How to watch: CBS Sports Network, NESN +

Key to the match: If the dream is going to turn things around this season, it started on the defensive end. Atlanta has proven its ability to put points on the board, but the losses are increasing. The Dream will be without Chennedy Carter who is suspended for conduct that is detrimental to the team. This can have a huge impact on the dream’s transgression. Jonquel Jones and DeWanna Bonner are the keys to success for the Sun.

Sun Injury Report: Alyssa Thomas (for the season; Achilles)

Dream Injury Report: Chennedy Carter (out; suspended), Tiffany Hayes (out; knee)

Indiana Fever (2-16) vs. New York Liberty (10-9)

When: Friday 9 July at 19:00 ET

Where: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, IN

How to watch: NBA TV, Bally Sports Indiana, TSN5

Key to the match: The fever should focus on the Liberty’s three-point shot, which is easier said than done. If the fever can force hard shots, it could lead to easy transition bowls that will help their limited violation of the halfway point.

Fever Injury Report: Tiffany Mitchell (probably; inches), Bernadette Határ (outside; ankle)

Liberty injuries report: Natasha Howard (out; knee), Jocelyn Willoughby (out of season; Achilles)

Phoenix Mercury (10-9) vs. Seattle Storm (15-4)

When: Friday 9 July at 21:00 ET

Where: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, AZ

How to watch: ESPN, TSN3 / 5

Key to the match: Britney Griner is the key to the Mercury. The Storm could limit the rest of the Mercury, but Griner could be hard to shut down. If Griner can get going, the Storm could be a long night.

Mercury Injury Report: Bria Hartley (outside; knee), Diana Taurasi (doubtful; hip)

Storm Injury Report: Ezi Magbegor (NWT; national team commitment), Stephanie Talbot (NWT; national team commitment), Mikiah Herbert Harrigan (out of season; personal)

Las Vegas Aces (14-5) vs. Minnesota Lynx (10-7)

When: Friday 9 July at 22:30 ET

Where: Michelob ULTRA Arena, Las Vegas, NV

How to watch: ESPN3, MYLVTV

Key to the match: The fight of the postal players can quite possibly decide the outcome of the match. However, a third big scorer can turn the result around. Layshia Clarendon, for example, scored 20 points in the first meeting between the teams. If Dearica Hamby has a big game with Wilson and Cambage, the Aces can take revenge for the earlier loss.

Bait Injury Report: Angel McCoughtry (out of season; knee)

Lynx Injury Report: Natalie Achonwa (out; knee), Rennia Davis (out of season; foot), Aerial Powers (out; thumb)

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