Lynx

Lynx Mailbag: Brunson, Player Roles and ... Running for President?

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2019 WNBA All-Star break wrapping up over the weekend, the Minnesota Lynx will get a week off before resuming the home stretch of the regular season on Saturday.

Through the first 20 games of the year, Minnesota is 10-10 overall, currently sitting in eighth place in the league standings. The Lynx are 3.5 games back of the first-place Connecticut Sun (13-6) and Las Vegas Aces (13-6).

Minnesota, which has gone through a bit of a slump entering the All-Star Break with three losses in a row, will begin a two-game road trip out of the break with a game in Indiana on Saturday and Atlanta on Aug. 6.

Before the final 17 games of the regular season begin, let’s dive into some of the questions you submitted surrounding the Lynx:

Lexie Brown has been a big key off the bench for Minnesota so far this season.

With the Lynx dealing with some early-season injury issues to begin the regular season, Odyssey Sims — a player many anticipated would be a key second-unit piece for the Lynx after she was traded to the team from Los Angeles this offseason — has been pushed up into the starting rotation, where she has thrived thus far.

That has ultimately opened up a larger role for Brown within that second unit and she has been able to provide Minnesota with a nice offensive boost in her first year with the organization.

Coming out of the All-Star Break, Brown is averaging 8.3 points, 1.3 assists, 1.3 rebounds and 0.9 steals in 19.6 minutes per game in her second WNBA season. She is shooting 42.9 percent from the field, including 41.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Early on in the season, Brown got off to a quick start offensively, showcasing her ability to help Minnesota, mainly from three. But she ended up going through a bit of a slump from the middle of June until the middle of July, only to see her numbers start to increase as of late.

While putting together a 20-point game on July 17 against Seattle and a 19-point performance on July 24 against Washington, Brown looks like she has some confidence back, which is great news for the Lynx.

If she does start to see a larger role down the stretch, her ability to boost Minnesota offensively and with the long ball will continue to be a key.

Eric Richard: Any chance we will see Rebekkah Brunson play this season?

Forward Rebekkah Brunson, who is still technically a free agent, has yet to appear in a game in 2019 while trying to recover from concussion symptoms stemming from the 2018 campaign with the Lynx.

As far as if we will see Brunson play in a game this season, that has yet to really be addressed by anyone within the organization and the answer to that question is still unknown.

Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve said earlier on in the year that she and Brunson have continued to stay in contact and they will continue to monitor her progress throughout the year.

Brunson, who is the only player in league history to have five WNBA titles on her resume, has been to a few games at Target Center this season, including the jersey retirement of Lindsay Whalen and last Wednesday’s camp day game against Washington.

If we are going to see Brunson suit up for the Lynx in 2019, I’d imagine we would likely hear something soon. A final decision on the playoff roster, assuming Minnesota is still in the playoff picture for the remainder of the season, will need to be made by the end of August.

Seimone Augustus, who has been rehabbing from knee surgery that took place at the beginning of the regular season, is expected back sometime soon for Minnesota.

Prior to the All-Star break, Reeve mentioned that the veteran wing would ideally return to the rotation for the Lynx around the break, and she has been able to put some work in during practices and before games over the past few weeks.

When Augustus does indeed return and is fully healthy, we likely will see her get bumped back into the starting lineup, and she would provide a nice lift to Minnesota’s rotation with her offensive presence.

The result of Augustus returning could ultimately move Sims to the bench, although you’d imagine her time on the floor will likely remain the same for the rest of the year. We could also see Augustus move more into a role where she comes off the bench, at least initially while she gets her feet back underneath her.

As far as who we might see during crunch time for Minnesota, Augustus will likely be a part of that group in the final minutes of games. The Lynx could go with somewhat of a smaller lineup of Danielle Robinson, Sims, Augustus, Collier and Fowles on the floor, or we could possibly even see Sims play some at point guard alongside Augustus, Collier, Dantas and Fowles down the stretch.

The return of Augustus will allow Minnesota to switch things up within its rotation and gives it a few different options based on what lineup an opponent has out on the floor. That will be a valuable re-insertion for the Lynx.

Deb Loppnow: When is Cecilia coming back?

Forward Cecilia Zandalasini has been back with the Lynx for a few weeks now after she wrapped up playing oversees in EuroBasket.

Although she has returned to Minnesota, Zandalasini has not been cleared to play yet while she is working on recovering from a high ankle sprain she suffered near the end of her overseas commitment.

The fact that she is back around the team and has even been seen in the practice facility in Minneapolis is a good sign that she will return soon. It’s also good that she has started to get re-acclimated with her teammates back in Minneapolis ahead of her return.

Much like getting Augustus back, Zandalasini will provide the Lynx with yet another offensive option. In her second year with Minnesota in 2018, she shot 40.9 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from three in 29 games.

Zandalasini is another player that will get some playing time down the stretch once she does return, although that playing time will likely come primarily within the second unit.

Now, to my favorite and the hot-topic question of the week.

For one, this would be awesome.

Secondly, we’ve seen more surprising things occur in politics before, haven’t we? (We’ll save that topic for another time and place.)

I’m not exactly sure how invested or interested Reeve is in politics or if she would ever consider a presidential run, but I think she’s pretty content with her role as a head coach and general manager with the Lynx for at least the foreseeable future.

That will do it for this week’s mailbag. As always, thanks for submitting your questions and for reading, Lynx fans. Enjoy the week.

Submit Your Lynx Mailbag Question

Our Mitchell Hansen will continue to publish Lynx mailbags every other Monday throughout the course of the 2019 WNBA season here at Zone Coverage.

Have a question surrounding the Lynx that you would like answered? Submit them by tweeting him @M_Hansen13! The next Lynx mailbag will be on Monday, Aug. 12.

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