Lynx Mailbag: Minnesota Rolling, Player Contracts and Fowles

(image credit: screenshot from Minnesota Lynx on YouTube)

The Minnesota Lynx have reached the midway point in the 2019 WNBA regular season as one of the hottest teams in the league over the last 10 games to sit near the top of the WNBA standings.

The Lynx enter Monday at 10-7 overall and are tied with the Washington Mystics (9-7) for third place in the standings, trailing the first-place Las Vegas Aces (11-5) by 1.5 games. Minnesota has also won six of its last eight games.

The Lynx returned home on Sunday night following a lengthy road trip, hosting the Phoenix Mercury at Target Center. Minnesota, which will wrap up a two-game homestand against Seattle on Wednesday, came away with a 75-62 win over Phoenix behind a memorable night from Sylvia Fowles.

As we head into a new week of the regular season, let’s take a look at and answer some of the questions you submitted surrounding the Lynx:

When it comes to the contracts for Lynx guard Kenisha Bell and forward Asia Taylor, who were both signed by the organization on July 2, they are now guaranteed for the rest of the season. 

Sunday was the deadline where players contracts become guaranteed if they weren’t cut by their respective teams, which means Bell and Taylor both now have guaranteed contracts through the rest of the regular season and postseason. 

That was one of the reasons why Minnesota ended up waiving Alaina Coates on Sunday. Coates could still return to the Lynx while they await the return of Cecilia Zandalasini and the team now has the opportunity to sign Coates — or any other player — to a seven-day contract. 

From a contractual standpoint, Bell and Taylor will remain on the books for Minnesota for the rest of the 2019 season. That doesn’t mean that they are locks to remain on the roster for the rest of the year, as is the case for really any player on the roster, but their contracts are now officially guaranteed. 

Taylor has made a nice impact off the bench so far in five games for the Lynx since being signed earlier this month. She has averaged 3.8 points, 1.2 rebounds and one assist in 8.6 minutes per game. She is shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line. 

Bell has had more of a limited role since coming back to Minnesota after being drafted by the team in the third round of the 2019 WNBA Draft before being cut at the end of training camp. Bell has appeared in three games, averaging 0.3 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 3.6 minutes a contest. 

Brandon Boras: Any insight on why the Lynx seem so bad at post entry passes into Sylvia this year? Half the time it seems like the pass is flying out of bounds or getting picked off by the other team.

This has been somewhat of an issue for Minnesota so far this season, as have been turnovers as a whole.

One thing that the Lynx have tried to emphasize a decent amount this year, as they have also tried to do in the past, is getting Sylvia Fowles more touches in the post and working the offense through her.

When you have a dominant presence like Fowles who can go to work in the paint, that obviously makes a lot of sense. Their offense goes to another level when Fowles is the focal point and she is in a groove.

This may sound like a simple and broad answer to your question, but something as simple as not having familiar personnel around her that has been on the floor with her in year’s past could be one of the reasons we’ve seen this issue so far in 2019.

Now that we are at the midway point in the year, however, you can tell this team is starting to gel together much better and are becoming more comfortable with playing next to one another.

To go back to the overall issue of turnovers, Minnesota has struggled in that category since the regular season schedule began. Entering Monday, the Lynx are averaging 16.2 turnovers per game, which is the worst in the WNBA. That’s almost one turnover more per game than the next worse teams, the Las Vegas Aces and Chicago Sky, who rank 11th in the league with 15.4 turnovers per contest.

Taking care of the ball while also being able to continue to force the ball to Fowles in the post will be a big thing for Minnesota to work on fixing this season. Come playoff time, the Lynx might not be able to afford having another game where they commit 15-20 (or more) turnovers per game.

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 mailbag’s 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 at him @M_Hansen13! The next Lynx mailbag will be on Monday, July 29.

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