After opening the month of August with six of their first eight games on the road, the Minnesota Lynx were looking forward to getting back home for a stretch in front of their own crowd to round out the month.
Minnesota, which finished that eight-game span mostly on the road with a record of 3-5, came into last Thursday’s game back at Target Center to open up a very important four-game homestand as we near the end of the regular-season schedule.
“This (homestand) pretty much makes or breaks us,” Sylvia Fowles said. “You gotta show up and we have good fans here at home, our crowd has always been good to us. We just want to make sure that we come in and play hard every night and come out with a win.”
The Lynx opened up the homestand with a victory over the Dallas Wings last Thursday, while reaching the midway point of the stretch in Minneapolis with an impressive win over the Las Vegas Aces on Sunday evening.
Minnesota is nearly a lock to reach the postseason, not officially claiming a playoff spot just yet coming into Tuesday while sitting one win or an Indiana Fever loss away from clinching its spot in the eight-team field.
Where they will end up being seeded before the playoffs begin, however, is still up in the air, which has made this homestand that much more important for the Lynx. Minnesota is right on the heels of potentially making a jump to the No. 6 seed in the standings, which would result in it hosting an opening-round playoff game in Minneapolis.
“(This homestand) is huge. This is the time to gain momentum going into the playoffs,” Danielle Robinson said. “Right now, it’s one game at a time and we’re happy to be home in front of our fans for sure.”
The good news for Minnesota is that it has played relatively well as of late and have performed well at home so far during the 2019 campaign, holding a record of 9-6 at Target Center.
“You have to win your home games,” Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve said. “Obviously getting back into the win column is good and now we just have to try and keep this momentum going into the next game.”
To finish off the homestand, which will also be the final two home games of the regular season for the Lynx, Minnesota will have two more tough tests at home.
The Lynx will welcome the Chicago Sky (18-11 overall), who already claimed a spot in the playoffs earlier this month and are currently the No. 5 seed in the WNBA standings, to Target Center at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night.
“We have another game on Tuesday, so we can’t dwell on it. … We have a big one coming up,” Robinson said after Sunday’s win over Las Vegas. “We just have to make sure we do the same thing that we’ve done the last few games we carry into Tuesday night.”
Minnesota will round out the four-game homestand and play in its final home game of the regular season against the Indiana Fever at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
While entering Tuesday night with four games remaining in the regular-season slate, where Minnesota will be placed in the postseason bracket is still to be determined.
And although winning at home is always an important thing for teams to try to accomplish, the Lynx are currently in the heart of a home stretch that could strongly influence how they perform in the playoffs in September.
“It’s a really big stretch. We take pride in every game obviously, but home games especially. We have to protect our home court,” Napheesa Collier said. “It’s about coming out strong and executing what we need to.
“Everyone knows we have had some highs and lows this year, but there is no better time to get on a great high like at the end of the season going into the playoffs and continuing it into the playoffs.”