Lynx Hold Commanding 2-0 Lead Over Atlanta Dream
By: Adam Markowitz
Thursday, October 6, 2011
The Minnesota Lynx have jumped out to a 2-0 series lead in the WNBA Finals. On Friday night, they have a shot to close out their first WNBA Championship if they can knock off the Atlanta Dream at Philips Arena in Game 3.
Tip time for Friday night's clash is slated for 8:00 p.m. (ET), and you can find national television coverage on ESPN2, or get the game online at ESPN3.com.
The Lynx have been modest favorites in the first two games on the WNBA odds, and they have covered both numbers. They're now 5-0 SU and ATS in the last five games in this series dating back to last July, and they may have totally demoralized the Eastern Conference champs.
Taj McWilliams-Franklin has struggled in the first two games of this series, coming up with just a total of 18 points and 15 rebounds, but she has been troubled by an illness and now by a knee injury. She is going to be a key in the post, as she and Rebekkah Brunson make up one of the most-feared inside tandems in the league.
Brunson had 26 points and 11 boards in Game 1, but she tapered off for just nine points and five rebounds thanks to foul trouble in Game 2.
Instead, the Game 2 hero was none other than Seimone Augustus, who tied for the league lead in scoring this season. Augustus has scored 22 points and 36 points in the two games of this series, and if she can light it up like she did in Game 2 when she shot 11-of-14 from the field, this series could be all but over.
Atlanta needs to really pick things up defensively. The Dream allowed the Lynx to shoot 50.0 percent from the floor in Game 2 and 46.1 percent in Game 1, numbers which just won't cut it at this level.
The star of the show thus far has been Angel McCoughtry, who has a series-high 71 total points in two games.
Lindsey Harding has tallied in double digits in every single game thus far in the playoffs for Atlanta, and she played all 40 minutes in the Game 2 loss. Harding also has six straight games with at least five assists.
The Dream have to have some confidence though, knowing that they have led in both of these games by double digits. However, the demons of last year's sweep in the WNBA Finals to the Seattle Storm have to be creeping up in their heads as well, something that must be squashed to win this series.
Minnesota is now 35-17 ATS in its last 52 games overall, a trend that is unrivaled by any other team in the WNBA. The Dream are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games, and they have gone 1-1 ATS and 2-0 SU so far in the playoffs at home.
Atlanta has opened up as a two-point favorite on the WNBA betting lines. The total has been set at a lofty 164 ½.
If there is a Game 4, that game will be on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. (ET) right back at Philips Arena. Should a Game 5 be necessary, it will be played next Wednesday night in Minneapolis at Target Arena.