It got contentious quick as the Lynx jumped out to a double-digit lead and the lid just sealed up on the basket. The game was physical and the calls were inconsistent, even the crowd at US Airways Center could feel it.
"They called a lot of fouls - offensive fouls - in the first half and it threw us out of our rhythm," was rookie Samantha Prahalis take after the game.
They Lynx - the WNBA's best team - attacked in waves like a powerful storm hitting an unsuspecting coast, which is what makes them the toughest matchup in the WNBA. The tidal wave of the bunch was Lindsay Whalen as she put on a scoring clinic scoring with 29 points (11/14 shooting) including a dominant 11 point second quarter.
It seemed like the Mercury were going to be able to weather the storm at home, but just as they seemed to, they walked into the eye of the storm instead. After a competitive first quarter where the Mercury starters kept the game close trailing 21-16 with balanced scoring (five different players scored) the second quarter doomed them.
In the second quarter the Mercury were outscored 22-11 and the doors were officially blown off the game. In the end the Lynx (10-0) started the season with a win against the Mercury (2-6) and ran their undefeated streak to 10 straight after the 78-60 win.
There were not many positives to come out of this game. The team as a whole looked flat, lethargic, and uninterested in the game overall. To start the game there even appeared to be a stoic look of defeat on their faces.
Outside of DeWanna Bonner's general brilliance that she has displayed all season this is 40 minutes of tape Coach Gaines can toss away. Bonner finished with a team high 18 points and 3 steals all while once again playingall five positions on the court.
According to Bonner there isn't much to take out of this loss, "No. Not really. We rebounded well, which is a good change. We had a bad shooting night tonight and it is hard to beat the No. 1 team when you have a bad shooting night."
Early in the game the team ran Bonner at the point getting Samantha Prahalis off the ball to capitalize on her shooting. It worked the first time they ran it, but after a second try on that set the team went away from it.
The wrinkle to the offense is something the team has in their arsenal, "Certain plays to get her (Prahalis) open for pick-and-rolls - it's called Chin - it is like a play-action."
Call it pre-mature or just right, but after tonight's loss we are going to track the Brittney Griner Watch. The 6-8 center is a lock for the No. 1 Overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft and the Mercury are in that conversation:
|Brittney Griner Watch|
|New York Liberty||3||7||2.5|