Home General Stars vs. Lynx: Breaking down the series

Stars vs. Lynx: Breaking down the series

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Jia Perkins will play a key role in the series against Minnesota. (Photos by Rebecca George.)
Jia Perkins will play a key role in the series against Minnesota. (Photos by Rebecca George.)

The San Antonio Stars are facing the Minnesota Lynx in the first Western Conference playoff game tomorrow night in Minnesota. The Stars and the Lynx are meeting again since their last meeting in 2011 in which the Lynx took the series 2-1 in a best of 3 format. There are some big names in the series so let’s break down the player match ups as well as SA’s keys to winning the series.

STARTERS

PGLindsay Whalen vs Danielle Robinson – This is a tale of experience versus youth. Lindsay Whalen is an incredibly experienced playoff veteran who knows how and when to make the right plays for her team. She is skillful in doing the right thing and scoring when needed. Danielle Robinson is a rising star in the league who is the quickest for getting buckets. She’s also improved her mid range game and is a good defender. This is a tough match up for both players. Lindsay Whalen will have trouble making sure Danielle Robinson is in front of her, whereas Robinson will have problems on controlling Lindsay’s ability to get others involved and getting the right play at the right time. Both are great players in their own rights so in this rare instance, this is an even match up for both teams.


SGSeimone Augustus vs Becky Hammon This is two really great experienced playoff veterans who will rise when the opportunity presents itself.  But, both have some health issues coming into the game. Hammon is no longer the scorer she used to be due to age and Augustus has missed significant time in the regular season with a knee injury.  It will be interesting to see if these two players show up or don’t at all. Augustus is a very good scorer with a great mid range game and has the ability to get to the free throw line. She’s also improved greatly as a defender. Hammon is a great play maker and is a good three point shooter.  With this all being said, this match up goes to Seimone Augustus. Augustus still has the ability to outplay Becky even when she’s not completely healthy.

SFMaya Moore vs Kayla McBride –  This matchup is about a international superstar versus a rising rookie WNBA star.  This match up is a huge task for Kayla McBride. This season, Maya Moore was unreal.  She had the most ever 30 point games in league history (12). She had the third highest scoring average this season at 23.9 points per game.  She led the Lynx when both Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson missed significant time due to injury. She’s also the leader for this year’s MVP award which will be announced in the next weeks. Safe to say, she’s a tough match up for anyone in the league and especially this season.  This not to say that Kayla McBride is not a great player. Kayla McBride was the third rookie scoring leader with 13 points per game. She’s also a lock for the WNBA All Rookie Team which will be announced at a later date. Kayla McBride is a good shooter who’s shown this season to hit some big shots for San Antonio when needed and a good scorer as well. She’s shown flashes of being a good defender as well.  However, looking at this matchup, this goes to Maya Moore. She’s been playing at a high level this season and it will increase when the playoffs begin.

PF – Rebekkah Brunson vs Sophia Young- Malcolm – Two great WNBA All Stars who both missed significant time due to injury these past two seasons. When healthy, both Brunson and Young-Malcolm are great inside posts who can score and are good defenders as well. Rebekkah Brunson is a great rebounder and is relentless in second chance opportunities.  Young-Macolm has a good midrange game and can play the pick and roll with Hammon really well. The one advantage that Brunson has over Young-Malcolm is rebounding. Young-Malcolm’s rebounding has been low for the season and Brunson should be able to take advantage of that.  The one advantage that Young-Malcolm has over Brunson is Young-Malcolm’s ability to get into the passing lanes for steals. Another note is Sophia Young-Malcolm’s natural position is SF who plays PF for some occasions otherwise this is another even match up.

C  – Janel McCarville vs Jayne Appel – This matchup is about two different type of centers. One who can shoot the mid range game and one who is a very good rebounder.  Janel McCarville has a great chemistry with Lindsay Whalen and she’s able to hit jumpers when given the ball and is known for being a good passer as well.  Jayne Appel is an excellent rebounder and a great defender. She’s also known for being a great passer as well. Janel will have to keep Jayne off the glass while Jayne will need to come out and guard Janel in the mid range area. Both players are critical to their team’s success and can help their team out if one of them is playing well. This matchup cancels one another out as one players weakness is their strength and one players strength is their weakness, etc.

BENCH

SIXTH WOMAN – Damirias Dantas/Deveraux Peters vs Danielle Adams/Jia Perkins

These players are huge in whether or not their team plays well.  When Damirias Dantas plays well along with Deveraux Peters, it gives the Lynx starters time to rest and can close out the game with a win. When both Danielle Adams and Jia Perkins play well for San Antonio, both give the Stars a boost and both play in critical end of game situations. Jia Perkins, one of the leading candidates for Sixth Woman of the Year, has been big for San Antonio and if she plays really well and is on top of her game, the Stars can definitely surprise the Minnesota Lynx and win the series. Danielle Adams can also help San Antonio if she is playing well by her ability to be another great scorer off the bench or as a starter.

X Factors

Which X Factor will come to play for either team? Will Tricia Liston or Asia Taylor? Will Shenise Johnson or Shameka Christon? Which ever team has their X Factors play well, it will give their team the edge in the series.

KEYS TO WINNING THE SERIES

1. Shoot well – It should not be any surprise of any sort that the Stars win when they shoot well. In this series, they are going to need to shoot well from mid range and from the three point line. If they shoot lights out for two games or three or close enough, they can give themselves a shot to win the series.

2. Take care of others –  The Stars are not going to be  able to stop Maya Moore. What they should do is however, is take othe players out of the game. Make Lindsay Whalen work for her points.  Take Seimone Augustus out of the game. Control Rebekkah Brunson on the glass, etc. If they are successful in doing just that, they give themselves an opportunity to win the series.

3. Jia Perkins – Jia Perkins is the most important player off the bench in this series. If she plays well, the Lynx will need to use their starters more than they would like to. She will force Minnesota to play their best defender on her and therefore make life easier for the other Stars players to step up and help her. This is Jia’s series and to show why she’s one of the top candidates for Sixth Woman of the Year.

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.

1 COMMENT

  1. Our STaRs need to play together as a team, rebound and make their shots. They need to follow their shots. Weakness is rebounding since. They have not done anything much about it. Play better defense and keep the ball moving. Communicate and focus. Never give up…let’s go STaRs! Anything is possible. Keep up the faith~

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