The Lynx won the first regular-season matchup in the Twin Cities last season, winning 91-79 to cover in a high-scoring affair on June 26. The defending champ Storm returned the favor with a pair of wins by an average of 9.5 points per game, and the under cashed in the two games Seattle won.
I think EDD will get rolling quicker, so she gets my vote for MVP.Pick: Elena Delle Donne. TB: So many stars will be MIA to start the season. And two of the biggestElena Delle Donne and Liz Cambage will not be starting the season at full strength.
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At Louisville, Durr was a two-time ACC player of the year and scored 2,485 points and grabbed 453 rebounds over four years. And given her skill setshes fast, a threat from the perimeter, can pull up from mid-range, can beat defenders one-on-oneDurr should adjust to the pro game quickly. Laken Litman: New York desperately needs second overall pick Asia Durr to have a big rookie season. And shell have plenty of opportunities to contributethe Liberty finished 2018 ranked second-to-last in points per game and offensive efficiency with only one player averaging in double figures (Tina Charles at 19.7). Shes a powerful player and a natural leader who also has a knack for keeping a short-term memory. For example, Durr had an awful start to her final college game against Connecticut in the Elite Eight, missing her first eight shots and going 1 for 10 at halftime.
Who will be able to fire out of the box with a 2-0 mark in the ultra-competitive Western Conference? The Seattle Storm (1-0) and Minnesota Lynx (1-0) each opened their seasons with impressive victories over the weekend.
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Kellen Becoats: Theres so much talent in this years rookie class that its hard to choose one but Im going with Napheesa Collier. After Maya Moores decision to sit out the 2019 season, the Lynx are going to need some production from the forward spots and I think Collier fits that bill perfectly. Shes a multi-level scorer who led UConn with 20.8 points last season and should help a Minnesota team looking for buckets outside of Sylvia Fowles. If Collier can keep improving her three-point shot and help expand the scoring capabilities of a team that was tied with the Sparks for third-fewest points per game in 2018. The only two teams lower than the Lynx? Collier showed us what she was capable of with the Huskies last season. The Liberty and the Fever. Im counting on her to keep getting better in Minnesota as the team tries to stave off a rebuild and stay competitive.Pick: Napheesa Collier.
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WNBA Preview: Seattle Storm at Minnesota Lynx predictions, picks and best bets
Delle Donne wasnt 100% last season, yet still led her team to the title game with a knee injury. Heading into this year, Seattle was projected to be repeat champions. LL: This could be the year the Washington Mystics win their first championship. Now, if she and the rest of her team can stay healthy, theyll be a threat to win it all.Pick: Mystics. Then reigning WNBA and Finals MVP Breanna Stewart tore her Achilles playing in the EuroLeague Championship game. Coach Mike Thibault returns his core group from last years finals run, including stars Elena Delle Donne (20.7 points per game in 2018) and Kristi Toliver (13.9 PPG), plus Ariel Atkins, Natasha Cloud and LaToya Sanders.
Young is undeniably talented but there is so much star power in Vegas that I just dont see her getting the ball very much.Pick: Asia Durr. I would give Durr the nod right now as its easy to see her earning a starting spot and having a real impact on the Liberty. Collier also has an opportunity to shine with the Lynx who are searching for a new identity without Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen. Trisha Blackmar: There are three strong candidates for this award in Jackie Young (Las Vegas), Asia Durr (New York) and Napheesa Collier (Minnesota).
She was also 23 years old. Cambage was MVP runner-up last year after leading the league with 23.0 PPG, and will be paired with Wilson, who has similar size and skill. As a basis of some comparison, Breanna Stewart averaged 21.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks when she won MVP last year. Last year, Wilson averaged 20.7 points (tied for third in WNBA), 8.0 rebounds (sixth) and 1.67 blocked shots (sixth) per game while starting every game for Las Vegas. Theres one caveat: Wilson has a new teammate in Liz Cambage, whom the Aces recently acquired in a trade with Dallas. LL: After being unanimously selected as the 2018 Rookie of the Year, 23-year-old Aja Wilson is poised for an MVP season in 2019. Expect the latter and that Wilson will be even more clutch than she was a year ago.Pick: A'ja Wilson. There are two ways this can go: the players will work together to lead the Aces to become title contenders, or their big personalities will clash.
. The Lynx (-190) were also missing one of their big guns, as Maya Moore (personal) was absent. Until the defending champs start showing some weakness, keep rolling with them. Moneyline/Spread: The Storm (+160) looked good despite the fact Sue Bird (knee) and Breanna Stewart (knee) are each sidelined.
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Los-Angeles is close in the champion race, but the team is in a slump now. The team has lost thrice in 4 matches, having won only Las-Vegas at home, but Minnesota will most likely win at home now. Minnesota is the 4th in the fixture list of the West division, but the team is strong now and the loss at home from Indiana was the 1st at home for 8 matches.