Three things to watch: San Antonio Stars vs. Minnesota Lynx

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Looking for its first win, the San Antonio Stars hit the road to face the Minnesota Lynx. While the Stars (0-4) are still winless, the Lynx (5-0) are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Dating back to 2012, Minnesota has won 22 straight games in the month of May. The Lynx have also dominated this series, with San Antonio’s last win coming on Aug 15, 2014. Here are three things to watch.

  • Will Kelsey Plum have an expanded role?

In her debut, Plum finished with four points, an assist and five turnovers in only 12 minutes. Head coach Vickie Johnson did not utilize the three guard lineup many anticipated. Plum was primarily used as a backup to both Moriah Jefferson and Kayla McBride. However, Johnson may choose a different approach against the Lynx.

In some of its games this season, Minnesota has had trouble with teams that run and push the pace. The Stars could take advantage of this and opt to play small ball, which forces the Lynx into uncomfortable situations defensively.

  • How will the Stars contain Sylvia Fowles?

Fowles has been a dominant force in the paint, and San Antonio will have to find a way to limit her touches. So far this season, she is averaging 21.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.

In each of their games, Minnesota made a concerted effort to establish Fowles down low. So, San Antonio’s post players will have to do their work early to prevent Fowles from getting deep position in the paint. She will have the size advantage over every post on San Antonio’s roster, so defending her will pose challenges for each. Avoiding foul trouble and pushing her off away from her spots will be pivotal. While it’s easier said than done, containing Fowles will limit a major aspect of their offensive approach.

  • Can Isabelle Harrison and Kayla McBride continue their offensive outputs?

Harrison is coming off a stellar performance against the Dallas Wings, where she secured her first career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. McBride scored a team-high 18 points in the loss to Dallas. Both players will need to produce offensively to keep pace with a team as loaded as Minnesota is. If McBride and a few other players can get on track from behind the arch, it will be a major plus as it spreads the floor and stretches the defense. With Minnesota’s lengthy frontcourt, bringing them outside of their comfort zones down low will be beneficial to the perimeter players San Antonio has.

Tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m. CT from the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis.

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