Lynx set to be contenders in 2021 WNBA season

Cheryl Reeve’s team looks like the real deal on paper to begin 2021.

A rising star in Napheesa Collier. A healthy Sylvia Fowles. The returning rookie of the year in Crystal Dangerfield. Two key free agent signings in Kayla McBride and Natalie Achonwa. With a reloaded roster, the Lynx are locked in to start the 2021 season. A stretch that begins on Friday against the Mercury at 8:00 p.m., following weeks of practice for readying for what’s to come.

"We took the day off on Tuesday and when we came back we pretty much said that training camp is over," Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve said. "We started our prep for the regular season and started thinking out about our opponents, so there’s definitely a different air. You can feel it"

"I’ve been having all of this built-up energy to get back to this point, but at the same time you have to be smart," Lynx center Sylvia Fowles said.

Newly acquired Kayla McBride is in town after playing in Turkey, but first she’ll have to sit out to quarantine before suiting up for Minnesota in the WNBA.

It’s a similar scenario too for Napheesa Collier. One of the Lynx leaders will be a late start this season due to still playing overseas as well.

"Just knowing Napheesa, she’s been here and she’s going to pretty much fit right in," Fowles said.

Time will tell how many games those two players will miss, but Fowles is confident in the team’s ability to perform to start the season.

"At the end of the day, we have one goal and that’s to win," Fowles said. "We’re not worried about who takes the credit. We’re just trying to build that trust."

One thing the Lynx will have on Friday? Fans, as they play in front of a Target Center crowd for the first time since September of 2019.

"There’s real excitement to be welcoming fans back," Reeve said.

The Lynx home opener will be a rematch from the 2020 WNBA Playoffs. The Lynx and Mercury met in the second round last season, with Minnesota winning 80-79.