August 6, 2020
How does Odyssey Sims fit on the Lynx’s 2020 roster?
Odyssey Sims has entered the WNBA's bubble in Bradenton, Florida and could return to the Lynx lineup in their ninth game of the 2020 season.
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Minnesota Lynx guard Odyssey Sims (1) looks to pass during the WNBA game between the Minnesota Lynx and the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA on July 06, 2019. Photo Credit: Chris Poss
The Minnesota Lynx have utilized three different starting lineups in their first five games of the 2020 season, and their rotations will continue to change now that Odyssey Sims has entered the WNBA bubble in Bradenton, Florida.
The Star Tribune’s Kent Youngblood reported Thursday morning that Sims flew from Texas to Florida on Sunday, quarantined in an off-campus hotel for four days and entered the bubble on Thursday. Sims will now be required to quarantine in her room for three additional days and will receive daily coronavirus testing, according to Youngblood.
The Lynx waived forward Megan Huff to make room for Sims on their roster. Huff appeared in three of the Lynx’s first five 2020 games and logged five total minutes, three rebounds and one assist.
Sims missed the beginning of the 2020 season while recovering from giving birth in April and could rejoin her team for practice as early as Sunday if she continues to test negative for the coronavirus.
However, the five games Sims has already missed due to her delayed arrival will not count against the two-game suspension she will have to serve due to a 2019 drunken driving arrest, and the earliest Sims could play in a game with the Lynx is Aug. 13 when Minnesota faces the Las Vegas Aces.
By then, the Lynx will be nine games into their 22-game regular season, and all of Sims’ teammates — except for Erica McCall whom the Lynx claimed on Thursday, July 30 — will have played with one another for just over a month.
Before we dive too deep into what her team has done without her, we have to mention Sims’ accolades.
It didn’t take long for Sims to find her footing with the Lynx after they traded Alexis Jones for the former Los Angeles Spark in late April of 2019. Sims earned her first All-Star and All-WNBA honors after averaging a team-high 14.5 points and 5.4 assists per game. Her league-high 3.3 turnovers per game blemished the best season of her career, but Sims’ gritty defense and premiere passing out of pick-and-roll action still made her the Lynx’s most reliable backcourt player in 2019.
Sims hasn’t played competitive, 5-on-5 WNBA basketball in nearly 11 months and has never played with seven players on the Lynx’s current roster but has stayed in touch with the Lynx and followed along with preseason, team Zoom sessions. It’s unlikely the Lynx will hesitate to add another reigning All-Star to their starting lineup.
After five games, rookie point guard Crystal Dangerfield has logged the most minutes (128) of any Lynx backcourt player and has started for the Lynx in their last three games. However, now that third-year player Lexie Brown has returned after missing two games for concussion protocol and is coming off of her best games of the season, it’s likely Sims will replace Dangerfield in the starting lineup once she’s ready to go.
A starting backcourt of Sims and Brown would leave Dangerfield, Rachel Banham and Shenise Johnson who’s currently out with a hamstring injury to come off the bench. UConn Husky fans may be disappointed to see Dangerfield demoted to a reserve role, but the rookie has already proven she can be effective and earn crunch-time minutes as a reserve player.
Johnson and Brown made up the Lynx’s starting backcourt in their season-opener against the Connecticut Sun on July 26, but Dangerfield ended up earning more playing time than either Johnson or Brown in the second half. Dangerfield recorded 15 of her 17 points in the fourth quarter and provided the Lynx with the offensive spark and guidance they needed to pull away from Connecticut late.
Six months ago, the makeup of the Lynx’s backcourt was uncertain. Sims’ availability for 2020 was uncertain after news of her pregnancy broke, the Lynx didn’t sign any big names in free agency and the WNBA-readiness of the 2020 draft class’s point guards was unknown.
Now the Lynx have options.