August 11, 2023
Lindsay Allen, Minnesota’s orchestrator of energy and pace
Allen holding down a tough position for the Minnesota Lynx
The point guard position for the Minnesota Lynx was among the team’s biggest questions heading into 2023. A question that’s been answered and then some by sixth-year veteran Lindsay Allen whose confidence and consistency has turned a position that was a question mark into an advantage for Minnesota over the second half of the season.
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Statistically, Allen is playing some of the best basketball of her career, averaging career bests in assists (6.4), rebounds (2.4) and minutes played (24.2). She’s also carrying the load in a myriad of ways for the Lynx, particularly on the offensive side of the floor, and is one of the massive reasons Minnesota is 14-9 since the 0-6 start.
“I told her in games like these, there’s so much pressure on her to make plays,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said after Allen matched a career high with 10 assists in a 76-66 loss to the Liberty on August 4, a game where Allen had to go toe-to-toe with New York’s Courtney Vandersloot. “She’s responsible for her ability to score….I told her, ‘you have to create an easy shot for our team.’ And it has to be her every possession. She’s doing a good job with that.”
Ever the floor general, Allen is quick to credit Minnesota’s whole unit when it comes to the team’s recent winning identity.
“[Playing with our identity] gives us a lot of confidence, we’re really playing together as a team,” Allen said during pregame media availability before the Lynx hosted the Liberty on August 4. “Our connection out there is really good. Our communication is good. We’re playing hard and consistently every night now, which is what Cheryl has been trying to get us to do the whole season. So it makes us feel good knowing that if you put in the effort, you’ll see the results.”
As noted, the results in the wins and losses columns have been pretty good for the Lynx as of late. A crucial part of that success has been Allen, who was re-inserted as the team’s starting point guard on June 27 after a productive spell coming off the bench, and a five-game winning streak promptly followed.
It’s a heavy load and a long list of responsibilities on Allen’s shoulders, but one that comes down to a simple approach and two words: energy and pace.
“Just provide energy and push the pace,” Allen said earlier this season. “I know Cheryl really, really wants that. So, make or miss, getting the ball up the court, seeing what I have, kind of get into the paint and be aggressive from there. Whether that’s me shooting or passing it out to our shooters on the outside or dishing it to our post.”
As Allen has opened up the offense for her teammates, she’s found more of a scoring streak for herself as well this season. She’s posted three separate 16-point games, which would have marked a career-high if not for her outpouring 26-point effort in the final game of last season.
Whether someone could step into the point guard role and produce at a rate that would help the Lynx return to the playoffs was indeed one of the biggest questions of the offseason — a question that no longer needs asking. Lindsay Allen has answered the call.
Written by Terry Horstman
Terry Horstman is a Minneapolis-based writer and covers the Minnesota Lynx beat for The Next. He previously wrote about the Minnesota Timberwolves for A Wolf Among Wolves, and his other basketball writing has been published by Flagrant Magazine, HeadFake Hoops, Taco Bell Quarterly, and others. He's the creative nonfiction editor for the sports-themed literary magazine, the Under Review.