ST. PAUL — The Lynx’s semifinal series against the Seattle Storm with have to wait.
After Seattle returned inconclusive COVID-19 tests before Sunday, Sept. 20’s scheduled Game 1, the WNBA postponed the start of the best-of-5 semifinal series out of “an abundance of caution.”
“Players with inconclusive results have undergone additional testing today and are currently in isolation,” the league said in a release. “The new date for Game 1 will be communicated as developments warrant.”
That news adds much uncertainty to the series. If those tests truly prove to be positives and Seattle is without certain players moving forward, that could alter the trajectory of the WNBA postseason.
If the inconclusive results turn out to be nothing, the added days still could prove beneficial for a Lynx team that is attempting to get veteran Sylvia Fowles ready to go again. The all-star center’s status was in doubt for Sunday’s game after Fowles “felt tightness” in the calf that caused her to miss two-thirds of the season in the third quarter of Minnesota’s second-round victory over Phoenix on Thursday.
“We’re just working around the clock, trying to see what we can do for her,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said Saturday.
More time off may not necessarily be a good thing for Seattle, which already has gone a full week between games.
The WNBA’s handling of COVID-19 in the Bradenton, Fla., bubble has been nothing but a success story to this point.
“I know from having been a part of — gosh, it seems like a long time ago — but prior to coming to Bradenton, we were on many, many calls, and what I talked to them about a lot was that there are some areas that we can say we probably wish we could have done better, but the most important area was the medical protocol and the overall health of the players,” Reeve said earlier this week.
“If you listen to (WNBA commissioner) Cathy Engelbert, she talked about that was the biggest area that she wanted to make sure we got right, and I think we knocked it out of the park — or Cathy and her team knocked it out of the park. You know, it’s hard to please everybody. It’s a thankless position that Cathy’s in many times. But she was adamant and laser-focused on what needed to happen, and she surrounded herself with a medical team that she put a lot of trust in, and that group really came through for her, and it allowed us to be successful down here in the bubble.”