Seimone Augustus’ Lynx legacy defined by big moments
Augustus will be honored before Sunday's game.
The No. 33 will be the second Lynx jersey to hang from the Target Center rafters when it’s elevated up Sunday ahead of Minnesota’s contest with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Seimone Augustus is firmly entrenched on the Lynx’s Mount Rushmore and, in some ways, is the founding mother of the franchise’s dynasty.
Ahead of her honoring Sunday, here’s a look at four of the greatest moments in one of the greatest Lynx careers:
Augustus wins 2007 Rookie of the Year: The Lynx, frankly, were a middle franchise in their early existence. Such is to be expected in the early tenure of an expansion franchise.
Credit to Katie Smith for powering a couple playoff of appearances, but Minnesota’s best season through seven campaigns was a two-games-over.500.
Coming off a 14-20 campaign in 2005, the Lynx needed a spark. It appeared via Augustus, who was selected No. 1 overall by Minnesota in 2006. Fresh out of LSU, Augustus was a scintillating scorer from the moment she was dropped into the WNBA. Augustus earned all-star selections in each of her first two seasons in the WNBA. As a rookie, she averaged 21.9 points, eclipsing the 30-point mark on six occasions.
While her individual achievements didn’t equal team success in her early campaigns, Augustus gave Lynx fans a reason to tune in, and hope that better days were still to come.
Game 2 of the 2011 WNBA finals: Sparked by the recent arrivals of Rebekkah Brunson, Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore, Minnesota emerged as a title threat in 2011 and possessed home-court advantage in the championship round.
Minnesota downed Atlanta in Game 1, and a Game 2 victory at Target Center would send the Lynx to Atlanta needing just one more win to secure their first title.
That wouldn’t come easy, with Dream wing Angel McCoughtry erupting for 38 points. Minnesota, though, countered with Augustus. The star scorer went off to the tune of 36 points on 11 for 14 shooting, while going 13 for 16 from the free-throw line.
Her excellence was enough to propel Minnesota to a six-point Game 2 victory, in which the Lynx rallied from down nine points with 11 minutes to play. Augustus scored 12 points over the game’s final 4 minutes, 41 seconds.
The Lynx went on to sweep Atlanta for their first title.
Game 2 of the 2013 WNBA first round: The 2013 title run may go down as the most dominant of Minnesota’s dynasty.
The Lynx didn’t drop a game that postseason.
They almost did, though, in Game 2 of the first round in Seattle. Frankly, Augustus wasn’t that good for much of that evening, finishing with 10 points on 5-for-16 shooting.
When it mattered most, though, she was on point.
Augustus scored six of those points in the game’s final seven minutes, including the contest’s most important bucket. The Lynx squandered a fourth-quarter lead and trailed the Storm by one with fewer than 30 seconds to play.
But with 21 seconds to play, Augustus rose up for an 18-foot jumper. If it hadn’t fallen, the Lynx were likely heading back to Minnesota for a winner-take-all Game 3 in which anything could happen. But, of course, she buried it to put the Lynx in front for good.
Minnesota went on to win the game and the series, and then the title.
Game 5 of the 2017 WNBA Finals: By 2017, Augustus certainly wasn’t the same dominant force she’d been earlier in her career. There were still plenty of flashes of brilliance, but there were also performances like Game 3 of the WNBA finals, in which Augustus went scoreless in a Lynx loss.
But with all the chips in the center of the table in the decisive Game 5, the wing delivered at a high level. Augustus played a season high 35 minutes and was effective throughout.
She finished with 14 points — not a gaudy number for someone with her resume — but added six rebounds and six assists to play an integral role in the fourth and final championship of the Lynx’s dynasty.
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