Five games remain on the regular season schedule for the Minnesota Lynx and if all goes well they could find themselves in a position to receive a bye all the way to the WNBA semifinals.
Entering play Tuesday the Lynx are third in the WNBA with a record of 18-9. The top two records in the league don't have to play in the single elimination first or second rounds, instead sitting back and awaiting an opponent for the best-of-five semifinals.
The third and fourth seeds get a bye in the first round, but still have to play in a single elimination second-round game. Bottom line: Getting a top two seed eliminates the pressure of a one-and-done scenario.
Minnesota won seven consecutive games before the monthlong Olympic break, then came out of the break with a win over New York for eight straight victories. Connecticut, the top team in the WNBA, then beat the Lynx in back-to-back games, only to see Minnesota respond with their current five-game win streak.
The biggest game of the season is Wednesday night on ESPN2 when the Lynx travel to Las Vegas to play the Aces, who are currently 1.5 games ahead of Minnesota for second place.
Lose that game and Minnesota's chances of coasting into the WNBA semifinals is diminished, but win in Vegas and things look really good considering the Lynx play the worst team in the league, Indiana (6-21 record), three consecutive games before finishing the regular season Sept. 19 against the 10-17 Washington Mystics.
The Aces, meanwhile, have a much harder final five games as they face three teams (Minnesota, Chicago, Phoenix) that have already clinched playoff spots.
Wednesday's game starts at 8 p.m.