The Lynx held "Women's Health Night" on Sunday because even during a difficult season it is important to maintain a sense of humor.
On the night Napheesa Collier returned to the court following her pregnancy, Ariel Powers sat out because of a knee injury. Collier became the 20th player to play for the Lynx this season, in their 33rd game, then brought her infant to her news conference after helping the Lynx defeat Atlanta 81-71.
It was as if someone was making a point about the Lynx's personnel problems, even if the point is as redundant as the phrase "scoring the basketball."
Collier is the Lynx's best in-her-prime player. She missed 32 games and practiced fully for the first time on Saturday. Powers' play has varied widely from game to game, but she didn't miss a game until Sunday.
The Lynx's future Hall of Fame center, Sylvia Fowles, has been limited to 27 games and 27.6 minutes per game because of knee soreness, and looked like she was limited by her knee during the game.
The Lynx's original plan this spring might have been to play this starting five — Layshia Clarendon, Angel McCoughtry, Fowles, Damiris Dantas and Powers.
Clarendon and McCoughtry weren't healthy enough to stay employed. Dantas struggled and now is away from the team for personal reasons.
Here's the list of point guards the Lynx have employed since preseason: Clarendon, Rachel Banham, Odyssey Sims, Lindsay Allen, Evina Westbrook and Moriah Jefferson.
Jefferson has played well but has dealt with her own knee soreness.
Has Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve ever seen a season like this?
"I thought it was a lot last year," Reeve said. "It's just unfortunate. I think if you do this long enough, maybe you experience things like this. We also always remember when we were healthy and got lucky.
"I always remember feeling like, when we were healthy, don't take that for granted, because it's not always going to be the case.'"
Of all the injuries, Clarendon faltering before the season began might have been the most important. Turnovers have been the Lynx's most obvious problem this season, and rotating point guards have contributed heavily to that.
There was another subplot in play on Sunday night. Powers is shooting 38.1% from the field, while taking more shots than anyone else on the team. Powers has the worst shooting percentage of any of the Lynx starters, and she often shoots after holding the ball or driving into multiple defenders.
She can carry a team when she's hot, or remove her teammates from the offense when she's not.
Without her on Sunday, the Lynx offense wasn't exactly smooth, but three Lynx guards led the team in shots and scoring.
Jefferson made seven of 11 shots, including four of her five three pointers, for 18 points. Kayla McBride made seven of 15 shots for 20 points. Rachel Banham made five of nine shots for 12 points before leaving the game because of what sounds like a strained knee.
"We always emphasize playing through Syl — that's a big thing, being inside-out," McBride said. "But you know, Rachel and my eyes light up when we see zones, and Moriah leads the league in three-point field goal percentage."
Thanks to the league's playoff format, the Lynx remain in the race with three games remaining.
They play at Phoenix on Wednesday night, in their only remaining game against one of the teams with which they are competing for one of the last playoff spots.
They play Seattle on Friday night at Target Center, in Fowles' last home game, against another retiring legend, Sue Bird.
In this season of point guard turnover and turnovers, the Lynx will finish the season at Connecticut, which recently signed Sims.
Moriah Jefferson vs. Odyssey Sims with a Lynx playoff spot on the line?
That was not in the realm of possibility a few months ago. Now it's almost a certainty, if you want to assume that the Lynx's current roster can make it that far.