Editor's Note: She's back! Each week throughout the 2014 season, analyst Lea B. Olsen will break down the week regarding all things Lynx and WNBA. Enjoy!
LOSS TO L.A. & LOOKING AHEAD:
I guess I should have figured that when Maya Moore went down in the first twenty seconds of the Lynx tilt vs. L.A. that it wasnít going to be a great night. Maya sat for a few minutes and came back and helped her team shoot 53% in the first quarter of the game. The atmosphere and the big crowd were all alive at Target Center. Maya received awards for Western Conference Player of the Month and later was recognized for most points in a single season at 771. She seemed non-plussed by the acknowledgement and was focused on the task at hand. A slow start in the second half had the Lynx down by 3 points with 3:44 left in the 3rd quarter. Sometime during the Lynx game news came out that the Phoenix Mercury had beat the Liberty and Phoenix would be the #1 seed in the West. The players, unaware of this fact, battled on the court and the Lynx led with 2 minutes left in the game. L.A. went on a 9-0 run and clinched a playoff spot.
Itís difficult to calculate how important this game and the last two of the season are to the Lynx. Itís obvious that you donít want to lose at home and this was the first time that Minnesota had lost two in a row all season. The Lynx have clinched their playoff spot and could rest their starters against San Antonio and Tulsa if they chose to. Or they could use the games to work on some of the intensity that has been missing for all 40 minutes.
The bottom line is the Lynx have had an amazing season. Fans have to be careful not to analyze every little thing that has happened over the past three seasons and compare them to this season. Coach Reeve has told us over and over that every season is different, period. I think with a stronger league and the injuries we have dealt with the Lynx have proven that they are prepared to fight for the championship. The regular season has been a battle all the way through and we have still managed to win 10 in a row. The playoffs will only bring more intensity and more physicality, if that is possible. So get ready, be in the moment and enjoy this playoff run. Bring on L.A., or San Antonio and lets do this thing!
SHOUT OUT TO STERN:
Throughout the many years that I worked with the Timberwolves & covered the WNBA on ESPN, I had the opportunity to meet and interview David Stern on a couple of occasions. His outward demeanor is quite intimidating and I always worried that he would yell at me for messing something up. He turned out to be quite nice and always asked me a few questions about myself afterwards. Throughout the years the talk around the WNBA was that the league was Sternís vision and that he would make sure it succeed. At his recent induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Stern was flanked by former players such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Bill Russell. It would have been just as appropriate had he had Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson, and Sheryl Swoopes by his side. A big thank you to a visionary who knew it wouldnít be easy or popular to give the NBA a sister but he did it anyway!
Damiris Dantas will miss the last games of the regular season games due to personal reasons. I wish her the best of luck handling her personal issues and look forward to seeing her ready to go in the playoffs.
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