Practice Report: Tuesday, June 5
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Rest and practice time are two items high on Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve’s agenda for her team after seven games in 15 days to start the regular season, and both are about to happen with a bit more regularity looking ahead at the next 10 days.
The Lynx took Monday off before practicing Tuesday at the LifeTime Fitness Training Center, and the team will play just twice more—at home against Seattle on Wednesday and on the road against Tulsa on Saturday—between now and June 15.
Reeve said the rest is important, as is the chance to hone in on a few points of concern the team is seeing on film. In particular, rebounding and finishing plays on the defensive end.
“We’re looking forward to it—we’ve got to get through the next couple games, but where we’re at we really do have a good understanding of what our shortcomings are,” Reeve said. “So we’re going to try to hide those as best we can. We’re going to try and be as efficient on offense, because that’s what’s carried us.”
The Lynx have been so efficient offensively this season, they’re running circles around the rest of the league. In the team’s first seven games, Minnesota has six games shooting 50 percent or better as a team. The rest of the league, as of Monday, has just four combined—one each by San Antonio, Phoenix, Connecticut and Chicago. Minnesota shot 53 percent against the Silver Stars in their last game out, an 83-79 win on Sunday.
Reeve said that offensive production has been pleasantly received by the team, especially since leading into the season their entire roster was together for a total of 10 days due to late arrivals from Europe and USA Basketball commitments.
“Having an eye on that as we got the schedule, we just talked about how the offense was going to be important out the gates,” Reeve said. “You can steal some games in the early part of the season, because often times your defense is ahead of your offense. We wanted to make sure that our offense was at least equal to our defense, and it’s probably turned out our offense is a little better than our defense.”
The Lynx are shooting 52.3 percent as a whole during their 7-0 start, with seven of their 11 players shooting 50 percent or better.
That being said, Reeve said the biggest concern right now is handling opponents’ offensive rebounding. San Antonio held a 13-10 advantage in that category on Sunday, and it was a big part of the Silver Stars’ second half comeback that cut the Lynx lead from 26 down to 2 with second remaining.
“We showed them video of the last three games—there were tons of offensive rebounds, so the video was pretty long,” Reeve said. “What we got from that was we can control the idea of being outworked. That’s a change you can make immediately. You don’t need practice time for that. I thought that they had a good focus in practice today. If we get through the next two games, we’ll get some good practice time in.”
Notes for Wednesday’s game
With a win on Wednesday, a pair of milestones would be reached. The Lynx would win their 200th regular season game in franchise history (currently 199-242), and Reeve would earn her 48th career win (47-27) as the Lynx head coach, tying Brian Agler (48-67) for second place on the Lynx’s all-time coaching list. Suzie McConnell Serio leads the list with a 58-67 mark.
The Lynx would also improve to 8-0, marking the third time in league history a team has started a season with that many consecutive wins. Los Angeles opened up both the 2001 and 2003 seasons 9-0, reaching the WNBA Finals both years and winning it all in 2001.
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