Practice Report: Tuesday, September 3
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The Minnesota Lynx have five games left on the schedule and every one of those games has pretty high significance as the Lynx try not only to lock up the best spot in the West, but the best record in the entire league.
It won't be easy, though. The Lynx battle the Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm twice, while closing the season against the Chicago Sky. Those teams have a combined record of 57-32 and all three teams will be making a postseason appearance.
Although Wednesday's game might be the most important, don't expect a Lynx player to tell you it's any different from any other game this season.
Minnesota hosts the Los Angeles Sparks (21-9) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Sparks sit just a game and a half back from the Lynx for the No. 1 seed in the West. The Lynx are 0-2 at LA this season, so securing home court advantage is extremely important, but point guard Lindsay Whalen is viewing it as just another game.
"It's a big game, it's our next game. It's our next game on the schedule," Whalen said. "We are just trying to have a couple of good days of practice. We know they are a good team. That's what we are focused on."
The team has preached team defense all season long and that will be especially important when the team matches up against MVP candidate Candace Parker, who is averaging 17.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. In her three previous games against Minnesota, Parker is averaging 16.3 points and nine rebounds per game.
"It's huge (to play team defense), but they have weapons all over," Whalen said. "They are a great team, so Candace is obviously a tremendous talent, she makes plays. She's super long and quick. She's definitely someone that we have to focus that we know we need to play hard against and make it tough for her all night."
A win would put Minnesota 2.5 games ahead of LA with just four games remaining. The good news for Lynx fans is that this team controls its own destiny. The bad news is that three of the five games will be played on the road, as the Lynx start a three-game road trip on Saturday to play Seattle, followed by Seattle again next Tuesday and LA the following Thursday.
Check back tomorrow for a Scouting Report and all of your game day needs, including game notes, 15 Years of Memories Photo and a game recap.
As always, thanks for reading. Enjoy your Tuesday.
They Said It
"I think we all feel like all of the games we have played at this point have been statement games. In first game in LA, LA wanted to send us a message and they came back here and we wanted to send them a message and then they sent us another message out there, so I think every time these two teams play that's going to be the mindset for the team that's hosting for sure." - Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve on whether or not Wednesday's game is a statement game.
The Lynx had all participants practice on Tuesday afternoon and look to be at full-strength for tomorrow's game.
The team practiced against male practice players and ran a few drills resembling the last minute or so of a game. It was a fun drill to watch and the intensity this group brings is unbelievable, especially 29 games into the season.
Team Issues A "Whiteout" For Tomorrow's Game
If you are attending tomorrow's game, don't be the only fan wearing a black or blue shirt. Put on a white shirt because the Minnesota Lynx have issued a "whiteout" for the game.
Fans have rallied around this game and for good reason as the game holds an extreme importance in ending the regular season in first place and attempting to achieve home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Not a problem. Click the ticket tab above on the left side of the screen to get started. They Lynx have just two regular season home games left. Time is running out!
The Lynx are hosting a "Wedding Expo" at the game to celebrate marriage equality. There are limited spots available.
Fans have two options. The first being the In-Arena Party Zone Booth for $500. Your logo will be on all flyers for the event, there will be an in game logo on the jumbo-tron and announcement encouraging fans to visit the Party Zone, you will also receive 15 tickets to the game to utilize however you'd wish.
For $300, you get in-game recognition and announcement encouraging the fans to visit the expo along with 10 game tickets.
For more information, email Janae Magnuson at Magnuson@lynxbasketball.com or call her at 612-673-8432.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.