There is no question the Lynx have the most difficult first week schedules in the WNBA. Tuesday's 75-65 victory over the Tulsa Shock was the Lynx's third game in just five days. But the demanding stretch of early season games doesn't stop there. The Lynx will now travel to Seattle to take on the defending WNBA champion Storm team led by reigning MVP Lauren Jackson on Thursday night. Many WNBA fans have circled the June 9 date on their calendars as one of the early marquee matchups in the WNBA. Lynx Head coach Cheryl Reeve has been around the league long enough to know what it means to play the Storm at KeyArena in Seattle.
"Seattle is the defending champs, and it's the toughest arena to play in, in all of the league," Reeve said. "We'll see if we can win there, see if we can have the toughness to win a road game in a really tough environment with some really good players. We'll see where we are."
In the first three games of the season, the Lynx have been very effective on the fast-break and in transition. Point guards Lindsay Whalen and Monica Wright have been able to push the ball up the floor after missed baskets and turnovers and have found their teammates for many easy buckets. The Lynx currently rank fifth in the WNBA in total points per game; however coach Reeve knows that it will be a different situation in Seattle on Thursday.
"Seattle is going to take us out of some of the fast-break situations, and we will have to execute some of our half-court stuff,"Reeve said.
Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson has been a catalyst for that fast-break offense as she has dominated the boards. Brunson has put up some amazing stat lines in her first three games this season. Brunson leads the WNBA in rebounds with 42 boards, while Shock forward Liz Cambage is in second with 25 rebounds. Last season Brunson set a Lynx franchise-record with 12 doubles-doubles in one season. So far in 2011 it's been no different for Brunson, as she has recorded a double-double in each of the first three games. Brunson shared her rebounding secrets with the media after Wednesday's practice.
"Go! That's it. Be hungry and go after it. It's all about desire. You can be in the best position on the court but if you don't want to go get it then you're not going to get it, so really you just have to be in a mode to attack," Brunson said, after being asked how she approaches rebounding.
Brunson's stellar play early in the season has people around the league talking about Brunson as a possible early-MVP candidate. However, Brunson quickly said that the MVP award is one of the last things on her mind this early into the season.
"Three games in? [laughs] You can't think like that. Definitely not," Brunson said about the early MVP-chatter.
The Lynx will take on the Seattle Strom in Seattle on Thursday night at 9 P.M. CDT. The game can be seen live for free on WNBA Live Access.
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