Practice Report: Wednesday, June 26
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The Minnesota Lynx had two days off of practice after defeating the Tulsa Shock 88-79 on Sunday night.
Coach Cheryl Reeve was hoping for a strong practice after the tough performance against the Western Conference rival. Instead it seemed like Friday's 87-59 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks lingered with the Lynx into Wednesday's practice.
Judging from the practice alone, one might be surprised to know the Lynx are 6-2 and still sit atop the Western Conference. That's probably why Reeve is one of the best coaches in the WNBA.
Minnesota will try to get revenge against the Sparks at 7 p.m. Friday at the Target Center. Whether it's a coincidence or a WNBA scheduling malfunction, the Lynx will have played three times over 11 days against LA after the Lynx travel to play the Sparks on July 2.
Forward Maya Moore does her best to focus on every game just the same, but Friday's game will have first place in the Western Conference on the line, even though the Lynx will only be nine games into the season. It may not seem like it means much in late June, but it could mean a lot in the middle of September.
"It doesn't matter who (our opponent is)," Moore said. "Especially if it's from the Western Conference. We definitely want to make a statement and show who we are... We still have a lot of work to do. (It's) very early in the season still."
Reeve is hoping for a better practice tomorrow and will definitely be hoping for a better contribution from her starting five. Reeve said that each player on the team can do a little bit more and that if the starting five doesn't start to click a little more, there could be changes coming.
Whether or not Reeve is serious with her remarks or simply trying to motivate her players has yet to be seen. Reeve will be the first to tell you, though, she's not one to play games.
"I'm not a big message sender, I don't really believe it that," Reeve said. "In LA, when our starters were a no-show and they weren't there to win the game, we did go that (to the second unit) route. The second team played a lot of minutes. In certainly crossed my mind today that maybe we don't have the right starting lineup."
They said it:
"We've got to play them five times whether they are lumped together or spread out. I think it's good for us. We've got to figure them out. The game out in LA was a 'stinker' as they say. We've got to bounce back and figure stuff out." - Head coach Cheryl Reeve
Reeve noted that she would like to get rookie guard Sugar Rodgers some more playing time. In 25 minutes against Los Angeles last Friday, Rodgers scored a career-high 10 points to go along with six rebounds, a steal and a block.
It appeared as if the Lynx were at full strength during practice. Expect practices to be a little shorter now, though, since the team is in the thick of its schedule.
Well, folks, that's all I've got today. Enjoy your afternoon.
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