** Editor's note - This entry hit the printers before the Draft Lottery took place. Reeve will address the Lynx' acquisition of the Nos. 1 and 4 picks in an upcoming entry **
Hey Lynx Fans! Welcome to the The Reeve Report, the place where I will blog over the next six months to keep you updated on all things Lynx during the 2010-11 off-season. I’ll discuss the draft, its prospects, free agency, and keep you apprised of Lynx personnel news.
In this entry, I want to review and share some highlights of the 2010 Lynx season. First, we as a team were certainly disappointed with missing the playoffs after having high hopes for a successful season. We dug ourselves a hole in the first half of the season that we ultimately were unable to overcome. The first half of the season presented obstacles in the form of late arrivals and a season ending injury to a key player. While these obstacles loomed large, much like our approach was with the team, I don't want to focus on those things. Rather, I'd like to share with you the progress the Minnesota Lynx made during the 2010 season.
The primary goals I spoke of when I was named Head Coach of the Lynx was to improve the overall defense and rebounding of the team. As our team became more familiar with one another, we saw steady progress in these areas. Our primary measure of defensive success is Opponent Field Goal Percentage. Over the last 18 games of the season, our opponent FG% was 43.6%. This was the 2nd best opponent FG% in the West (behind league leading Seattle) and good for 6th overall in the league. The three seasons prior to the 2010 season, Lynx teams averaged 45% opponent field goal percentage. On the rebounding front, we consistently ranked as one of the top 4 teams in the WNBA.
The strong rebounding of the team led to one of the most exciting statistics for the Lynx. The 2010 Minnesota Lynx ranked as the 3rd 'fastest' team in the WNBA. In fact, after the All-Star Break, only the Phoenix Mercury was faster than the Lynx. Lindsay Whalen was the 'fastest' player in the league scoring 83 fast break points on the season...the next closest player was Diana Taurasi with 62 fast break points.
Individually, we saw Lindsay Whalen get her wheels rolling as a Lynx player over the second half of the season; in particular the last 10 games of the season were stellar. Veteran forward Rebekkah Brunson electrified the crowd on many nights with her persistence on the glass, finishing as the league's 2nd best rebounder. Rookie Monica Wright evolved into a reliable starter on both ends of the floor. After starting the first half of the season with a 29.9% field goal percentage, Wright was an efficient 43% from the field while shooting 41% from 3-pt range over the final 18 games of the season. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't share with you how proud I was this season of Seimone Augustus for the fortitude she demonstrated in recovering from injuries to lead our team in scoring in 44% of the games she played.
So what went wrong? Very simply, scoring the ball at an effective percentage in the half court was this team's Achilles heel. Many nights our field goal percentage was below 40%. This proved to be a difficult statistic to overcome.
Moving forward, the focus for the 2011 Minnesota Lynx is to maintain the 2010 areas of strength while improving field goal and free throw percentage. The return to the schedule of a May training camp along with roster continuity will be key factors in accomplishing these goals. I, along with our players, remain supremely confident in the ability of the Minnesota Lynx to contend for a Western Conference Championship and a WNBA title and look forward to the 2011 season.
As for other happenings, I hope you all had the opportunity to tune into Lindsay Whalen and the US National Team capturing the GOLD at the World Championships that took place in the Czech Republic. We are all so proud of Whay and know that she was elated to represent her country and help the U.S. to be the first team to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games.
Well, that's all for now. Next up for the Lynx is the Draft Lottery on November 2nd.
Have a question about the Lynx? Direct message Coach Reeve on her Twitter account @LynxCoachReeve and she’ll post a reply in her next blog.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.