Moore Returns To Lynx Camp

Mark Remme
Lynx Editor/Writer

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Forward Maya Moore has done a lot in the months since helping the Lynx win the WNBA title last season, most notably helping Ros Casares Valencia win both the Spanish and Euro League championships while paying in Spain from January through the end of April.

But after taking just a week off to recover before joining Minnesota on Day 4 of the team’s training camp at LifeTime Fitness Training Center, Moore wasted little time putting in her patented extra work both before and after practice. She took her jump shots around the arc, sunk her free throws and did her drills near the basket one by one.

“As you can see here today, she looks like Maya,” coach Cheryl Reeve said.

Moore had an immediate impact as she returned to camp, adding an intangible element to the team through her communication, her expectation of finishing drills by grabbing dead ball rebounds and doing the little things that have made her a champion at virtually every level she’s played.

Moore said that mentality is as important as ever in 2012. Now, the Lynx are no longer chasing a title. They’re the team everyone else wants to bring down.

“People are going to come after us with everything we have. We have to be more focused I think at every practice, and everything has to be tighter and everything has to be that much better,” Moore said. “There are no more secrets. People are going to work harder to try to beat us.”

Coming from Connecticut, where she was a perennial contender and NCAA champion, she’s ready for the challenge. And knowing Minnesota has a chance to defend its title with virtually its entire team still in tact makes the challenge that much more exciting.

“It reminds me of UConn except probably even tougher because it’s the pro level,” Moore said. “With the target on your back, people are going to come at you with their best effort. But if you know how to handle it, which this team will be, it will make you better for it.”

Moore said her first day back was the usual experience—having taken a week off ensured she needed a moment to get back into the swing of things. She said she wasn’t as sharp as she would have liked, but she was able to bring the same energy and vocal presence she always has on the court.

“Reeve was happy, so I’m happy,” she joked.

Reeve certainly was. Having Moore back made the team one step closer to having their full team on hand. With Moore joining Jessica Adair, Candice Wiggins, Monica Wright and rookie Devereaux Peters during drills, it was the first time in camp Reeve had a chance to put essentially a group of veteran returning players together at once.

“The first day nine out of 12 were new—they couldn’t look to each other for help,” Reeve said. “Other times when you have maybe an equal number of veterans versus new [players] it’s a little different, but everybody was new so it was the blind leading the blind.”

Moore said she returned to camp this year with more confidence and is ready to build on what she learned during her rookie year.

“I think anytime you do something for a second time, third time, you get more comfortable,” she said. “That’s not to say I’m not going to work as hard. I’m still going to do what I need to after practice, before practice, but I think I just have a better feel for what’s expected. I have great teammates around me that will continue to help me learn during my second year.”

Day 4 Camp Notes

  • Reeve said having Peters in with the veteran group of players was a seamless transition. She said having that group of five working together helped the team make big strides in its development on Wednesday. “If you watch [Peters], she doesn’t miss a beat. She looks like she was with us last year,” Reeve said.

  • Reeve said the team understands the challenge that lies ahead in trying to defend its championship, but the Lynx have a bounce in their step thinking about the task at hand. “No one will expect more from us that we’ll expect from ourselves,” Reeve said. “That’s the fun part. Coming back together now, everything will be stacked against us. Every team, every fan base we go into now, we’ll be heckled harder because nobody likes a winner. That’s exactly what we want. We want to be disliked.”

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