If you had told a Lynx fan that Minnesota would go 1-1 while traveling to Phoenix and Los Angeles over the week, they probably wouldn't be all that upset.
But after the way the Lynx were handled on Friday night by the Sparks, the feelings may have changed a little bit. Head coach Cheryl Reeve has told me time-after-time: No loss is a good loss. I agree with her, especially with a team full of veterans like Minnesota has.
This is a team that has a core that has been through so much together, it's tough to see what a regular season loss would give them as far as positives go.
But, on the other side of the spectrum, we need to realize that this is a team that still has some wrinkles to iron out. Granted, we are only seven games into the season. If you don't think every team has wrinkles, you're drinking too much of your team’s Kool-Aid.
To put things into prospective, the Lynx are 5-2 and sit atop the Western Conference. The team isn't 0-7 and in panic mode. We just need to put that out there before we go any further. One regular season loss doesn’t define a team. Instead it builds or breaks it.
Another thing that we need to understand is that this is a team that is still making adjustments, just like every team in the league.
The team lost Taj McWilliams-Franklin to retirement. Janel McCarville does a little bit of everything, but there is still a transition period. Mama Taj was a tremendous leader for the Lynx and while Minnesota has a group of players that lead by example, they have yet to find that true voice in the locker room. I have a feeling they’ll find that voice soon, though.
Another adjustment they are making is on the bench. Guard Monica Wright is playing more point guard, a position she hasn’t played before training camp started. She’s doing well so far, but she’s admitted it’s difficult to going from a scoring guard to a facilitator.
I was reading some comments via social media and some fans out there were curious on how the Lynx could play so bad against a Western Conference rival. The truth is, the Lynx have lost nine of their last 10 games at the Staples Center. That’s not an excuse, but more of a trend. For some reason, Minnesota doesn’t play well in Los Angeles. And for some reason, I never have matching socks. Can I explain these things? No, they just happen.
We’ll know a lot more about the squad after tonight’s game against the Tulsa Shock, a team the Lynx have already defeated this season. I’m expecting a win and a lot of that has to do with the veteran leadership and Reeve’s tenacity in the locker room.
These players feel embarrassed after not showing up for Friday’s game. Tulsa might be at the wrong place at the wrong time because I think the Lynx will be as motivated as ever to win this game to move to 6-2 for the season. We’ll find out in about six hours.
As always, thanks for reading. Enjoy your week.
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