Tuesday Practice Report
Friday night was forgettable. Sunday night was better.
Minnesota continues the learning experience that is the WNBA, splitting a home-and-home series with San Antonio this past weekend. The Silver Stars rolled into the Target Center and defeated a lackluster Lynx team. But they were not able to get the sweep, thanks to 26 points from Charde Houston, a more focused defensive effort and better play at the offensive end.
Coach Jennifer Gillom was much happier with her team's effort in the second game, to say the least.
"I was really pleased with the girls after the San Antonio game because they followed the game plan, unlike we did Friday night," Gillom said. "I thought they were really focused and played really hard. This team shows me they can learn from their mistakes and showing me a sign of growth, which helps me to feel better about going up against Atlanta."
The big adjustment the Lynx made defensively was turning to a zone defense. The zone eliminated San Antonio's pick and roll defense, something Minnesota struggled with in the first matchup Friday. It was something Gillom said the team had to do to adjust to San Antonio's style of play. She said it is something the team can go back to if it needs to and that it has helped the team as a changeup to their typical defensive scheme.
Center Nicky Anosike said the team got back to what it does best -- picking up the pace and playing a transition game -- against San Antonio, contributing to the win. She said the team will not struggle if it goes out and plays the way it knows it can play.
Even as the team's winning pace has slowed down, she said it is still a matter of the team going out and playing hard.
"I don't know where all this is coming from about how we were playing good and now we're not playing good," Anosike said. "I don't think that there is much truth to that. I just think we're going to go out and play our game."
It seems that this season has been one adjustment after another -- after Gillom was named head coach just days before the season began and the early season injury to Seimone Augustus. The Lynx showed another quick change turning a disappointing 16-point home loss Friday night against the Silver Stars into a seven-point road win at the AT&T Center.
That adjustment will have to continue as Minnesota prepares for an afternoon game tomorrow against Atlanta, a team it beat by six two weeks ago.
The Lynx have struggled since that game staying consistent on the defensive end and on the glass -- something they will have to be sure to shore up against a very high-scoring and very good rebounding team in the Dream -- but continue to show the winning potential that got them off to a 7-3 start. Gillom said the team has done a good job making adjustments and buying into what the coaches are teaching throughout this season.
"I just think we've got some really smart players," Gillom said. "They come from great programs. They've been taught very well. And they're very coachable. This team listens well and they focus on what they need to do. When they do that, we're able to do a lot of things. This team, I think, knows they can win. They believe that they can win. I think that's the key. They believe in what they're doing."
Jen Gillom Audio
Jen Gillom says the team has been very coachable and that has helped Minnesota make quick adjustments throughout this season..
Nicky Anosike Audio
Nicky Anosike says the team got back to what it did best in a victory over San Antonio on Sunday, something the team hopes to continue against Atlanta.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.