Lynx Reflect On The First Half Of The Season
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While the WNBA takes a month-long break (the Lynx return to action August 17) for the Olympics, members of the Minnesota Lynx squad who remain home have already taken to the practice floor, keeping pace with the work their teammates are doing overseas.
The break is also a time for the Lynx coaching staff to review the first half of the season and take a look at what worked and what didn't, coach Cheryl Reeve said.
"[We're] evaluating many areas of the game," said Reeve. "It gives us a great time to objectively go back and look at the first 19 games, take a look at the offenses that we liked. If there’s anything we can get rid of, then we look at that too. It’s all in the name of these [last] 15 games. Whatever we were good at, let’s keep that. If it was iffy, get rid of it."
Looking at the first half of the season, Reeve said she was impressed with the shooting ability her team displayed. There's little reason not to be, as the Lynx sit at first place in the league in field goal percentage (48.6 percent) as well as points per game (86.7).
"We had five or six games where we shot better than 50 percent," said Reeve. "Offensively we were pretty good. Defensively, most times we were pretty good. We had a stretch where teams hit shots on us, especially from the three-point line, and that hurt us. If there’s a way we can get better, we’re going to find that way."
Among their strengths, guard Monica Wright also counts the Lynx reserves' ability to bring a spark to the game and hit the floor when their names are called without missing a beat.
"The whole bench did a good job of being that fire, bringing energy in certain points in certain games," Wright said. "We are going to continue being the ‘bench mob,’ someone that our team can rely on."
Veteran center Taj McWilliams-Franklin said that the Lynx had a great first half of the season but that there are still plenty of areas the team needs to improve if they want to have a strong second half and repeat as champions this year.
"Some of the things we need to fix are the same things that everyone wants to work on," McWilliams-Franklin said. "We want to be better defensively, more consistent offensively. Our defensive intensity and our defensive rebounding -- lift those to the level where we know we can be. We have had too many turnovers in a lot of games. Definitely get our turnovers down."
McWilliams-Franklin said that rebounding with two wins over the Tulsa Shock just before the break after suffering a three-game losing streak was important for the team's momentum and confidence. She also said that the losses helped the Lynx to realize some of their shortcomings, to focus and improve.
"I think some players opened their eyes to see we aren't as good as they thought. For me, it's winning or losing. I look at games the same way, to see the mistakes I made and how I can get better.
"The same things that are there in our wins are there in our losses. I hope to say that we are able to look at wins and losses the same way."
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