Maya Moore Continues To Shine
Web Editorial Associate
In the midst of a WNBA record-tying performance against the Indiana Fever, Lynx star Maya Moore didn’t even notice the significance. Her five 3-pointers in the third quarter on Sept. 17 tied a record set by Diana Taurasi in 2010, yet she was unfazed. Her eyes were set on the prize.
“The coaching staff just made me aware of what actually happened,” Moore said that night. “In the moment you are just playing…you just keep shooting.”
That sums up what has turned out to be an incredible stretch for Moore after the Olympic break. Since returning to Target Center on August 17, Moore has ranked fourth in scoring, ninth in rebounding, 11th in assists, sixth in steals and 13th in blocks. Only Candace Parker (Sparks) and Tamika Catchings (Fever) are also ranked in all five categories.
And then there’s the most important statistic: The Lynx are 12-3 in that same timeframe.
“I think Maya is playing where she's at right now because she gained so much confidence in the Olympics,” coach Cheryl Reeve said. “I think it was just a tremendous experience for her, and she played well on a big stage. I think she's kept that and is playing off momentum.”
Things started to heat up for Moore on Aug. 19 against Tulsa, when the second-year forward shot 54% (7-of-13) from the field, collecting 22 points along with 10 rebounds. She has logged three more double-doubles since then, bringing the Lynx to a 6-0 mark this season when she achieves such a feat.
Moore has shown an ability to distribute as well. While it’s easy to see that Lindsay Whalen (leading the league with 5.4 assists per game) is the team’s floor general, Moore has averaged a sneaky 4.3 APG since the break. For a player that spends time between the small and power forward spots, Moore has continued to make the extra pass to find her teammates in scoring opportunities.
“I'm really happy with Maya's assist totals,” Reeve said. “I think she’s done a really nice job. She gets down the floor in a hurry, and she likes that. Whether she is a three or four, she is finding ways to understand our offense better.”
One of the advantages in Maya being such a premier scorer is that when defenders key in on her, it often leaves her teammates open.
“She is recognizing that she is getting a lot of attention, and she can make one more pass,” Reeve said. “The Olympics helped, too. When you're playing with the Olympians or with our team, there's no reason to take a contested shot. They're all good players, and it doesn't matter if you shoot it. You need an unselfish mindset. She doesn't feel like she has to take these shots, and that's why we set the single-season assist record in the WNBA this year.”
Regardless of how she is impacting the game, Moore is having fun doing it. Whether she is at her college position of power forward or working on the wing, she is enjoying the process of developing her game.
“I love getting in there as a four and creating mismatches for my teammates,” Moore said. “I like driving or being a shooting threat as a four as well as opening up the paint for my teammates to drive. It's a really fun spot to play, I just need to work my tail off on defense and make sure I'm communicating.”
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