Editor's Note: She's back! Each week throughout the 2014 season, analyst Lea B. Olsen will break down the week regarding all things Lynx and WNBA. Enjoy!
LISTON IS READY:
During the first week of the season I asked Coach Reeve about Tricia Liston and the expectations she had for the rookie. She basically said she needed her to do one thing and one thing only and that was to shoot the ball like she did in college. She didn’t need her to penetrate or take players one on one. She has players that can do that like the three Olympians. This is one of the many areas in working with player personnel that Coach Reeve does an excellent job. She gives you your role, makes it seem very simple, and convinces the player this is the way she will earn more playing time. Sure enough that is what we are starting to see from the rookie out of Duke.
GOODBYE AND WELCOME:
I wanted to give Lindsey Moore a shout out as she was waived by the Lynx. Lindsey is a class act who played few minutes but was a pleasure to work with and interview. I wish her the best of luck. Nadirah McKenith is the newest Lynx player. She was drafted 17th in 2013 and played her college ball at St. Johns in New York. Welcome aboard Nadirah and get ready for some great basketball, because the best is yet to come.
Remember last season all the hype that surrounded Britney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury. A slow start, the firing of their head coach, and Griner adjusting a bit slower than expected spoiled most of that excitement. They eventually did make it into the Western Conference Finals only to meet up with our Lynx. We knocked them out in two games and I’m sure you remember how the glorious story ends. The 2014 season has brought a new and more skilled Phoenix team. The 6’8 Griner has found her way and her 27 points and 18 boards was the key to Phoenix beating the Lynx for the second time this season. On top of that Taurasi had 22 points, 10 boards, and 6 assists and they out rebounded us 41 to 22. The Mercury are leading the league in scoring with the Lynx sitting right behind them in second place. The way things are shaping up in the West we will be meeting up with Phoenix in the Western Conference finals again this year.
LEGENDARY LIN DUNN:
It has been fun watching how teams acknowledge and say goodbye to Indiana’s head coach Lin Dunn as she makes her way through her last season. Coach Dunn has decided to put away the whistle and the clipboard and retire after 44 years in this game. She will serve as a consultant to the team as Stephanie White takes over the reins. I remember first encountering Coach Dunn when she was the head coach for Purdue University. I was playing for the Gophers and when the BoilerMakers came to town we would always say Linn Dunn and Purdue have arrived. Her presence was that big. Unlike most coaches she would always talk to players from other teams. She was funny with that crazy accent and the one thing we all knew for sure is she was an amazing coach. I asked Coach Reeve her thoughts and impression on Dunn and her first words were “she is such a character, so funny so witty and that’s what I enjoyed first about her.” When the Lynx and Indiana were battling it out in the finals in 2012 it was Dunn and Reeve who stole the headlines. Dunn and Reeve both received technical fouls in game 2 and Dunn questioned why Reeve didn’t get a second one when she threw her jacket off. When asked about Dunn’s criticism Reeve said “She doesn’t give a hoot what Lin thinks of me or my players, we don’t answer to her.” Now when being asked about Dunn who was just inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Coach Reeve told me that “Dunn makes you a better coach, cause she will challenge your schemes.” “Her teams defensively have always been the class of the league, physicality and toughness those are marks of Lin Dunn teams” Her final words about the retiring coach “I don’t want her to go because she makes us all better”. Best of luck Coach Dunn and thank you for all that you have done to advance the game.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.