Practice Report: Monday, June 17

Kyle Ratke
Web Editorial Associate

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Monday's practice at the Life Time Fitness facility was one in which many players put in time after practice. Practice ended right around 12:30 p.m., but that wasn't when the work was complete.

Point guard Lindsay Whalen worked on free-throws. Center Janel McCarville ran sprints. Forward Rebekkah Brunson rattled off jump shots with the help from assistant coach Jim Petersen. Players on the team generally stay after practice, but today was the first day I noticed on the various things they were working on.

I guess that's how you get to back-to-back WNBA Finals, huh?

Otherwise things were pretty normal at today's practice. The team had a game on Friday night in Tulsa and will have four days off before starting their West Coast trip to battle Phoenix on Wednesday and Los Angeles on Friday.

Head coach Cheryl Reeve was happy the team got their first road win under its belt before heading to the desert.

"It was our first road win I was pleased with how locked we were into number one how hard it was going to be," Reeve said. "... Brunson was really hard to play against. All and all it was a really good road win."

Though it's early, the Lynx sit at 4-1, atop the Western Conference holding a one-game lead of Los Angeles and 1 1/2 games ahead of Phoenix. Needless to say, two wins over those two this week would be nice.

Notes from Friday's game

  • Center Janel McCarville finished the game against Tulsa with a season-high eight points and eight rebounds. That's a promising sign for Minnesota fans. She's not likely to have a 20-20 game, but 10-10 is a realistic mark.

  • Last season the Lynx shot 50 percent or higher 13 times, a WNBA best. TheLynx shot 50 percent on Friday night for their second 50 percent game of the season.

  • In her first game against her former team, Candice Wiggins scored 18 points, a season high. Wiggins has somewhat struggled this season averaging 9.6 points per game while shooting 33 percent from the field. Most Lynx players will tell you that they want the best for Wiggins... Just not against them.

  • The Lynx bench struggled in the first half, being outscored 32-18. Amber Harris and Monica Wright, the most effective bench player for Minnesota, shot a combined 6-for-16. Ups and downs are expected. Roneeka Hodges and Kayla Pedersen, both starters for Tulsa, were held scoreless.

  • Injuries

    The Lynx have been incredibly lucky, or they have positioned themselves to be in great shape. Either way, while most teams in the WNBA are suffering from an injury or two, the Lynx are fortunate to have no major injuries. In Friday's game against Tulsa, the Shock was without both Elizabeth Cambage (Ankle) and Tiffany Jackson-Jones (Tibia). When looking at the upcoming road trip, it looks like the Phoenix Mercury could possibly be with guard Alexis Hornbuckle (Ankle) and forward Penny Taylor (Knee). Both players are questionable. For Friday's game against Los Angeles, guard Lindsay Harding is dealing with a concussion and a right eye contusion. Barring any new injuries, the Lynx should be at full-strength for both games.

    Reeve doesn't want to jinx her team, though.

    "I never want to get into the injury thing," Reeve said. "Anytime you are somewhat healthy you get the chance to be really good... I'd like to keep it that away so the less we talk about it the better."

    That's all I've got today, folks. If anything else comes up, I'll be sure to update.

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