Practice Report: Tuesday, July 16




Kyle Ratke
Web Editorial Associate

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Ah, it feels good to be practicing.

Wait, has anyone ever said that? The Minnesota Lynx might be this week after playing four games in seven days last week, the last two being on the road.

The positive news is that the Lynx went 4-0 during that stretch and it seemed like every player who played substantial minutes had their moments.

The Lynx (11-3) now sit one game ahead of the Los Angeles Sparks (10-4) for first place in the West.

After having Monday off, the Lynx were back at practice on Tuesday. Here are a few observations from practice:

How's Seimone doing?

In case you've been gone for a while, Lynx shooting guard Seimone Augustus suffered a sprained ankle in the team's July 7 victory over the Phoenix Mercury. The injury, from what I understand, isn't the average ankle sprain. Instead of spraining it to the outside, Augustus landed on the inside of her ankle, making it a tad more severe.

She missed all of last week, but it appears as if she could be back in the next few days.

The former LSU star had a limited practice on Tuesday and completed some sprints at the end of practice. Cutting will be the next step for her during her rehab process.

"Of course, having (Seimone) out there today was great and seeing her run around and we definitely can't wait until she can come back," said Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen. "She's such an unbelievable player and a great teammate, so it's great to see her in basketball shoes and back at work with us. It was a really good sign today."

Sugar has been impressive

Okay, I know, 2.5 points and two rebounds per game don't sound all that impressive, but in four of her last five games, Rodgers has played 15 minutes or more. She hasn't been shooting all that well (3-for-15 in that stretch), but if you watch a game, she runs as hard as anyone and looks like she's a rookie looking to make any impact she can.

In the last five games, she's had 12 rebounds, four steals and five blocks. That speaks to the unexpected grittiness Rodgers has shown.

At the beginning of the season, Rodgers said that she could provide an offensive boost to the team. She's found out real quickly that the team has plenty of offense. Instead, she's found other ways to help the team, especially during the injury to Augustus.

If you're not a fan yet, watch her play on Friday against the Silver Stars, you'll be impressed.

"She has a feistiness to her, that's endearing, on the defensive side of it she's getting us possessions," Reeve said. "Making hustle plays, we'd like her offensive game to couple with that, but she'll get there. The more they (rookies) play, the more comfortable they will get."

They said it

"We aren't really worried about a win streak or anything like that. We came in here to do work and clean things up and prepare for the next team. Take it one game at a time and go from there," - Lynx center Janel McCarville.

Fans getting involved

Two season ticket members had an opportunity that very few fans have -- attend a team practice.

Jerry Leone helped as an assistant, hauling in rebounds and helping the team go through drills, while Michelle Wentland played H-O-R-S-E with small forward Maya Moore. No decision has been made if Wentland is going to crack the roster yet.

It looked like both of them had a blast on Tuesday morning.

Google+ Hangout with Brunson

Right after practice today, I was able to join Lynx power forward Rebekkah Brunson and a few season ticket members for a Google+ Hangout. It was a good opportunity for big-time fans to talk to a big-time athlete.

No, not me. Brunson. Reeve still won't let me dribble by myself on the practice court.

Brunson, on the other hand, had her 1,000th rebound in a Lynx uniform the other night. You don't want to miss her interview.

I'll be posting it shortly. Stay tuned.

Well, folks. That's all we've got for today. Check back in tomorrow.


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