Coach's Corner - Finals Preview with VJ

Periodically throughout the 2012-13 offseason, we’ll be checking in with a member of the Silver Stars coaching staff in the new Coach’s Corner feature.

First, we catch up with assistant coach Vickie Johnson who gives us an inside perspective on the best-of-five WNBA Finals series between the Minnesota Lynx and the Indiana Fever and breaks down what each team will need to do to capture the title.

Johnson has a wealth of experience in breaking down opponents, both on and off the court. After a storied 13-year WNBA career – including four seasons and a Western Conference title with San Antonio – Johnson returned to the Silver Stars bench as a coach in 2011. Among her responsibilities as assistant coach, Johnson handles scouting duties for the Silver Stars throughout the season, assisting with preparation of the teams game plan for each opponent.

Indiana Fever

Overall keys for Indiana

  • Be aggressor on both ends
  • Push the ball in transition
  • Be active and make plays on defense by recognizing situations

Defensively

  • Minnesota will attack them in the tunnel. It won’t be anything tricky, but they’ll work to get it in the post
  • Rebekkah Brunson is a wild card as she floats high to low from one block to the other

Offensively

  • Indiana needs to play fast to put Minnesota on their heels
  • Don’t want to give Minnesota time to set up their defense and gain control of the boards
  • Attack the basket

Minnesota Lynx

Overall keys for Minnesota

  • Excellent transition defense
  • Protect the tunnel, prevent easy looks
  • Defend Indiana wings one-on-one
  • Guards need to anticipate hard rolls to the basket by Indiana forwards and be ready to move from help side

Defensively

  • Make them shoot outside the tunnel and no open 3’s
  • Protect rebounding position … Their first shot in each possession may not beat Minnesota but the potential offensive rebounds will determine the Lynx success

Offensively

  • Run Indiana wings through screens
  • Use their quickness to their advantage
  • Move Tammy Sutton-Brown and Jessica Davenport from the basket and into pick-and-rolls
  • Be active on defense to set up easy baskets and 3-point looks in transition

Following Indiana’s 76-70 victory in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, we took an anonymous poll of the Silver Stars roster to see who they thought would win the best-of-five series…