While waiting for their season to begin, the Lynx will run a game-like scrimmage against a team of men on the main floor at Target Center Wednesday night.
The WNBA season is already underway, but the Lynx don’t play until Saturday’s opener against Connecticut. So coach Cheryl Reeve is looking to get a rather high-intensity simulation going. Unfortunately, the scrimmage will not be open to the public. But it will have quarters, a clock, scoring and an officiating crew. The group the Lynx will be scrimmaging against will be prepped on the sets used by Connecticut.
“We want to get in a rhythm in what we’re doing,” Reeve said. “We also want to look at the lineups.”
There is still work to be done before the opener. Here are some issues Reeve said the team is working on:
--Reeve is happy with the way her team is defending, but wants the defensive rebounding to improve. “We have to finish plays with rebounds,” Reeve said. “We continue to harp on that.’’
--Efficiency on offense, with new center Janel McCarville in the mix.
--And then, rotations.
There are some changes this year, of course. McCarville is in the starting lineup, but the other four starters return. The top three reserves are Monica Wright, Devereaux Peters and Amber Harris.
That means the rotations will be a bit different than last season, when Reeve had two guards – Wright and Candice Wiggins – to bring off the bench. That added some perimeter flexibility, but also made it difficult at times to find significant minutes for both of them.
So this season, with Reeve still waiting for rookie point guard Lindsey Moore to come along – more on that in a bit – Reeve will have to be more creative in her rotations.
“It will be Monnie and Amber (first off the bench),’’ Reeve said. “And then it’s, ‘Who needs the next sub?’ ‘’
If Reeve needs a point guard to give Lindsay Whalen a breather, she can go to Moore in short spurts. But fans are going to see a lot of creative approaches to point guard this season.
Of the three rookies on the team, Rachel Jarry will likely get the most minutes. As Reeve likes to say, Jarry doesn’t pass the eye test. That is, she doesn’t appear to be particularly strong or imposing. But, once on the floor, the Lynx have been very impressed with Jarry’s toughness, especially on defense, getting rebounds and getting to loose balls.
Moore? The Lynx have worked hard with Moore at dealing with pressure as a ball-handler. “We went to Bismarck (for the preseason opener), and that was a challenge for her,” Reeve said. “So we decided we weren’t doing enough of that for her in practice.’’
Should Moore get more used to the speed of the WNBA game – something Reeve is confident will happen – she could get more playing time.
That’s about it for now. I’ll get back to you after tomorrow’s scrimmage.