All cylinders were clicking as the defending champion Lynx ran through their sets Wednesday against a practice squad of select former D2 and D3 men's players. Seimone Augustus' pull-and-pop was on-point, Maya Moore roamed the baseline like a killer and Lindsay Whalen ... well, she didn't smile much.
As it stands, the Lynx are preparing for two teams to host for Sunday's first game in a best of five Finals series. The challengers -- the Connecticut Sun and the Indiana Fever -- play their deciding Game 3 Thursday, but the Lynx weren't twiddling their thumbs. A relaxed aura permeated the practice gym. Not only are the ladies recuperating while their opponents beat each other up, but they've been here before.
After practice, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve traded in her practice bellow for her sports media routine to answer some questions.
Q: Is this about the best scenario you could ask for?
A: We like the scenario that we created to give ourselves some extra time. We got [the Connecticut-Indiana] series going to three games, hopefully they'll get a triple overtime and maybe flight delays and anything else that can come up. It certainly doesn't guarantee anything, but if you can draw up a scenario, this is a pretty easy one.
Q: The Vikings are improving, but your team has been considered a light in an otherwise dreary Minnesota sports climate. Are you and the ladies aware of this, and does it motivate you?
A: It's hard not to be aware when we hear it all the time. You know, "Thank goodness we're good." From that standpoint we do feel good about carrying the torch for the city: to bring a championship and to attempt to bring another one. I'd say they're very aware of it and they take great pride in it.
Q: The last team to win back-to-back championships was the Los Angeles Sparks a decade ago. Does your sweep of the Sparks carry any "new sheriff in town" connotations?
A: Those teams back then were really, really good. Not to say L.A.'s not a good team, but that time in their organization was very different. So I don't think our league has had -- since the Detroit Shock days [Finals appearances 2006-08, with bookend championships] -- any sheriff in town. Seattle won it one year , we won it one year , Phoenix won it one year , but Detroit was in it three years. They were kind of running things. I don't think I'm prepared to say that there's a new sheriff in town -- I think you have to win your second one.