To the surprise of nobody Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve was emphatic when asked tonight, before her Lynx played Los Angeles at Target Center, that Maya Moore should be the WNBA MVP. If you’ll recall, Moore finished runner up in the voting last year to Sparks star Candace Parker.
This year, it will be a huge upset if Moore doesn’t win. She leads the league in scoring, has 12 games of 30 points or more, and needs just 17 points tonight to surpass Seimone Augustus for the highest-scoring single season in franchise history (third-most in league history).
Here are some of the things she had to say about Moore:
--“I don’t really think it's hard to see that Maya has been head-and-shoulders above every player in the league,” Reeve said. “Not just in offense and scoring, though she’s been very prolific in that area. Rebounds. We chart deflections, and Maya’s my highest deflection player. Playmaker, assists. She along with Lindsay Whalen and Janel McCarville are the biggest reasons why we were able to weather the storm of having really good players out.’’
For the record, Moore entered the game with 157 deflections. The next closest Lynx player has 83.
--Reeve said the amazing thing is that Moore has done this without really trying to force the scoring. “This is not a player who ran around trying to get 30 points or trying to be the MVP,” Reeve said. “She’s done it in the framework of what we do.’’
One final Reeve quote on Moore: “I think one of the biggest gaffes, if you will, from a voting standpoint (would be) if Maya Moore is not the MVP of the 2014 season.”
I don’t think she has to worry about it.
Here are some other items to consider pre-game:
--Rookie center/forward Damiris Dantas flew back to Brazil today to deal with a family issue. She will miss the final three games of the regular season, but return for the playoffs. Reeve said she had hoped to give Damiris a good bit of playing time down the stretch to get her rhythm and confidence back. Looks like that will have to happen in the practices leading up to the first round of the playoffs.
--Reeve said there have been some changes in the Sparks approach to games since Penny Toler took over as coach with 12 games to play in the season. Among them?
They team is featuring forward Nneka Ogwumike much more. She used to get much of her scoring off rebounds and hustle plays. Now plays are being called for her.
The Sparks, defensively, will mix in a little zone, something they didn’t do in the past.