Kent Youngblood writes about the Minnesota Lynx.

First place is at stake tonight

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: June 28, 2013 - 6:04 PM

 Greetings from Target Center where, in about an hour, the Lynx will play the Los Angeles Sparks, determined to atone for last Friday’s one-sided loss in L.A.

As coach Cheryl Reeve said, the team has had a few days to stew about it, and a couple practices to prepare for it. The Lynx (6-2) enter the game having won a franchise-record 12 consecutive home regular season games. But the Sparks (5-2) winners of three straight, are right behind the Lynx, in position to push them out of first place.

 

But a few things are different than a week ago.

Last week the game was at L.A., which has traditionally been a difficult place to play for the Lynx. Minnesota was playing its second game in three nights, and so didn’t practice the day before the game.

“We never got to simulate L.A.’s defense, and their ball pressure is pretty good,’’ Reeve said. “We certainly pointed it out on video, but video doesn’t do it justice.’’

The Sparks turned Lynx turnovers into 20 points while building a huge halftime lead, and Reeve basically sat her starters in the second half.

This time the Lynx spent two days prepping for the Sparks defense. And L.A. has yet to win on the road this season (0-2). We’ll see shortly if that means a reversal of fortune from a week ago.

 

A couple other pre-game notes:

--The Lynx continue to enjoy good health, with everyone on the roster available, Reeve said.

--Reeve has decided, at least for the present, to make rookie Sugar Rodgers the second perimeter player to come off the bench, a role that has been held by fellow rookie Rachel Jarry to this point.

Why? Rodgers played well defensively against Sparks guard Kristi Toliver last Friday, Reeve said, and Rodgers has a pretty good perimeter jumper.

“We have to see what she can do,” Reeve said. “Not that we don’t like what Rachel is doing. But it’s one of those things that, during the course of the season, you want to look at.’’

 

That’s about it for now. I’ll get back to you after the game

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