It didn’t take long watching the tail end of today’s Lynx practice to know the team has pushed it to playoff mode.
Coach Cheryl Reeve was intense, stopping a sequence in mid-play a few times to voice her displeasure. The practice went rather long; the team will back it off a little Thursday.
“It was a pretty intense practice, on both sides of the ball,” Reeve said.
After practice was over Reeve talked about the importance of the bench in the upcoming playoff run, starting with the Western Conference semifinal series with Seattle, which starts Friday at Target Center.
“The starters beat each other up (in a playoff series),” Reeve said. “So it’s those x-factor players that come in.’’
And that brings us to top Lynx reserve Monica Wright.
The team’s top backcourt sub, Wright proved her worth during the season, moving into the starting lineup when Seimone Augustus was out with a sprained ankle and playing very well. But, towards the end of the season, Wright’s play has been uneven.
In the season finale against Chicago Wright struggled, with three turnovers and no assists.
The key, Reeve said, is allowing Wright to play as much shooting guard – her natural position – as possible.
“When she filled in (for Augustus), it was at two guard,” Reeve said. “When you see her game being up and down it’s usually at the point guard spot. So we’re trying to limit the number of minute she’ll have to play at the one .’’
How? Rookie point guard Lindsey Moore has improved to the point where Reeve wont’ hesitate to use her, so having Moore at the point and Wright at the two could work at times.
But, most likely, Reeve will have Augustus do more ball-handling when she and Wright are in the lineup together.
“I didn’t do a good job last game (vs. Chicago) of that,” Reeve said. “I put (Wright) in a tough spot. We’re trying to do a better job of putting her in a position to be successful.”
That’s about it for now. Have a good evening.