Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve knows New York coach Bill Laimbeer. She worked for years as his top assistant. Again tonight, before the Lynx hosted the Liberty at Target Center, Reeve talked about how, more than anybody else, Laimbeer prepped her to get ready to be a WNBA head coach.
So they know each other. And Reeve knows what she expects Laimbeer’s game plan is going to be tonight: Not Maya.
Maya Moore has scored 30 or more points in three straight games. If she does it again tonight she will become the only WNBA player to do it in four straight. Reeve knows Laimbeer’s going to try tto stop that. “Tonight Laimbeer’s philosophy is going to be , ‘Anybody but Maya,’ ‘’ Reeve said. “So he’s going to load up on Maya saying, ‘She ain’t scoring 30 on us. That ends tonight.’ That means everybody else is going to be the beneficiary of that.’’
Of course, people have schemed to stop Moore before. But Reeve expects Liberty forwards Delisha Milton-Jones and Alex Montgomery to try to play physically against Moore. “You’ll see, May’s going to be knocked around tonight,” Reeve said. “I fully expect that.’’
So Moore knows what’s coming. “I told Maya I want her to be able to walk off the court tonight, look over at Bill Laimbeer and go like this,” Reeve said, making the “loser sign” on her forehead. That’s the goal.”
Meanwhile, rookie guard Tricia Liston could see her first action tonight. Reeve expects the Liberty to try to prevent penetration at all costs, which could free up the three-point line, Liston’s specialty.
The Lynx almost always fly Delta to games but had to fly American home from Tulsa today. That meant leaving their Tulsa hotel at 5 a.m., getting on a plane, having a layover in Dallas then flying to the Twin Cities, arriving at about 11 a.m.
The reason for the change of airlines? The Tulsa game was originally supposed to be on Thursday before a scheduling conflict in Tulsa changed it to Friday. By that time the Lynx couldn't get enough seats on the plane returning from Tulsa.
That means a rather tired Lynx team tonight. We'll see how they fight through the fatigue.