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Lynx must limit Indiana's second-chance points in Game 2

At the end of Lynx shootaround this morning, the team helped center Sylvia Fowles celebrate her 30th birthday with a cake.

Perhaps the best present Fowles could get would be a win tonight in Game 2 of the best-of-five series, which Indiana leads 1-0. And the best way to do that might be limiting the Fever’s second-chance points. Sunday the Lynx out-rebounded the Fever 34-32. And the offensive rebounds were basically even, Indiana with 12, the Lynx 11.

But the Fever had a 22-12 edge on second-chance points, with 12 of those coming on four three-pointers.

So what happened? Well, Fever star Tamika Catchings only was credited with six rebounds, but she got herself in position to tip a lot of balls, creating 50-50 loose ball situations the Fever inevitably won. And the Lynx post players sometimes allowed Fever players to get too deep.

“I thought the times we got hurt it was little bit of that,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “And then we need to be mindful. The same way they’re locked in on Rebekkah (Brunson) not getting stuff cleanly, we have to do a better job early on players like Catchings.’’

Easier said than done.  “She’s going to get some of those,” said Brunson, who did a good job defending Catchings, who only had two field goals. But Brunson only got three rebounds all night. “But you just have to be aggressive. And if she taps it to another area, we have to be ready to gain that rebound.’’

Said Reeve: “We can’t just say, ‘OK, we have to rebound.’ We can’t just talk about it. It doesn’t change anything. We’re trying to figure out how we can get people in better positions to do that. Sometimes that requires a switch on a ball screen. Now a guard has to hook around and really hit ‘em early.’’

Does Whalen get the calls she used to? Reeve doesn't think so

If Sunday Cheryl Reeve was demanding more from guards Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen, Monday she was asking more of their teammates.

And the league’s in-game officials.

In what may have been an attempt to shift the story – and the pressure – off her starting guards, and in particular Lindsay Whalen, Reeve said today that part of Whalen’s problem this year is that she is no longer getting the calls she used to get driving to the hoop.

“Early on it seemed kind of like it was an agenda that she wasn’t going to be able to go to the basket as she’s done throughout her career,” Reeve said. “And get calls when she’s contacted illegally. It’s been a season-long struggle for her to overcome. So she’s changed her game because of it. And I think it’s really important that Lindsay Whalen be Lindsay Whalen and I’m going to try to help her do that.’’

What does that mean? I think you’ll see her more off the ball, on the wing, like she did a bit of earlier this season. But I also think the staff will make a concerted effort to put her in position to have early success. Today Reeve talked about how it was important for her teammates to set good, crisp picks to free Whalen up.

I think Reeve was also making a point about officiating she hopes will be heard. She said Whalen isn’t doing anything differently than in years past.

“Don’t get me fined,” she said “I don’t want to go down this road. It’s just, she’s had to adjust to a new style. It’s not the same when she goes in there. Every game we go, ‘Whalen doesn’t get that call,’ and it’s really discouraging. She’s trying to find ways to help her team. And try to do Whalen-like things. And it’s been a little harder for her.’’

Meanwhile, both Augustus and Whalen acknowledged they had to do more. “We need to take pressure off Sylvia and Maya,” Augustus said. “And we will.’’

Reeve also asked for more from Rebekkah Brunson, who has the job of guarding Tamika Catchings. Brunson, a rebounding machine in the first two rounds of the playoffs, had just three boards Sunday, none on the offensive end, and had just one point.

“She held herself to zero offensive rebounds,” Reeve said. “She needs to go in there and get offensive rebounds, like she wants it. The same way Tamika Catchings went to the glass like she wanted it. Every possession.’’

That’s about it for now. I’ll get back to you after shootaround tomorrow. 

TV Listings

Local Schedule

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  • Indiana at Lynx

    7pm on ESPN2, 106.1-FM

  • Oklahoma City at Timberwolves (preseason)

    7pm on 830-AM

  • Wild at Colorado

    8pm on NBCSN, 100.3-FM

  • Lynx at Indiana

    7pm on ESPN2, 106.1-FM

  • St. Cloud State at Gophers women's hockey


  • Gophers football at Purdue

    2:30pm on ESPN, 100.3-FM

  • St. Cloud State at Gophers women's hockey


  • Timberwolves vs. Chicago (preseason)

    6pm on 830-AM

  • Vermont at Gophers men's hockey

    7pm on FSN PLUS, 1500-AM

  • Timberwolves at Toronto (preseason)

    6:30pm on 830-AM

Today's Scoreboard

  • Houston

    NY Yankees

    7:08 PM


No games for NFL

  • Indiana


    7:00 PM

    ESPN 2

No games for MLS