Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Reeve says Lynx need to win hustle points against Indiana

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Lynx Updated: October 13, 2012 - 7:35 PM

"We know what style to prepare for, we know what our playbook looks like versus if you are playing Connecticut," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said after Friday's practice. "And so we got to lock in on some of those things today. And some of the schemes we anticipate Indiana will play."

On Friday, the Lynx finally knew who their opponent in the WNBA Finals was going to be. Indiana beat Connecticut on the Sun's home court on Thursday night to advance.

"We know it is going to be a hard series and we have to be ready to do battle," Reeve said. Wonder if any coach has ever said he or she expected an easy series in the Finals.

Reeve said that the Fever, throughout the season, have been missing players and had other players step up. "It is a team that is very, very gritty," Reeve said. "That is a credit to what Lin Dunn does. And who she is. They have made the most of opportunities when players have been out."

Dunn, of course, is the respect Fever coach. She is from Tennessee and speaks her mind. This is her fourth season as head coach of the Fever. She had Indiana in the Finals her first year, but the Fever lost to Phoenix.

Reeve said  the Fever could win an elimination game on the road was quite a feat: "That was just really an impressive win."

Indiana has already survived four elimination games, two against Atlanta in the first round, and two against the Sun in the second.

"They certainly took the hard road to get here," Reeve said. "But then it is what I expect from this team. If you look at their personnel, at minimum, they play hard. At minimum. They may not always execute. ... But they are making hustle plays. It is not surprising that this is the team that is in the Finals, that came out of the East.

"I don't know that the path you took to get here has much bearing once you get into the Finals. Same thing for us, it doesn't matter that we had rest and they didn't. It is hopefully going to be two tough, gritty teams."

Maybe the path doesn't have much meaning anymore, but if the Fever lose the first two games against the Lynx I will guarantee you every media member will mention how Indiana has come back from the abyss twice.


Reeve said Tamika Catchings playing the four position [power forward] is a challenge for Fever opponents because she is really a guard.

Another difficulty in beating the Fever is Indiana's ability to shoot three-pointers so well. "All the work we did over the Olympic break in tweaking our defense to defend the three-point line is going to come in handy," Reeve said.

A third problem Indiana poses is how difficult it is to score on the Fever. "Their defense is really physical and they switch a lot," Reeve saud. "We feel confident because we have seen it. Everything they do, we have seen."


One uncertainty with Indiana is Katie Douglas. The veteran, left-handed shooting guard sprained an ankle on Thursday. She is listed as day-to-day.

"I don't coach them," Reeve said. "I can only watch from the outside and know that you are losing 17-18 points a game,  you are losing a leader if she doesn't play. We are assuming she is playing."

Really, that's all the Lynx can do. Prepare for the Fever with Douglas in the line-up.  Douglas will play if it's at all possible.


One of the reasons for the Fever's playoff success is Erlana Larkins who has emerged with a bigger role. The 6-1 third-year forward is averaging 10.8 points and 10.2 rebounds in the playoffs and has started five of the six games.

That's three more starts than she had in 34 regular-season games.

"She plays hard," Reeve said. "She is like an oversized Brunson. She goes with that same sense of urgency to go get rebounds. And so, as we know when opponents try to stop Rebekkah, Larkins is a very challenging player to keep off the glass.

"We just got to make sure we win the hustle points. That is the thing with Indiana. First and foremost, you've got to win the hustle points. And that is the second-chance points, that is the fast-break points, those sorts of things that will be separators in the series."








Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
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