This is such sweet timing for a New York-Lynx rematch

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 27, 2013 - 12:24 PM

New York coach Bill Laimbeer stirred up drama with remarks about Lynx star Maya Moore. Laimbeer's also a mentor to Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve.


New York Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer created controversy and was subsequently fined for his comments regarding the Lynx's Maya Moore during Minnesota's victory earlier this month.

Photo: Jessica Hill, AP

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That Maya Moore is going to New York as the newly minted WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week can only be called perfect timing.

It is deserved, of course. Moore, the Lynx star, won the honor for the second time in three weeks. She averaged 25 points in three games last week, including Sunday’s 35-point performance against Indiana, the highest total by a league player this season.

But the timing? Delicious.

The last time the Lynx played New York, the Liberty was at Target Center on Aug. 18. Moore was the reigning player of the week then. And, in a 21-point victory over the Liberty, Moore scored 28 points, playing late into the already-decided game.

Afterward, Liberty GM and coach Bill Laimbeer took exception, saying the Lynx were only trying to get Moore another weekly award and concluding with this: “She should get hurt for that.’’ That quote earned Laimbeer a league fine.

And now, the rematch.

The Lynx, holding a one-game lead in the Western Conference, are playing the Liberty, one game out of a playoff spot in the East.

That plus the fact that Laimbeer was a mentor for Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve — she was his assistant in Detroit for two league championship runs — only adds spice, no matter how much people in the Lynx practice facility were trying to downplay it after Monday’s practice.

“Bill is a competitive guy,” Reeve said. “Bill was pretty frustrated here at the Target Center. If you’re asking if I expect there to be any carry over? I don’t. I’ve worked for Bill, I’ve been on the sidelines. I’ve heard it before. He’ll try to use our game as motivation to fire them up. But hey, if you need firing up and motivation at this point, then his team has a problem.’’

Moore, meanwhile, said she hadn’t read Laimbeer’s remarks. When told about them, she laughed. “Oh well,” she said. “Only thing I can do is try to play as long as I can and not get hurt.’’

Moore’s efficiency has been off the charts lately. Over her past four games — starting with the victory over New York — she has hit 40 of 69 shots (nearly 60 percent), is 13-for-21 on three-pointers (61.9) and has averaged 25.8 points per game.

“I think Maya has gone [to] a different place in terms of her hunger for getting things done,” Reeve said.

And now Moore and the Lynx get the Liberty, again. Could this be the start of a nice rivalry? That Aug. 18 game was the first between Reeve and Laimbeer as head coaches.

“She’s a little amped up for this game,” Seimone Augustus said of Reeve. “I guess she’s trying to show her mentor she’s ready to take over the throne.’’

As for Laimbeer’s comments?

“Bill is always cranky,” joked Augustus. “Bill is a cranky old man. But he’s a competitor. He’s the same way Reeve is; he doesn’t like to lose. He talks smack. He says what he has to say. Some things can be inappropriate. We’re definitely trying to make sure we protect our players, especially as we head into the playoffs.’’

  • Lynx at New York 6 p.m. Tuesday • No TV (Radio: 106.1 FM)

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Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 4
Houston - WP: T. Sipp 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 1
San Francisco - WP: T. Hudson 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: D. Fister 3
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 5
Chicago WSox - LP: D. Webb 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 4
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 8 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 0
Atlanta 1 Bottom 11th Inning
Cincinnati 1
Seattle - WP: D. Leone 5 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Kansas City 5 Bottom 8th Inning
Texas 3
Pittsburgh 8 Bottom 8th Inning
Milwaukee 2
Detroit 5 Bottom 6th Inning
Minnesota 7
Miami 6 Top 7th Inning
Colorado 4
San Diego 0 Top 5th Inning
Arizona 4
LA Angels 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Oakland 1
NY Mets 1 Top 4th Inning
Los Angeles 1
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 4th Qtr 0:33
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 7 4th Qtr 10:44
Green Bay 31
Chicago 0 2nd Qtr 12:01
Seattle 14
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
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Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
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Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
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UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Real Salt Lake 0 2nd Half 25:00
FC Dallas 1
Montreal 13 13:00
Winnipeg 11
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Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Chicago 80 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Los Angeles 34 3rd Qtr
Phoenix 35
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