Recalling last year's loss in finals could motivate Lynx

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 19, 2013 - 1:46 PM

The Lynx hope to use their loss to Indiana in last year’s WNBA Finals as motivation in the playoffs.


Lindsay Whalen reacts in the final moments of their loss to the Indiana Fever during game 4 of the WNBA Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis Ind., Sunday October 21, 2012. Indiana won 87-78.

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger


One year later, the situation seems so similar, but the feelings are so different — at least for Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve.

A year ago her team was trying to defend a WNBA title. This year they’re trying to reclaim it.

Big, big difference.

When this season began, the Lynx talked about the motivation of trying to make up for last season’s loss to Indiana in the WNBA Finals.

As the season progressed, those thoughts got pushed to the background. But not long after the Lynx clinched the top playoff seed with a victory over Chicago in the regular-season finale on Saturday, all those emotions came back.

“To fall short of something we worked really hard for, to basically have a team take it from us,” Reeve said, “those feelings are kind of back. I think this is a group that will draw on those feelings. And it will be positive for us.”

The Lynx begin their quest for a second title in three seasons in the Western Conference semifinals against Seattle, a best-of-three series that starts Friday at Target Center.

Nobody is looking past Seattle. And nobody was about to start talking about the WNBA Finals. Not yet. But there is a general consensus that the team let something slip through its fingers a year ago.

“You use it as motivation, of course,” guard Lindsay Whalen said. “But I think we’ve done that all season. This team has been really focused and prepared, and the feelings from last year fed into that.”

Reeve said she’s eager to get the playoffs started, to see if the lessons from last year carried over.

“We felt in the playoffs there were things we could have done better,” she said. “Mostly in two areas. One, being more unfazed by some of the adversity you face in the games. And two, making sure that our passion is greater than our opponent’s at all times.”

The Lynx are coming off their third consecutive season with the league’s best record.

Minnesota set a franchise record for shooting percentage (47.4) while leading the league in scoring.

The team was third in scoring defense and rebounding, using both to lead the WNBA in fast-break scoring.

Now that focus needs to be carried into the postseason.

Reeve is happy with her starters but has been thinking of tweaking her rotation. Reeve said the bench could be a key in a playoff run, and is looking to put top backup Monica Wright in better position to succeed by asking her to play less at point guard.

But, overall, the main focus of preparation has been just that: focus.

“I think, for [the team], there is that feeling of being pretty hungry,” Reeve said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay 4 Top 5th Inning
Baltimore 2
Atlanta 1 Top 8th Inning
NY Mets 0
Cleveland 1 Top 3rd Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Minnesota 2 Top 3rd Inning
Kansas City 2
Texas 1 Top 3rd Inning
Houston 0
Oakland - S. Gray 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Wilson
Atlanta 24 4th Qtr 3:26
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 17 3rd Qtr 14:07
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 0 3rd Qtr 8:14
Cincinnati 21
Kansas City 7 3rd Qtr
Green Bay 20
NY Jets 7 3rd Qtr 11:12
Philadelphia 13
St. Louis 10 3rd Qtr 11:52
Miami 0
Carolina 3 2nd Qtr 1:54
Pittsburgh 0
New England 7 2nd Qtr 0:27
NY Giants 10
Washington 10 3rd Qtr
Tampa Bay 0
Baltimore 10 2nd Qtr 10:53
New Orleans 7
Chicago 10 2nd Qtr 12:03
Cleveland 7
Denver 7 2nd Qtr 11:11
Dallas 0
Minnesota 10 2nd Qtr
Tennessee 0
San Francisco 0 2nd Qtr 10:50
Houston 3
Arizona 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 9:00 PM
(21) Texas A&M 45 3rd Qtr 2:38
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 3rd Qtr 13:00
Boise State 0 2nd Qtr 14:11
(18) Ole Miss 7
Tulane 7 2nd Qtr
Tulsa 0
Temple 8:15 PM
Rutgers 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters