Kent Youngblood writes about the Minnesota Lynx.

Lynx expect a physical Atlanta team tonight

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: October 8, 2013 - 12:12 PM

If the Lynx are certain about one thing, it is this: Atlanta is going to come out with far more intensity than the Dream showed Sunday.

This isn’t news. Anybody who read what Dream star Angel McCoughtry said yesterday knows the Dream is going to come out swinging. Metaphorically, of course.

McCoughtry said she and her teammates had to stop being nice, couldn’t let people push them around, had to be “monsters’’ on the court.

Figures to be pretty entertaining tonight.

“We’re prepared,” Seimone Augustus said after shootaround this morning. “We heard (Dream coach Fred Williams) said they repeatedly got punched in the mouth and never reacted to it. We expect them to be a lot more aggressive on the defensive end, even on the offensive end trying to attack the paint.’’

One wildcard to throw into the mix: Tiffany Hayes, the Dream forward who took a nasty tumble during Sunday’s game, is questionable for tonight’s game. Hayes landed on her tailbone and back and has been extremely sore. Williams said she has been getting constant treatment, but her status for tonight’s game won’t be known until just before game time.

Whether she can play or not, she probably won’t be 100 percent. Williams said today that he might decide to go big if Hayes can’t go. This is a move the Lynx have been anticipating; the Dream’s strength is in the paint, where it scored 44 points Sunday. Reserve post player Aneika Henry was the Dream’s best player on the court Sunday, scoring 14 points with 14 rebounds and two blocks.

In any event, expect a more intense, physical game.

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said that is the sort of game her team had been expecting from the start of the series. “We know when teams play us, they feel that (physical) element has to be there. … We expected that, they just didn’t do it in Game 1.’’

In other items:

--Lynx center Janel McCarville said her back, while not 100 percent, feels better than it did before Sunday’s game. So she figures to keep playing through that lower back pain.

--Reeve is still working to make sure her team’s ego doesn’t get too big, what with Sunday’s one-sided win and the general media consensus that they’re shoo-ins for the title. Reeve asked her players to remember what it felt like to lose in Indiana in Game 3 last year to get some insight into how Atlanta is feeling right now.

--It is Devereaux Peters’ birthday today. She is 24.

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