The Lynx are aiming for their third WNBA championship in four seasons this year, and the first home game of their title defense is at 4 p.m. Sunday against Connecticut. In advance of that game, the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand caught up with point guard Lindsay Whalen on a number of subjects.
Q Is this year comparable to a couple of years ago when you were trying to repeat, or is every year different?
A I feel like this year we have a good energy about us. I’ve felt like that since I came in. … Everybody is excited to be here. Every year is a new, fun journey.
Q Everybody talks about the Lynx as a veteran team because the core has been together for a while. That can be code for “mature,” or it can be code for “old.” How do you approach that?
A I still feel like we have a good mix of vets and young people. We have the vets who have been through it and know what to expect, then the young players — Monnie [Wright], Maya [Moore] — who are in that middle, and then we have our rookies and second-year players. But we have a good mix of people that have been together for so many years. We know what it means to be successful.
Q You have a little more adversity this year than in years that I can remember. What is it going to take to push past some of those early injuries?
A I think it’s the [players] who have been here, really executing and paying attention to the little things. And it’s exciting because we’ll get these guys back healthy and feeling good. We’ll develop a couple more people, and once we get those guys back, it will just add to what we’ve been doing.
Q With the Wild making a little playoff run here, a lot of people started talking about how long it’s been since a team has won a championship. When you hear that are you ever thinking, ‘Hello, over here. We won two of the last three.’?
A Yeah, a little bit (laughs). You know, we’re a fun team to watch, man. We’ve been putting a good product on the floor for a bunch of years. We’ve won it twice. Made it there three times in a row. But we’re just going to keep working hard and doing our thing.
Q I know you are a great Minnesota sports mind. Vikings draft. What’s your assessment?
A I think the first pick, everyone was talking about Johnny Football, but I didn’t think they were going to take him at No. 8 or 9. I really felt like they were going to go defense. Defense wins the games. I figured later they’d try to get back in for a quarterback. I actually was asleep before the end of the first round because I go to bed early these days. Then I woke up to us having Teddy Bridgewater, and I was pumped. People were down on him after the pro day, but he at one time was No. 1. … Overall, it was good. I saw one thing that gave them an A-plus.
Q You can’t get a higher than that. Did you get any A-pluses at the U?
A Uh, no. Close. I held down my 3.0. I was academic All-American one year. That’s one of my highlights.
|Tampa Bay - WP: J. McGee||6||FINAL|
|Toronto - LP: B. Morrow||5|
|Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw||4||FINAL|
|Detroit - WP: P. Coke||6|
|Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann||3||FINAL|
|NY Mets - LP: J. Niese||0|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner||3||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez||7|
|Miami - WP: A. DeSclafani||5||FINAL|
|Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon||4|
|Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake||2||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - WP: M. Garza||9|
|Boston - WP: J. Kelly||8||FINAL|
|Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas||4|
|Minnesota - WP: T. May||6||FINAL|
|Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi||4|
|Colorado - LP: J. Lyles||1||FINAL|
|St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales||4|
|Atlanta - LP: M. Minor||3||FINAL|
|Texas - WP: C. Lewis||10|
|Houston - WP: D. Keuchel||6||FINAL|
|LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago||1|
|Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw||4||FINAL|
|San Francisco - LP: Y. Petit||2|
|San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne||6||FINAL|
|Arizona - WP: Z. Spruill||8|
|Oakland - WP: J. Lester||4||FINAL|
|Seattle - LP: C. Young||0|
|NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson||2||FINAL|
|Baltimore - WP: D. O`Day||3|
|Chicago||28||4th Qtr 6:55|
|Philadelphia||9/15/14 7:30 PM|
|Tampa Bay||9/18/14 7:25 PM|
|(23) Ohio State||66|
|(14) So Carolina||38|
|(10) Ole Miss||56|
|(25) Oklahoma State||43|
|(9) Notre Dame||30|
|New Mexico St||24||FINAL|
|(6) Texas A&M||38|
|(15) Arizona State||38||FINAL|
|(5) Auburn||9/18/14 6:30 PM|
|(20) Kansas State|
|Connecticut||9/19/14 7:00 PM|
|Old Dominion||9/20/14 11:00 AM|
|Troy||9/20/14 11:00 AM|
|Georgia Tech||9/20/14 11:00 AM|
|Eastern Mich||9/20/14 11:00 AM|
|(11) Michigan State|
|Iowa||9/20/14 11:00 AM|
|Bowling Green||9/20/14 11:00 AM|
|Maryland||9/20/14 11:30 AM|
|Tulane||9/20/14 11:30 AM|
|Hawaii||9/20/14 1:00 PM|
|Marshall||9/20/14 1:00 PM|
|North Carolina||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Army||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Virginia||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|(6) Texas A&M||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Rutgers||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Central Mich||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Utah||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Florida||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Louisville||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Fla Atlantic||9/20/14 3:00 PM|
|Indiana||9/20/14 3:00 PM|
|San Jose St||9/20/14 3:00 PM|
|Texas State||9/20/14 3:00 PM|
|Massachusetts||9/20/14 3:00 PM|
|Georgia State||9/20/14 5:00 PM|
|Appalachian St||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Miss State||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Northern Ill||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Utah State||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Miami-Ohio||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Idaho||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Ball State||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|(14) So Carolina||9/20/14 6:30 PM|
|(4) Oklahoma||9/20/14 6:30 PM|
|Ga Southern||9/20/14 6:30 PM|
|UNLV||9/20/14 7:00 PM|
|(22) Clemson||9/20/14 7:00 PM|
|(1) Florida State|
|Miami-Florida||9/20/14 7:00 PM|
|New Mexico||9/20/14 7:00 PM|
|New Mexico St|
|California||9/20/14 9:00 PM|
|Louisiana||9/20/14 9:30 PM|
|(2) Oregon||9/20/14 9:30 PM|
|San Diego St||9/20/14 9:30 PM|