"Hi, everybody," a cheerful Lindsay Whalen said after Wednesday's practice.
The veteran Lynx point guard had her injured left wrist (bone bruise) wrapped in ice and two more bags of ice around her ankles as well.
But after two days off, she was in a good mood. "You definitely put yourself in a positive mind frame knowing that we will get a little rest, take a couple of days and just gather after that series," Whalen said, referring to the Eastern Conference Finals between Indiana and Connecticut.
Those teams play Game 3 on Thursday night. The winner will play the Lynx.
"We kind of went every other day for about a week and a half, it felt like," Whalen said, referring to the Lynx's busy schedule at the end of the season and during the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Actually, the Lynx played their last three regular-season games in four days, starting Sept. 20, had four days off, then played five playoff games -- three vs. Seattle, two vs. Los Angeles -- in 10 days.
"To kind of have a little break and now get back to practice, it feels really good," Whalen said.
But won't the Lynx's opponent in the finals be sharper? "The other side, you can say they are staying in game mode,' Whalen said. "But we will take [the trade-off]. We will take anything and turn it into a positive and just go out there and get ready for Sunday."
Would she prefer playing Connecticut, the team she played with for her first six WNBA seasons? "Of course, everyone knows [I] had a couple of great years out there," Whalen said. "We made the [WNBA] Finals. Coach T [Mike Thibault] has a great team out there and they have a lof ot great players
"We will see what happen [Thursday night}. They obviously have Tina [Charles], Asjha [Jones], Kara [Lawson]. Renee [Montgomery] coming off the bench. They have a really great team.
"Indiana has a lot of great players with [Tina] Catching and Katie Douglas leading the way, too, so either way it is going to be a huge challenge for us. We will see what happens."
Whalen said during her off-days she has let her left wrist rest, elevated it and iced it. "[The injured wrist] felt good [Wednesday]" in practice, Whalen said, "We'll see how good it is [Thursday] after using it again. We'll see how it feels. I know either way, if it is sore or not, I will just try to do the best I can and know that my teammates will be out there playing well.
"That really worked in the L.A. series. Not one of us felt really we had to do everything. Everyone shared the scoring, shared the defense. That is what we have been doing all year to be honest, but it really showed up in the L.A. series a lot."
So asked again about maybe being rusty, Whalen said. "We are a veteran team. We will know what to do to be ready to play on Sunday for sure."
Has the road to the finals been tough?
"The first Seattle series was, to get to this point, that was like -- I mean they won in 2010, we won in 2011. You could definitely feel it was the last two champions going back it," Whalen said. "They have so many players on that team that have been there before, that have won Olympic gold medals, that have won world championships. That was a [series] you get up eight, the next thing you know it is like a two-point game.
"They had a shot to win it at the end. It was such a crazy series. Game 2 out there was obviously intense and double overtime. You can definitely feel that it was two teams that really knew how to win. And it was like whoever was going to make a play at the end that was who was going to win. And luckily we made enough plays to win.
"And with the L.A. series, I thought we played one of our better games of the whole season in Game 1, if not the best game. And then out in L.A., we just stuck together honestly. And stayed with it. We knew they were going to come out with a lot of energy. and have a great game. In the third quarter, we kind of sagged. We just stuck with it and we stuck together and ended up -- Made one more play that we needed to out there."
On the Lynx playing a grind-it-out series against Seattle, and then facing an offensive-minded team in Los Angeles: "It was like someone set us free …[The series was a] lot of fun for players and fans."
The best way to slow L.A.'s fast-break -- or any team's for that matter: "When you have them taking ball out of net, that is really helpful in transition defense."