Today the Lynx, after having taken two days off, began preparation for the WNBA finals matchup with Atlanta.
It was a skills-based practice, not necessarily focused on the Dream. Coach Cheryl Reeve described it as almost a training camp practice, designed to sharpen the team up. After practice came a rather intense film session on Atlanta. Thursday the team will start going full-out.
It’s all part of the plan.
With a week between series, Reeve wanted to make sure her team got the rest it needed, the preparation it requires, but still be fresh and at a peak when the series starts at Target Center Sunday night.
“There is an art to it,” Reeve said. “That is definitely on our minds, what we do every day,” Reeve said. “We want to make sure there is an escalation into the game without overdoing it. Usually what that means is we break things down early in the week. And then we slowly build. By the time Friday comes, you’re going full-out into game-plan mode. Then, by Saturday, you’re tapering it down, making sure we have good legs for the series.”
Reeve and her players believe the team is better prepared for this finals than it was the past two years.
“The 2011 season was our first time, it was always brand new for us,” Reeve said. “Last year was our first experience trying to repeat, what that feels like, the heavy lifting that goes with that. Now we have experience in success, and experience in shortcomings. I think that makes us pretty equipped.”
Said Maya Moore: “We’re more aware of what it’s going to take to win, how it feels to win, how it feels to lose. And we’re just really focused and playing well right now.”
The team is healthy heading into the finals. Indeed, with minor exceptions, this team has been healthy all season. The Lynx lost Janel McCarville for two games with a concussion and Seimone Augustus for three games with an ankle injury.