Every year, as opening day draws nearer, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve starts getting nervous and sleep starts getting harder to get.
Yes, she has a veteran team that knows how to win, and to play together. The Lynx will open the season tonight against Tulsa looking to for a fifth straight season with 25 or more victories. But it is in Reeve’s nature to fret. At least a little.
“I think every year I start the year the same,” Reeve said after Friday’s morning shoot. “You kind of worry. Do we understand how hard it’s going to be? You worry do we have the focus on the little things that you need? Training camp sometimes gets pretty harried. Lots going on, lots of community relations stuff, things tugging and pulling them in different directions. So I always worry whether we know what it takes, right now. So that’s no different this year.’’
While healthier than a year ago, there are a couple players who won’t play tonight. Center Asjha Jones is out and could miss the first two weeks of the season dealing with a blood deficiency. And guard Monica Wright, who has a calf strain, will not play tonight and might not play Saturday in Indianapolis either.
“We’re going to give her time,” Reeve said. “I mean, a strain could turn into a pull, then you’re out a long time.’’
So expect to see Seimone Augustus -- and even Maya Moore -- taking turns at point guard tonight. And rookie Jennifer O'Neill will be counted on to play some minutes, especially in the second quarter.
Still, the team seems ready. And rather loose. It is a tradition after some practices and shoot-arounds that players will line up and attempt half-court shots. Reeve carries a $100 bill in her pocket should someone hit one. Well, this morning, Rebekkah Brunson – who was out recovering from surgery a year ago – made the first attempt. Her teammates celebrated and Reeve showed her the money.
That’s about all for now. I’ll get back to you after tonight’s game.