The Lynx gave reporters a unique view into the WNBA bubble at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., on Friday. Coach Cheryl Reeve allowed her team's practice to be watched via Zoom, start to finish.

Here's one thing that stood out: Guard Lexie Brown is on the cusp of her first-ever WNBA start when the Lynx open their season Sunday vs. Connecticut, the team that drafted her in 2018.

"It's super exciting," Brown said after practice. "It would have been even better to have this moment with all our fans and my family.''

Brown is entering her third season in the WNBA, her second with the Lynx. More of a point guard in college at Duke, Brown was asked to be a catch-and-shoot guard as a reserve with the Sun. Last year with the Lynx she was a combo guard, often off the bench.

She averaged 7.6 points and shot 38.5% on three-pointers. She scored in double figures nine times, scoring 19 or more four times.

But along with the highs came some issues. Brown would sometimes let frustration with herself or her teammates bother her. During the exit interview after a playoff loss to Seattle, Reeve talked to Brown about maturity and becoming more of a leader as well as how to make herself better as a player.

Brown listened. Reeve said Brown is much stronger and in better shape than at any time last season.

"First thing I told her is thank you for being in such good shape," Reeve said. "… I immediately noticed a change, the maturity."

On Thursday, Reeve gave veterans Shenise Johnson and Karima Christmas-Kelly a day off for rest. But when the Lynx open up Sunday, Reeve expects Johnson to be in the starting backcourt along with Brown.

"Some of my goals have been to be a better leader on the floor, a person the team looks to to provide positive energy," Brown said.

"I'm locked into being that positive light.'


• Guard Rachel Banham will likely be the first guard off the bench, but she should get big minutes in an offense without a true point guard.

• Reeve reiterated her happiness with her coaching staff, which includes former players Rebekkah Brunson, Katie Smith and Plenette Pierson.