Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve took a few things out of Friday's loss in New York.
A little more frustration, of course, after her team lost its second straight, its fourth in five games and its sixth in 10. But she also saw enough that she was willing to make this prediction:
"We're going to break out of this," she said. "And soon.''
As close as the standings are, Sunday would be a good time. That's when Phoenix visits Target Center.
The Lynx are still in first place in the WNBA's Western Conference, but that is largely because second-place Phoenix has been equally mediocre during the Lynx's slump. The 17-12 Mercury are two games behind the Lynx.
But at this point all Reeve can do is think about her own team. And, despite her team shooting just 37.3 percent from the field against the Liberty, she said she saw some steps being taken.
"Maya [Moore] was terrific," Reeve said. "She was great cutting and creating. Unfortunately we couldn't get her help. We just had a hard time making shots.''
Still, there are challenges. Reeve remains concerned that her team isn't creating fast-break opportunities with its defense. The Lynx, frankly, haven't been hard enough to play against. That's why recent video sessions have been less about scouting the opponent and more about looking at themselves.
Reeve came to the Lynx in 2010. Since Moore was drafted a year later, Reeve said this has been her most difficult stretch as coach. "A stretch like this is just something we have not endured," she said. "But our goals have not changed. There is one thing I live by. Tough times don't last, tough people do.''
In New York the Lynx were again plagued by stretches of poor play, especially at the end of the second quarter and into the third.
The team is still learning how to play with center Sylvia Fowles, though she appears to be getting more comfortable. Still, the Lynx were outscored 40-28 in the paint Friday. On defense Reeve is still trying to tweak schemes to create more turnovers.
The Lynx continue to play without guard Seimone Augustus, who is out with a left foot injury.
"We just have to keep working," said Reeve, whose team has had three two-game losing streaks in August. "We have to get back to doing the things we're known for.''