After her unhappiness with the way the Lynx played defense in Sunday’s loss to Tulsa at Target Center, it’s no surprise that when the Lynx returned to practice Tuesday, coach Cheryl Reeve spent most of it stressing that part of the game.
“We got some really good work in,” she said. “We’ll be the better for it in the long run.’’
But there is no question Sunday’s loss is still bothering Reeve. After all, it was the first time in her time as Lynx head coach that the team has shot better than 50 percent in a game and lost. They are now 49-1 in that department.
I’m betting that will change when the team plays in Seattle Thursday.
“For me, it’s a recognition that I have not been a very good defensive coach for this team to this point,” Reeve said. “And, as I told the team, I vowed to change that. I take full responsibility for what we didn’t get done. And there are some games where we have done well [defensively]. This game we didn’t get it done, and I think our players are thinking too much about their offense. And we have to understand where our bread is buttered. And that’s when we play good defense.’’
The Lynx did that in the first quarter of Sunday’s game, when the team had 10 deflections while building a nine-point lead. When the Lynx players are playing good defense, it makes things easier for everyone on offense. Reeve said playing more in transition is a way to loosen things up for players like Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen.
Reeve said most of the defensive problems revolve around defensive positioning. “I don’t know the reasons for it.’’
The Lynx will practice again Wednesday before heading to Seattle.
“I don’t want to walk out of Target Center , or the arena we played in, and say we lost because we didn’t play great defense,” Reeve said.