On Wednesday Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve ran a relatively low-impact practice. There wasn’t scrimmaging against the men.
“It was more about us,” she said. “We wanted to continue to evolved what we were doing well. We didn’t want a grind-it-out sort of day with guys. We had a mental day.’’
Thursday was more physical.
There was scrimmaging. There was a lot of grind-it-out stuff. It is part of Reeve’s four-day play to prepare for the best-of-five WNBA finals, which start Sunday at Target Center against the Indiana Fever. The team took it relatively easy on Wednesday, ramped it up Thursday. Friday they will go yet harder. Saturday Reeve will take her foot off the pedal.
“We started honing in on what they do today,” Reeve said. “The things we want to be good at. That’s what saw most of the day. Tomorrow will be our peak day. Saturday we’ll really start doing the special half-court stuff.’’
--The team has been trying hard to prepare for Indiana’s one-two punch of Tamika Catchings and Briann January. “It’s hard,” Reeve said. “It’s hard to simulate what they do, their overall defense.’’
--There has been incredible carryover on both teams from the 2012 series, with key players still on both sides. The Fever has a new coach in Stephanie White, but she was Lin Dunn’s assistant and so she’s not really a new face. But Reeve said White has put her stamp on the team.
“Most would say Steph’s goal was to keep the defense the same, and increase the pace (of the offense),” Reeve said. “As the season has worn on, they’ve done that. At the beginning of the season they weren’t scoring very many points. The pace wasn’t there. But they got to a place where I think Steph is much more pleased with the progress in creating extra possessions. I think it’s really hard to follow a legend like Lin Dunn. But Steph recognized the things you want to keep, the things they were good at for years, and then you put your stamp on it. And for Steph it’s come on the offensive side of things.”
--Much has been made of Catching’s ability as a leader. None of it, according to Reeve, is an exaggeration. “We’ve seen it first-hand,” she said. “We saw it in 2012, in the finals. There is no one like Tamika Catchings. There just is not. Both teams have great players, but there is not another Tamika Catchings, in terms of what she does on the court and in the locker room.’’
--Because the Indiana backcourt is small and quick Reeve said Renee Montgomery could see more action in this series. Reeve liked the way Montgomery played agaisnt Indiana in a Lynx victory near the end of the regular season.