Because the abrupt end to their season is still so recent, it appears the Lynx are still thinking about the run that just ended rather than the path that lies ahead.
Yes, everyone knows the 2019 Lynx will look a lot different from the team that lost a single-elimination first-round playoff game to Los Angeles on Tuesday, with Lindsay Whalen having retired and with at least one current player — Rebekkah Brunson — uncertain about her future.
Coach Cheryl Reeve reiterated in the team’s season-ending news conference Friday what she has said in recent days: Changes are coming and the team will be aggressive in a free-agent market that, in the WNBA, is usually relatively stagnant. Nobody on the current roster is untouchable, she said. Not Maya Moore, not Sylvia Fowles.
“Any phone call that comes, about anybody, you listen,” said Reeve, also the team’s general manager. “We’ve had labels of untouchables in the past. Now, would it take a whole lot to move a [star] player or two [read: Moore and Fowles]? Absolutely. But we have a lot of work to do.”
But Friday, there was as much talk about what the team has accomplished as there was about what’s ahead.
The theme: No regrets.
Reeve, under some criticism for moves not made as the team aged, has none. The aging roster, the condensed schedule and the resulting nagging injuries hurt. But Reeve, basically, had a pact with her core group that it would be kept together until the run — which included four titles in seven seasons — ended.
“They made me believe,” Reeve said. “As a coach, wanting to keep it going? To defy the odds? I don’t have any regrets. Where the chips fell, they fell.”
Said Moore: “We could have fallen apart, but we didn’t. The adversity we faced this year, combined with the schedule, it was enough to break any team. We stayed together. We were resilient in our own way this year.”
The team is in a place it probably hasn’t been since 2010. Perhaps most interesting is Reeve, citing the spike in athleticism and skill in the league, and the ensuing rise in pace of play, is looking hard at changing the style of her team. Three-point shooters will be sought as Reeve rebuilds the roster, as will players capable of playing at a faster pace. That will likely mean more opportunity for Alexis Jones in particular, who should get a big opportunity next year. “The GM part of it, it’s a lot of work,” Reeve said. “But the basketball part I’m looking forward to. Things are changing. We have to change with it.”
Here are some other highlights:
• Fowles finished the season playing with a ruptured ulnar collateral ligament in her left elbow. Injured in practice before the All-Star Game, she played through the pain the rest of the season. The hope is rest and rehabilitation will heal the injury; surgery is not yet on the table. Fowles will not play overseas this fall and winter.
• Moore will take the fall and winter off, too. Coming off one of her most difficult seasons, Moore said she was pleased she was able to contribute in a season when offensive challenges with the Lynx put so much pressure on both her and Fowles. “I’m pretty proud of that,” she said. “With all the expectations, people have been game planning for me for eight seasons, and I’ve still been able to contribute.”
• Seimone Augustus said she plans on returning. Calling herself the anchor of the team, she said her ability to bring people together will be key on a team looking at personnel changes. She, too, will again stay home over the fall and winter.
• While trying not to make it an excuse, the condensed schedule, for an older team, was decried. Reeve cited Moore calling it “inhumane.”
“It was a terrible decision by the league to have this schedule,” Reeve said. “It did not have the players and the product in mind.”
• Reeve said members of the coaching staff would spend some time overseas, keeping in touch with Lynx players playing there and scouting for free agents as well.
• Brunson said she still had some residual effects of the concussion she sustained late in the season but was close to 100 percent. Her biggest regret? Not being able to help her team down the stretch.
Whether what comes is a rebuild or a retool, many players said they expect the Lynx to rebound next season.
“We’re a team that always bounces back,” Brunson said. “I don’t think  will be any different.”
Said Fowles: “We need pieces here and there, but I think we’ll be fine next year.”