It felt like a normal practice on Wednesday afternoon. There was a clear sense of intensity at Lifetime Fitness, though that intensity wasnt much different than most practice days throughout the season.
In fact, if the schedule didnt show Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the Phoenix Mercury on Friday night, itd be tough to tell the Lynx are actually amid a playoff push.
Its not that Minnesota is taking the Mercury lightly in terms of its preparedness for the matchup. Its just that the team has been down this road many times and its well aware of the task at hand. Its also quite familiar with the opponent itll face.
We know they're preparing really hard for us in the same way we're preparing for them, coach Cheryl Reeve said.
Reeve said at this point in the season its less about coaches and much more about players. She admitted its tough to take a step back at times, though she said she knows its a must right now. That much was evident through her candor at practice on Wednesday.
This time of the year its really about players making plays and coaches kind of just getting out of the way, Reeve said. Sometimes if coaches have too much time well screw it up by overthink things and getting players all twisted.
Its really going to be about whoever is on their game. Its about players making plays.
Maya Moore said its comforting to know that coaches are willing to take a step back at the most important juncture of the season.
Shes so good and experienced and dedicated and she really sets us up for success, Moore said of Reeve. If she says go out and make a play, were going to go out there and make a play.
Moore and her teammates will have a chance to make plays in a few days. That said they still have a few more days to get prepared for the matchup thats been the talk of the WNBA for the last week a matchup that features the two best teams in the WNBA.
Minnesota seems well aware of certain areas that need some refining before Game 1, and made those areas a point of emphasis at practice Wednesday.
Weve been going hard against the practice guys and weve been fortunate enough to have a lot of guys to kind of simulate what were going to be going up against on Friday, Seimone Augustus said. Weve got a 6-foot-6 guy in the middle kind of playing like Griner. Weve got some players that can shoot it and make plays like DeWanna Bonner. Weve got some players that even though they arent actually Diana Taurasi, they can pull off some of her moves. Those things will really help us come Friday.
The Lynx will practice again Thursday afternoon before the team hops on a plane en route to Phoenix. Though it will be a big tilt on Friday, that hasnt seemed to faze the players in the week of preparation. Theyve instead just gone to work as usual, ready for the next obstacle that comes with a playoff push.
Its almost like players have been here before
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