Practice Report: August 27, 2014

Dane Mizutani
Web Editorial Associate

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It felt like a normal practice on Wednesday afternoon. There was a clear sense of intensity at Lifetime Fitness, though that intensity wasnt much different than most practice days throughout the season.

In fact, if the schedule didnt show Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the Phoenix Mercury on Friday night, itd be tough to tell the Lynx are actually amid a playoff push.

Its not that Minnesota is taking the Mercury lightly in terms of its preparedness for the matchup. Its just that the team has been down this road many times and its well aware of the task at hand. Its also quite familiar with the opponent itll 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 its less about coaches and much more about players. She admitted its tough to take a step back at times, though she said she knows its a must right now. That much was evident through her candor at practice on Wednesday.

This time of the year its really about players making plays and coaches kind of just getting out of the way, Reeve said. Sometimes if coaches have too much time well screw it up by overthink things and getting players all twisted.

Its really going to be about whoever  is on their game. Its about players making plays.

Maya Moore said its comforting to know that coaches are willing to take a step back at the most important juncture of the season.

Shes 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, were 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 thats 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.

Weve been going hard against the practice guys and weve been fortunate enough to have a lot of guys to kind of simulate what were going to be going up against on Friday, Seimone Augustus said. Weve got a 6-foot-6 guy in the middle kind of playing like Griner. Weve got some players that can shoot it and make plays like DeWanna Bonner. Weve got some players that even though they arent 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 hasnt seemed to faze the players in the week of preparation. Theyve instead just gone to work as usual, ready for the next obstacle that comes with a playoff push.

Its almost like players have been here before
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