After a five day break, the Minnesota Lynx got back into the swing of things on Tuesday at practice.
While four players on the team played in Saturday's All-Star Game, the seven other players were able to rest.
Coach Cheryl Reeve made it evident that the break is over and it's now time for the Lynx to begin a second-half surge, hoping that it ends with the Lynx on top of the Western Conference. Minnesota has 17 games left on its schedule; nine at home and eight on the road.
"I've got a group that's been here before," Reeve said. "We understand that it's simply the halfway point in the season. We haven't done anything. Our goals are intact. Understanding the goals of our opponents is important. Often times the midseason point is a reset button for teams where they can kind of go' let's start fresh, let's start now'. Understanding that about teams, the hunger level goes up at the All-Star Break because you have the teams that are scratching and clawing to be a playoff team."
The Lynx will have two more days of practice before taking on the San Antonio Silver Stars at 7 p.m. on Friday. The game will be at the Target Center and game one of two against the Silver Stars in the span of five days.
The Silver Stars are 6-12 and the Lynx have beaten them twice so far, but still, the Lynx (14-3) sit only 2.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Sparks and with LA having the tiebreaker, there's not a lot of wiggle room on top of the Western Conference. Despite San Antonio's record, the Silver Stars are only a game and a half behind Seattle for a playoff spot in the West. The Silver Stars are one of those teams that Reeve says is "scratching and clawing." That mixed with the fact the Silver Stars, despite the injuries, are coached by Dan Hughes means this team will be giving 100 percent.
"Staying motivated, staying focused, staying very hungry and knowing that the first half doesn't mean anything, we've got ourselves off to a good start," said Lynx small forward Maya Moore. "(Now) we need to go out every night knowing that we are going to get every team's best shot and this season is far from over."
For the most part, things looked like business as usual on Tuesday. The Lynx practiced against the male practice team that they have practiced against all season long, and there were no players sitting out due to injury. Check back tomorrow for a Practice and a Reeve Report.
Rookie forward Rachel Jarry practiced her 3-point shot after practice. I counted 11 in a row. Most players can hit wide-open 3s, but I've noted before that I think Jarry's biggest future contributions to this team will come on defense and her outside shot.
Moore said that Seimone Augustus and her crossover reminded her of a "Lemonhead." I'm not going to give away exactly what that means yet, but John Focke from Lynx Radio will be putting together something on her crossover soon. Stay tuned for that.
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