On the road to repeat, the Lynx have had a record-breaking season and a grueling pair of Western Conference series against Seattle and Los Angeles. Now, the only team that stands between them and their second consecutive WNBA title is the Indiana Fever, who the Lynx face tonight at Target Center.
"The two previous series between Seattle and L.A., they were tough," forward Rebekkah Brunson said. "And this is going to be tough as well. It's a different team, of course, but I think that everybody at this point in the season wants to win, and they're going to give you their best game and give you everything that they have."
Although they've had four straight days of practice in anticipation of the finals, the Lynx met for a shootaround this morning at Target Center for some last-minute fine-tuning and a little fun.
The Lynx are locked into their opponents and have been breaking down the Fever's game since Friday. Seimone Augustus said that one of the key areas of focus will be limiting their 3-point shooting. Minnesota did a great job of this in their first matchup of the regular season, but Indiana drained 11 from deep in their second contest.
"It's always a focal point," Augustus said. "We'd rather have 2-pointers than threes. With a team with Katie Douglas, Briann January, Tamika Catchings, structuring the defense, you always want to protect that 3-point line -- as well as the paint, but mainly running them off the line and putting them in uncomfortable situations."
Brunson said that's a tough thing to do against an Indiana team that's so big on hustle plays and being aggressive, much like the Storm, Minnesota's conference semifinal opponents.
"They're a team that's going to try to outwork you," Brunson said. They're going to go after everything hard. They're a grind-it-out type of team. They have some stars. They have Tamika Catchings, they have Katie Douglas, but they are going to grind it out. They're not going to stop playing until it's over, and they're going to make you work for everything that you get."
No place like home
The Lynx are happy to have had the rest and practice time this past week. After their sweep of the Sparks concluded a week ago, they returned to Minnesota and had two days off, returning to the practice floor Wednesday.
"It was nice to get a little bit of a break," said Augustus. "Everybody got a chance to heal up some bumps and bruises and mentally just relax after having two weeks of road games. To be able to get a homestand and just go over what we need to go over for ourselves was great."
The Lynx also know that they're fortunate to have home court advantage on their side.
"It's important and we love it," said Brunson of playing at home. "We love that we get to come in here and play in front of our home fans, and we had a pretty good record here. I think throughout the season, we had the mindset that we needed to take care of home court. So being able to come in here and start it off here and get ourselves going, it's an advantage that only we have at this point in the season, so I think it's going to work in our favor.
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