Practice Report | Defense Is Key

The 17-4 Minnesota Lynx have been on fire as of late, winning two consecutive games by at least 23 points. The main reason for their recent success, however, hasn’t necessarily come from their performance offensively.

Over their last two victories, Minnesota has held their opposition under 58 points scored, and 38 percent shooting from the field.

“I think our players will tell you that when they come out of the game, they’re going, ‘this is fun, this is fun playing really, really hard on defense, accomplishing what we’re trying to accomplish with our schemes and finishing plays with rebounds, and then go play transition offense.’” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “They’ve enjoyed that. It is the reason why we’ve been successful to the tune that we’ve been successful the last two games and we’ve got to keep that going.”

The defending WNBA Champions somewhat struggled for a period of time this season with perimeter defense and disallowing their opponent to shoot well from beyond-the-arc. That has not been the case in the past two matchups though, as Minnesota has forced their foe to go 10-for-41 from deep.

“We’ve tweaked our schemes to help some of the challenges that we were having, so I think our players’ commitment to what we’re doing, not taking plays off, and I think more than anything is finishing the play with a rebound,” Reeve said. “We were playing 20 seconds of defense, a shot would go up, they would get the rebound and end up with another 14 seconds. So just really having that mindset of playing all the way through, finishing it, and getting the rebound.”

While the Lynx have been done a great job defending the 3-point line in their most recent games, they have actually had difficult putting in the deep-ball themselves, going 4-for-26 in their past two games. Fortunately for 3-time WNBA Champions, however, their play style is versatile in that they don’t rely on one specific aspect on offense.

“It’s just been our way, we have some of the best mid-range players to play the game and so our style suits us,” Reeve said. “We’re certainly willing to shoot the three, we’ve got some good 3-ballers, some nights it goes well and there are some nights where you get really good looks and they just don’t fall.

Be sure to tune-in to the action and see if the Lynx can keep up their defensive tenacity on Friday night when they welcome the 16-6 New York Liberty to town. Tip-off will be at 7:00 p.m. and will be available on WNBA’s League Pass or 106.1 BOB FM radio.