Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Lynx wrapped up one final practice on Monday afternoon at Williams Arena on the eve of the first game of the semifinal round of the 2017 WNBA Playoffs presented by Verizon.
The top-seeded Lynx host the sixth-seeded Washington Mystics in Game 1 on Tuesday night at the University of Minnesota.
“We’re ready to get rolling. We’re excited, we just want to play,” Sylvia Fowles said after practice Monday. “I think it will come down to paying attention to detail.”
For the Lynx, they’ve had the last eight days off – thanks to a double-bye in the playoffs – to rest up and get ready for postseason play in the semifinals.
They, however, didn’t know their opponent until Sunday night, following the pair of second round games hosted in Connecticut and New York.
“At the end of the day, what you learn in all of this, it’s about you. It’s what you do and staying true to your system,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “Finding ways that, if somebody takes something away, what your counter is and being able to just play. You feel like you’re cramming for an exam, but I’m sure the players slept great knowing they just have one more day of practice.”
That opponent ended up being Washington, who upset No. 3 New York to advance to face the Lynx. The Mystics survived two single elimination games to start the postseason.
“Their three-point shooting ability, they have a lot of players that can really get going. They made a lot of moves this offseason, they got Delle Donne and Toliver,” Lindsay Whalen said regarding the challenges the Mystics present. “One player played on the Olympic team and Kristi who was on the team that won it last year. They brought in some players who can make plays. . . It’s our job to make it as hard as possible for them.”
In three matchups during the regular season, the Lynx came away victorious in all three, including winning the last game Minnesota played on Sept. 3 in the regular season finale.
But in the playoffs, that slate is wiped clean for both teams. And the Lynx know they will have to bring it starting in Game 1 on Tuesday night.
“We still have a good length of a way to go in these playoffs. It comes down to focusing on winning and that’s taking one game at a time,” Fowles said. “Until we get to that playoff game, that last game, we aren’t worried about trying to win a championship. We are trying to win this game to get to the next round.”
The game, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Williams Arena, will be aired on ESPN2, 106.1 BOB FM and TuneIn Radio.