Their backs are against the wall. It’s do or die. Win or go home.
Clichés aside, the Minnesota Lynx face elimination for the second time this season on Sunday afternoon when they meet the Seattle Storm (2PM CT, ABC) down 2-0 for Game Three of the best-of-five WNBA Semifinals.
“Every game is the most important game; the next game is the most important game,” said Bridget Carleton told media on Saturday afternoon. “That’s our mindset.”
The Lynx aren’t packing their bags, however. Instead, the team is taking the same ‘one game at a time’ approach that led them to the No. 4 seed this postseason, and helped them advance in their winner-moves-on Second Round matchup versus the Phoenix Mercury.
“[We’re] just taking it one game at a time, I think because it’s been the end of the season for a long time,” said forward Napheesa Collier. “We’ve had to win certain games during the year to make it into the Playoffs, then to keep our seed, and then we played Phoenix and it could’ve been the end of our season.
“We’ve dealt with this multiple times up until this point, so it’s just another hurdle we have to get through.”
Minnesota has matched up well in the series thus far with Seattle: falling by two points in a heartbreaker on Alysha Clark’s last-second putback in Game One, and battling back from 21 down in Game Two to make it a two-possession contest in Game Two before ultimately losing 89-79. The Lynx now have to win three in a row to advance to the WNBA Finals.
Despite the even-keeled approach to Game Three, Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve hopes to see a different sense of urgency on Sunday.
“Clearly, we know it’s an elimination game,” said Reeve. “It should bring about a desperation that you hope that you already had in thing you were doing, but I think it’s gotta be on full display.
“We’re a team that doesn’t stop playing, but I think we’re also a team that… maybe the desperation can be turned up a notch. “