How One Simple Call Motivated Seimone Augustus In Game 1

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate

Going into her 48th career playoff game in her 12-year WNBA career, something happened to Minnesota Lynx guard Seimone Augustus for the first time before Tuesday night’s Game 1 of the semifinals against the Washington Mystics.

She got a call from her grandmother, which wasn’t unusual. But what they talked about was.

“This was the first time, so it surprised me. She was ready, my whole family was ready,” Seimone Augustus recalled. “They were all over at our house, they had their Lynx gear on and everyone was ready to go. When she gave me that phone call, I knew it was time.”

This conversation between Augustus and her grandmother was unlike one they’ve had before. But the message was simple.

“For the most part she just said shoot the ball, which was what I was hearing all week in practice from coach,” Augustus said with a big smile. “It kind of completed my week to have my grandmother call and say ‘shoot the ball tonight.’ I was like ‘OK, granny.’

“That’s the gist of the story and why I was so aggressive.”

Whether it was the call from her grandmother or something else, Augustus was on a mission in Minnesota’s Game 1 win over Washington.

Augustus went off to score a 24 points, which is a season-high, and shot 11-of-17 from the field and went 2-for-3 from three to lead the Lynx.

“We need Seimone. I always say, when Seimone plays well, we don’t lose. We get so much balance around her when she’s aggressive like that,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “She know it, she knows this is her time in playoffs.

“We want her ready in playoffs to do these sorts of things. I’m really happy that she responded the way she did.”

Augustus, who averaged 10.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.5 steals per game this season, saw her biggest increase come with passing the ball. She finished with four assists per game, which is a career-best.

“Obviously (Sylvia Fowles) is having a great season and Seimone has given her a lot of passes,” Reeve said. “She’s leading her career in assists this season.”

But she stepped up in every area of her game on Tuesday night at Williams Arena. Something that Reeve said they will need out of her for the remainder of the playoffs.

And it all started with a simple call before the game.

“Her grandmother apparently told her ‘yeah, that’s great, but shoot the ball,'” Reeve said. “Ask Seimone about that, she listened to her grandmother. I like her grandmother a lot.”