Practice Report | Lynx Focusing On Adding To Their Game

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate

The Minnesota Lynx know that they have one of the most experienced rosters in the entire WNBA, a group that has been together for numerous successful seasons thus far.

Along with that experience continuing to progress in time, the Lynx have continued to work on adding to and expanding their game.

“Because of our age, we think because of the number of years we’ve been together, we’re trying to find different ways to stay ahead of the game. Obviously age is a factor for this group and we can’t escape that, but that’s not what we’re thinking. We’re not saying just because we’re getting older, we should probably do things this way,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said after practice Tuesday. “We are going from a basketball standpoint, we know if we do the same thing we did last year, it’s not going to be good enough. Every season we come in, we try to find something else that we can do where we can go, just a little better and we’ll have a chance.”

One area of improvement that has perhaps stood out the most for Minnesota thus far has been their ball movement on offense, mainly the amount of assists they are averaging per game.

The Lynx were good in that category a season ago, averaging 20 assists per game. But this season, the Lynx are taking it to another level, averaging 22.7 assists a game, which leads the WNBA and is four more assists than Seattle in second (18.7).

“Whether it’s Seimone adding to her game, whether it’s Rebekkah (Brunson) adding to her game, just listening and going I could do that differently,” Reeve said. “They are embracing our new assistant coaches, they have something different to offer. . . It’s just all of them giving themselves in ways that will allow each other to be successful and ultimately for the team to be successful.”

One player who has seen the biggest improvement this year for the Lynx is Seimone Augustus. The veteran guard is shooting a career high (52.7 percent), is having her second-best season from behind the arc (47.1 percent) and, like the entire team, has seen her assists numbers increase, averaging a career-best 3.5 assists per game.

“We’ve been executing, up until the Connecticut game (last Saturday), our offense has been flowing really well,” Seimone Augustus said. “I’ve just been in a position to kind of distribute the ball more than in prior years.”

For the first time in her basketball career, Augustus didn’t spend the offseason prior to the 2017 season playing overseas. She said that time off allowed her to do some studying of some NBA players and see how she could add to her game this season.

“I’m just trying to play solid. As you get older, you just try to hone in on polishing all your skills and trying not to be a liability on any end of the floor,” Augustus said. “You can go back to the offseason where I just studied players like me. James Harden is a player that has certain crossover moves that I want to pick up and add to my game, Carmelo Anthony has a game that my game is almost similar to as far as jump shooting and a big guard that can post up. So I just studied a lot of video of those players and see where they are on the floor and implement that in my game.”

Augustus and the Lynx are back in action at 7 p.m. Friday against the Washington Mystics at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The game will be aired on ESPN2 and 106.1 BOB FM.