Shootaround Report | Regaining The Defense, The Tight Playoff Race

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that the Lynx’s defense wasn’t where they wanted it to be on Sunday when they played the Mystics. They gave up 101 points to Washington and allowed three Mystics players to score in double figures—including two post players in Elena Delle Donne and Emma Meesseman.

While the Lynx aren’t dwelling in the past they know that to get back on track on Tuesday in New York they will need to defend the post better, especially considering the Liberty have one of the best post players in the league in Tina Charles. They can’t afford to ignore the perimeter either—Kia Nurse has had the Lynx’s number this season.

“We’re going to hang our hat on what we like to do which is protecting our paint and scrambling out in situations. When we play our best defense that’s exactly what we do, we guard both [perimeter and post],” Danielle Robinson said at shootaround. “Then holding them to a low field goal percentage, that’s something we try to do every single game. They play particularly well at home so obviously a tough matchup for us, but we’re excited about the challenge.”

Rookie Napheesa Collier will have a big role to play in that effort as she guards both guards and post players regularly. She’ll have to be locked in on the scouting report.

“Knowing our personnel for this game is really big because they have a lot of people who can score a lot of points and our help defense is going to be really important too because we’re going to have to help on people like Tina or the shooters,” said Collier.

The Lynx know they need to stay focused on every single game because of how tight the WNBA standings are right now. They can’t get caught up in scoreboard watching but they also need to make sure they’re recognizing the gravity of every contest.

The standings are something that everyone is aware of but nobody is too focused on—as it should be.

“As a team I don’t think we’ve talked about it a lot,” said Robinson. “We know that we have to win games. At the end of the day we know that we can’t rely on anybody else and that’s the thing we’ve talked about. Winning our games, taking care of business and things will fall into place at the end.”

Collier agrees.

“This year everyone is so close that a couple games can make a huge difference in where you are in the standings. I think we’re definitely aware of that and we’re taking every day at a time but we’re seeing that we’re not that far behind people and if we just take it one game at a time we could be right up there,” she said.