Posts Tagged ‘ Maya Moore ’

Interview: The Examiner’s Mike Peden previews the returning champion Minnesota Lynx

May 12, 2012 8:46am
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Mike Peden covers the Minnesota Lynx for the St. Paul Examiner. Mike is a writer and video producer for TSB Sports and contributes written and digital stories in all levels of sports. His beats include the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher women’s basketball team and Twin Cities area high school webcasts. Make sure you head over to his YouTube channel where Mike has uploaded a ton of great interviews from Lynx Media Day. You can also find him on Twitter @thesportsbrain

Mike shared his insight with us on the Minnesota Lynx, and their high expectations this season.

With essentially the same roster coming back, after a year in which they won the title, is there anything different that stands about this year’s team heading into the season?

One preseason game and training camp isn’t enough to fully evaluate differences to last year, but you’re seeing a valiant effort from Minnesota’s bench players, almost as if they’re addressing rumors about chemistry and emotion before they ever begin. Many reporters, local and national, have noted how the second-string players could make a legitimate starting five on another franchise, and much discussion floated around whether Candice Wiggins would take her talents to another team where more exposure could be offered. Instead, Candice talked about how grateful she felt that Minnesota wanted her back, a feeling that echoed throughout the league as no opposing team even made an offer for her. Wiggins is on a mission to signal unity and good spirits with the reserves, hoping the term “Bench Mob” will catch on with Lynx followers on Twitter. So far, the effort to subdue any thoughts of egos overflowing is the major difference between this year and last year as they continue to navigate unfamiliar territory.

Recently, Coach Cheryl Reeve talked about her high hopes for Maya Moore. What do you expect to see in her 2nd season?

Maya Moore’s rookie season could be considered “average” statistically, but even when she didn’t do well, her presence benefited Minnesota. Moore was fifth in the WNBA last year in the overall plus/minus rating with a +12.1. The WNBA preview mentioned Moore fighting minor injuries with her legs in 2011, but if there is a second-year leap for the UConn prodigy, look out. Barring something fishy, I don’t believe we’re going to see Maya get another goose egg on the stat sheet in a game like she did against San Antonio in the regular season. Consistency is the biggest hurdle she needs to clear.

 

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Observations from Opening Weekend

June 7, 2011 10:53am
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The 2011 WNBA season got underway last weekend. Here were some of the interesting observations:

-Maya Moore is that good. The rookie sensation averaged 18.5ppg in two games against the Sparks, a team high. She also made an array of offensive moves that left the Sparks veterans wondering what hit them.

-Speaking of the Lynx, they certainly have the best wing rotation in the entire WNBA. When you consider that they start two scoring wings (Seimone Augustus and Moore) and bring two scoring wings off their bench (Monica Wright and Candice Wiggins, with the latter doubling as a back-up PG), you’re reminded of just how deep and talented this Lynx team is in 2011. What remains to be seen is whether the lack of playable post depth will be a hindrance.

-LA and Tulsa are missing pieces. Tulsa could use more talent across the board, but attempting to use Amber Holt, a natural forward, as a back-up PG isn’t going to work for a team that wants to prove itself to be more than just a doormat. Ivory Latta is a fine talent, but she simply cannot go at it alone, as evidenced by the effort against San Antonio (seven of her team’s 28 turnovers).

LA would like to contend for a title this season, but it does not appear to be feasible at the moment. Starting PG Ticha Penicheiro looks noticeably a step slower this season, and there is no true PG backing her up. In fact, each of the two players who have been receiving back-up minutes at the point (Kristi Toliver and Natasha Lacy) have each accumulated six turnovers through two games. Not good.

-Diana Taurasi leads the league in scoring…again! But her 31-point effort wasn’t enough for Phoenix to overcome the defending champs (Seattle Storm) in Key Arena. Who led the Storm in that game production-wise? If you answered Camille Little, then you’re absolutely correct. Little fell one rebound short of a double double, as her 18 points and 9 rebounds led the Storm in both categories against the Mercury.

Minnesota Lynx assistant Jim Petersen talks with Hoops Insider

June 3, 2011 2:01pm
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With the Minnesota Lynx set to tipoff the 2011 season, we spoke with Lynx assistant coach Jim Petersen who is in his second season as an assistant with the Lynx. Coach Petersen boasts a heralded playing career including 8 years in the NBA, a Big-10 championship during his four years at the University of Minnesota and a Minnesota Mr. Basketball award. Coach Petersen also serves as the color commentator for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

 

On the health of Augustus and Wiggins

Both of them are back to where they were before they were injured. Seimone has looked as good as she looked prior to two seasons ago. She is in tremendous shape right now and is playing well.

Candace is in the same boat, but she has experienced some knee swelling, although she can get through it with treatment.  She is looking as quick as I ever seen her. From a quickness standpoint, she’s in tip-top shape.

 

On the depth of Minnesota’s backcourt and versatility it allows

We have players that can play multiple positions. Lindsey Whalen will be the starting point guard. Candace can play a dual role and play the shooting guard position as well, which gives us a lot of versatility. Seimone Augustus can play the shooting guard and the small forward. Monica Wright can also initiate the offense as a combo guard. Hornbuckle can go one through three. She is our third PG, but she can play the shooting guard and small forward position in our offense.

 

On players that will surprise Lynx fans this season

Fans will be pleasantly surprised by what an impact Taj will have. She is like a coach on the floor. She has an ability to communicate what might be coming, like a formation on an out of bounds play. From a veteran leadership standpoint, that will be what Lynx fans notice most.

They will see a maturity in Monica Wright’s game. She could be a bit out of control last year, because we needed her as a rookie to come in a score for us with so many injuries. You are going to notice a maturity that will be an eye opener for some folks.

Amber Harris is really talented. When they see how big Amber Harris is, and what a great touch she has around the hoop, they will be pleasantly surprised.

 

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Preview: Minnesota Lynx (0-0) v. Los Angeles Sparks (0-0); 11pm EST NBA-TV

June 3, 2011 12:02pm
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Tonight marks the official tip-off of the 2011 WNBA season when the Minnesota Lynx take on the Los Angeles Sparks. Star power will be present, with highly-decorated rookie forward Maya Moore squaring off against 2008 MVP Candace Parker. Parker, who missed the final 24 games of the 2010 season due to a shoulder injury, is back and ready to lead her Sparks back to the top of the Western Conference. Minnesota, meanwhile, will rely on a dynamic wing duo–Seimone Augustus and Moore–to lead them to the playoffs for the first time in Augustus’ career.

Injuries: MIN (none), LAS (none)

Prediction: LA by 3

Minnesota enters the 2011 season as the deepest team in the WNBA, but the Sparks will have home court advantage and have an advantage inside with Parker, Tina Thompson, DeLisha Milton-Jones, Ebony Hoffman, and rookie Jantel Lavender.

15th WNBA season starts tonight (11pm EST)

June 3, 2011 5:06am
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The WNBA season kicks off tonight with a star-studded match-up between the revamped Minnesota Lynx (led by Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore) and the rejuvenated Los Angeles Sparks (led by a healthy Candace Parker). Both teams are looking to improve on sub-par records in 2011. Tonight’s action can be found on NBA TV at 11pm EST (8pm Pacific).

Hoops Insider interview with SLAMOnline’s Stephen Litel

May 31, 2011 4:20pm
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As we get ready for Friday’s season opener, between the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks, we brought in WNBA and SLAMOnline writer Stephen Litel who kindly agreed to share his thoughts on the Minnesota Lynx. With over six years of experience covering the league, there was no shortage of information as Stephen gave us his insightful takes about this year’s team.

 

HI: It is rare that rookies make a dramatic impact in their first season. What contributions can we expect from Minnesota’s two top draft picks Maya Moore and Amber Harris this season?

SL: No matter what the sport, it does take rookies time to adjust to the professional level. However, if there are any two rookies who are most suited towards adjusting quickly to the WNBA, it’s Maya Moore and Amber Harris.

Everyone knows Moore’s history as simply one of the best collegiate players in history and it was a foregone conclusion she would be the number one pick this year a few years ago. She was ready for the WNBA long ago and her history of dominating in college, as well as playing with the WNBA’s best with USA Basketball gives her an upper-hand in adjusting very quickly.

Harris looked very impressive in her preseason debut last week. She gave Lynx fans a glimpse of why Minnesota (and yours truly) have been so big on her for the past couple seasons and with the post situation in Minnesota, she will receive big minutes right off the bat. At the team’s media day a few weeks back, she spoke glowingly of learning the WNBA game from players with as much success as Taj McWilliams-Franklin and Rebekkah Brunson and she is correct. The two veterans will be able to give the athletic and already-basketball-savvy rookie pointers as the season goes along.

It would be unfair to them to expect them to play to their full potential immediately, but knowing the intelligence, athletic ability and work ethic of both Maya Moore and Amber Harris, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see solid play very quickly.

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Maya Moore Becomes First Female Basketball Player to Sign with Team Jordan

May 18, 2011 11:36am
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Maya Moore could be on her way to building quite the portfolio. She becomes the first female basketball to be added to the Jordan Brand lineup. With the 2011 WNBA season just around the corner, Moore’s endorsement just adds to the excitement surrounding the Minnesota Lynx.

WNBA will feel immediate impact from this year’s draft

April 12, 2011 11:00am
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By adding the No. 1 overall draft pick in Maya Moore, the Minnesota Lynx will be expected to be a contender immediately.

Basketball is unique among team sports because of the impact a single player can make. While you have star players across the entire spectrum of sports, in basketball an impact player’s presence can be felt on each and every possession. While we anticipate the start of the new WNBA season, let’s take a look at yesterday’s top 5 draft picks, whose impact should be felt immediately this upcoming season.

1. Maya Moore F (UConn): Selected by the Minnesota Lynx
Moore transitions to the WNBA as possibly the greatest collegiate player ever. She ends her career at UConn with 150 wins and 2 national titles. Moore was only the collegiate player on the national team that won a world championship, and is expected to continue as an impact player with the national squad. She is expected to turn the Lynx into contender almost instantly.  While expectations for Minnesota and Moore are very high, there is every reason to believe the hype is warranted.

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Injury Report