MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Lynx went 20-2 this season in games started by Lindsay Whalen.
They’ve gone 1-2 in the three games they’ve played without her, since she broke a finger in her non-shooting hand. With her return still weeks away, David McCoy takes a look at how the Lynx are adjusting to life without her.
Adjusting to life without Whalen means adjusting to life with Renee Montgomery. And while she’s accomplished in her own right, that’s still a big adjustment.
“For sure we’re a different team. I tell her every day, man, like is your hand healed yet? Like, are you ready to come back?” Montgomery said.
They’ve struggled without her, losing two of their last three. But coach Cheryl Reeve isn’t about to place blame on her replacement.
“I don’t think our issues in those two losses are solely on Renee,” Reeve said. “Some of it is play-calling, where Renee’s gotta kind of slow it down and give us some disciplined play. But a lot of it in the other cases was not Renee. It’s our execution in what we’re doing, it’s our stagnation.”
Cheryl Reeve says there’s still no timetable for Whalen’s return, but did say it’s more of a four to five-week recovery likely as opposed to a two or three. We’re still less than two in, so the Lynx have no choice but to adjust.
“I want Renee to be Renee. I want AJ to be AJ in terms of their games, but the intangibles that Lindsay brings, in terms of her toughness, in terms of her mental play-calling, understanding of disciplined time and score, those have to be what Renee and AJ focus on,” Reeve said. “And we’ve gotta be more like Lindsay when it comes to that. They can play their own game, and they don’t have to play like Lindsay, but they have to think like Lindsay, and that’s a tall order.”