MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Lynx are close to the opening bell of their regular season.

Sunday afternoon at 4:00 at Target Center against the L.A. Sparks, the team they defeated last year for the WNBA title. How many times can they climb to the top of the WNBA with this group?

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It’s a part of maturing as champions.

Wednesday was media day for the Lynx. It’s old hand for this team, understanding what is expected. There is a swagger, yet there are some that say the run is over. It sounds more like the want for a chip on their shoulders.

“Through the years I don’t know that we’ve been picked very many times. I don’t know the history but it feels like this is a common theme,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “The only thing I can attribute it to is there’s a knock on our team for its coaching because it’s certainly not the players.”

What is different is that you can at least hear the clock ticking. How long can this group play at a level that is good enough to win WNBA titles?

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“Every year isn’t guaranteed and so even if we weren’t one of the older teams I think just that mindset is valuable to have. Just don’t wish away a day, don’t waste a moment,” Maya Moore said.

What they don’t question is desire, pride and motivation.

“We actually have a collection of players that hate to lose. They hate to lose drills You should see them when they lose a shooting drill,” Reeve said. “I put the starters together and they play against the second team.”

And it helps when you return two WNBA MVPs in Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles. Yes, they hear the tick tock and that’s OK.

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“I think my biggest focus is how do I make that step of going forward and not backwards? MVP was last year. It’s a whole new season so I’m going to try to enjoy it while it lasts and make sure I get better in the process,” Fowles said.

Mike Max