MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Lynx are about to kick off their 2020 season in Bradenton, Florida, where the WNBA has set up operations as they hope to play even through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Head Coach Cheryl Reeve is ready for the season to start, much like the players.READ MORE: Calls For MPD Officer To Be Disciplined After Video Of Arrest Goes Viral
“Players are good for maybe a few days of practice but then they’re really ready for the game,” said Reeve. “At this point they want to play against other teams with officials, and let our fans see us. So we’re pretty excited.”
But the basketball season will look different this year. Because of COVID-19, the WNBA decided to shorten the 2020 season and move all operations to Bradenton. Players and coaches have started calling it “the bubble.”
“It’s all about being inside this safe, clean site, we’re all 12 teams here, WNBA staff, obviously all the support staffs,” said Reeve. “I think we got it right from a medical protocol standpoint.”
All players are required to undergo daily COVID-19 testing, and masks are required in the facility. There have been two false-positive tests, but other than that, no COVID-19 cases, said Reeve.
“You would have great concern for obviously the news coming out of Florida with the number of cases and increase in deaths,” she said. But people are taking precautions and wearing masks even outside, where it is not technically required.
The basketball court might look a little different too. Everyone – except the players in the game – will be physically distanced.READ MORE: MN Weather: Over 6 Inches Of Snow Possible In Northern MN This Weekend
As far as the team’s strengths, Reeve pointed to Sylvia Fowles and the ongoing growth of Napheesa Collier.
“Those two players are going to be how the Minnesota Lynx go this season,” she said.
Reeve also mentioned Lexie Brown, will play an increased role this season, starting in the first game on Sunday. Shenise Johnson and Rachel Banham will also be key players for the Lynx.
Due to the shortened season, Reeve said she’s adjusted her coaching style.
“You don’t have the ability to drill down and be great at some of the things in execution from a coaching standpoint we’d like to be great at,” she said.
She’s using time differently, communicating through zoom calls, watching film, and knowing that sometimes, you just have to let some things go.MORE NEWS: Minnetonka's Kiani Lockett Is Taking Nothing For Granted
The Minnesota Lynx will play their season opener against the Connecticut Sun at 11 a.m. on Sunday.