When Carolyn Peck works a game from the studios, as she is doing for this year’s WNBA Finals, she admits there is no ‘home court advantage.’
“I see from the studio monitor the same thing that you see at home,” explained Peck.
“When I’m working the game, I’m watching as a coach,” said the former WNBA coach-general manager, and the first and only Black female coach to win a Division I national women’s basketball championship. “I’m looking at it from the perspectives of both coaches — what’s working well for you, and what is not working for you and what adjustments that need to be made that we can talk about at halftime.”
Peck admitted that it’s hard to separate the fan from her job as an analyst. “I remember going nuts when [the Lynx’s] Seimone Augustus made that quick move [to the basket] with the crossover through the middle,” she recalled, adding how relieved she was that her microphone wasn’t on at the time. “She is just a fantastic player to watch.
“I get excited watching great players make great plays. I love the game, and I have an appreciation for good basketball. As a coach, a fan and analyst you have the love and appreciation for the game of basketball when you see it played, teams competing and leaving it on the floor.
“That’s what you love,” said Peck.
After she went hard to the basket, just missing the layup but got fouled hard on the play in Game 2, Minnesota Guard Lindsay Whalen gave the official, and everyone else within eyesight, that look.
This reporter has covered the veteran guard since she walked on the University of Minnesota campus as a freshman, watched her maturation as a player there, and onto the WNBA — I have seen that look many times before: It’s the look that says she isn’t taking any stuff.
Whalen seemingly was back to her normal self. She has gamely battled aches and pains — some she played through — and others forced her to sit out games down the stretch this season.
“I felt good these last 2-3 games,” said the guard as we sat and talked after Tuesday’s win that knotted the series at 1-1. Our normal routine is fist bumping, and quiet talks about the game, or whatever comes to mind before the media horde arrives.
Whalen only played around 20 minutes in Game 2, sitting on the bench for long stretches during the contest. But the demonstrative guard was up, cheering her Lynx teammates on, or coaching them up during timeouts.
“Whatever I can provide…whatever I can, that is all I want to do,” said Whalen.
The MSR will provide updates, pre-game and post-game analysis, notes and comments throughout the Finals. Connect with Carolyn Peck on Twitter at: @CAROLYNPECK
Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to email@example.com.
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Watching games but missing Carolyn badly! Hope all is well.