The Minnesota Lynx nine-game post-Olympics schedule begins Friday in Connecticut. They and Los Angeles both are playoff bound after clinching spots prior to the league’s month-long break. Six post-season slots are still in play — only San Antonio and the Sun more than likely are playing out the string as party blockers for the remaining teams still in contention with barely a dozen games remaining.
Minnesota (21-4) bolstered its bench Thursday by re-signing Anna Cruz, a key reserve in the team’s 2015 championship run. She has been with the Spanish national team this season, and won a silver medal in Rio last week.
“It is a joy to have her,” proclaimed Lynx forward Maya Moore to the MSR when asked during a media conference call on Thursday. “The way she approach the game and how she penetrates as a guard” along with the energy she brings, is among her strengths, said Moore of Cruz.
When asked what lessons if any she learned from her first Olympic break in 2012, her second season as a pro, Moore told reporters, “It’s one long season with a mini-season” in between. Her goal this time around, shared with her Lynx teammates, is finish the nine-game slate as efficiently as possible, she stressed.
Moore, Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles and Lindsay Whalen all got Olympic gold as U.S. National Team members as the USA women’s squad totally dominated the field at the Olympics in Rio. The youngest of the Minnesota quartet freely admitted how blessed she is to have such teammates both home and this summer abroad. “[What] I take away from the Olympic experience was how much fun it was to play with my teammates,” recalled Moore. “It was fun as we made it look.”
Finally, with Rio behind them, the focus is now renewed on getting better as a team as the four Lynx players rejoin their teammates who stayed stateside to contend for another WNBA championship, said Moore.
“We are in this together and we understand each other as leaders,” she concluded.
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Charles Hallman is a contributing reporter and award-winning sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.