Sheryl Reeve of Minnesota Lynx on changing roster amid difficulties

Four-time WNBA champion Minnesota Linux They are trying to reverse course after a turbulent 0-3 start and a host of roster switches to start the 2022 season.

After parting ways with veterans Angel McCogtry And Odyssey Sims Earlier this week, Minnesota signed a pair of former UConn stars Friday at Moriah Jeffersonwhich was recently ceded by Dallas, and Evina Westbrookwhich was formulated by Seattle Storm Last month before the assignment before opening day. The Lynx also brought back three players – Yvonne TurnerAnd Nikolina Milic And Hannah Sjervin With hardship contracts.

Despite a tough start, Minnesota is hoping to extend its supplement streak to 12 consecutive years and send a future Hall of Famer Silvia Fowles On a high note in the final season of her WNBA career. Lynx also had a rough start last season, starting at 0-4 before rebounding to finish 22-10 and secure the 3 seeded playoffs.

“Linx’s general manager and head coach, Sheryl Reeve, told the media on Friday before facing the defending champions Chicago Sky on Saturday. “And that path is being able to be able to play against you from a physical and mental point of view, your defense, your connection to attack.”

Minnesota had a hard time starting summer, with Damiris Dantas Two weeks after her return after the Lisfranc injury she suffered last season, Kayla McBride still playing outside and Natalie Ashunwa Indefinitely due to straining the right hamstring.

The cornerstone of a future franchise Nafisa CollierShe, who recently signed a multi-year contract extension with the organization, also didn’t fit in as she prepared to give birth this month. Collier said she hopes to sue this season.

Then came a slew of cuts last week, including the 2020 Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield2021 draft pick Renea Davis A veteran point guard Layshia Clarendon, who was widely credited with being included in the squad last year to help turn the team’s season around. Less than 10 days later, McCutry, whom Lynx signed to a one-year off-season deal, and The Sims, whom they signed just last week, are gone.

When asked if she wishes she had done anything differently, Reeve replied, “I’ve had healthy players. We just respond to situations that have arisen.”

After being sidelined in two of the past four WNBA seasons due to injuries, including 2021 with an ACL and a meniscus tear, McCutry missed the Lynx opener after receiving a PRP injection into her knee and later played 20 minutes over the last two games. Reeve attributed the organization’s decision to move from McCutry to her health.

“I really wanted to see a different result, but it’s out of our control,” Reeve said. “I know Angel knows that.” “She didn’t do anything. It just didn’t feel like 100% and she wanted to take the time to get more power, that kind of thing, and then see what she could do as much as she could join a team at a different time.”

In a statement provided by the team, McCoctry said, “Although the organization has been very patient with my injury and helping me heal my body, sometimes it comes down to what works for both parties. I believe in myself and know I’ll be everything. My way back to performing at the highest level.” .

Reeve said at the time that Sims reunited with the franchise she played for in 2019 and 2020, and appeared in two games for Lynx but was not with the team in Tuesday’s game due to a personal matter. The coach said Friday that giving up Sims was to “give her time [address] which – which.”

Reeve also attributed the decision to cut Clarendon to their lack of physical preparation following injury problems last season. Clarendon, who re-signed with Minnesota this off-season, Tweet in response Earlier this month, “I am fully qualified to play and practice. I feel strong and ready to play!”

However, the problems in Minneapolis weren’t all injury related. Reeve described her junior players as “selfish” in the way they played after their pre-season final. Earlier this week, when Reeve was asked about McCutry’s lack of time to play, she added in her answer that “Nobody has a right to a job… the group that was there.” [was not] We play the way we want the Lynx to play in terms of their effort and cohesion.”

“Unfortunately, you don’t want to be a hard training effort,” Reeve said Friday. “Those are the things that you want your players to bring in every time they play, and I didn’t hold them to account enough before yesterday, so now we’re in a place where we hold people accountable. If we keep asking you to do that over and over again, we’re going to start assuming you can’t do that, and that It leads to a different decision, either not playing or not being on the team.”

The coach said Jefferson and Westbrook were “walking.”[ed] to a firestorm “on their first day of practice for the Lynx Thursday, but Jefferson, who starts Saturday against Chicago, looked” somewhat relaxed. …I thought she handled it well. “

After dealing with knee injuries for most of her WNBA career, Jefferson played just four minutes in the Wings’ only game of the season so far. The four-time UConn National Champion only collected one healthy season in Dallas, averaging 5.4 points, 2.5 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 17.2 minutes per game.

Lynx’s position has been fairly flexible at the point of view since the all-time great Lindsey Wallen retired after the 2018 season, but hopefully Jefferson can provide some much-needed stability at least in the short term.

“We are looking for leadership, someone who is not only able to organize, but has the sense to understand what you are running, and why you are running it,” Reeve said. “It might take some time in terms of the nuances, but just in terms of floor management, we feel Moriah can do.”