Simons Says - Sept. 13, 2012
You can feel it in the air and it’s exciting. Its playoff time and the Lynx are playing like it matters.
This season, there have been plenty of doubters when it comes to discussion regarding repeat for the WNBA Champion Lynx. As Taj McWilliams-Franklin told me, “They live out of town.”
The Champions are playing very good basketball right now. It was just a month ago when the Lynx were teamed together after the Olympic break. Then I wrote, “Still best in the west at 18 wins and just 4 losses, there are some who think the first half explosion from the Lynx was just “smoke & mirrors.”
It’s vividly clear that this roster, made up of Olympians and All Stars, of college standouts and outstanding coaches, has made it their mission to do what it rare in ANY sport. Win back to back titles.
Great as a rookie, Lynx forward Maya Moore is becoming one of the WNBA’s top players. Moore just named Western Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season. This honor not uncommon for her as the 2011 WNBA Rookie of the Year earned Rookie of the Month honors twice last season (July and August).
The Lynx are imposing their will on nearly every team they play as the playoffs get closer. Call it a tune-up? Certainly.
Maya led the Lynx to a 3-0 record over the past week with wins against playoff-bound teams in Los Angeles, Atlanta and San Antonio. Moore hasn’t taken her foot off the gas since opening day. Since leaving the Lynx to head to Europe for the Olympics and winning American Gold. Since leading this second half sensation.
Against L.A., Moore dropped 23 points with nine rebounds and then matched a franchise record with a career-high seven steals. Amazing stuff three days later when the Lynx, who looked over and done, rallied and leading the furious charge, Maya. Moore pushed the Lynx to a 25-point comeback against the Dream, the largest comeback in franchise history and matching the largest in WNBA history. Moore again with sweet numbers of 23 points, 12 rebounds (her fifth double-double of the season) and 17 of those 23 were in the second half. Bring on San Antonio and its Maya leading Minnesota in points/assists/rebounds but most importantly the Lynx clinched the first overall seed in the Western Conference with an 81-62 victory over the Silver Stars.
You can tell how far this team has come on and off the court. On the court, the Lynx are loaded and have the tools to take care of business on any night. Someone’s off, we’ll turn here. Now, Minnesota finishes the regular season on the road for three of its final four games, including a great home night as Fan Appreciation Night presented by Best Buy reigns on Monday, September 17. After the game, the entire Lynx roster will stay on the court to sign autographs for fans.
There are plenty of sports options in our great region. The Vikings are certainly a favorite as they look to win No. 2 at Indianapolis. The Twins are struggling. The NHL and the Wild might not get off to a timely start this season because of labor pains. And the Wolves, CBA in hand, will open camp with excitement and anticipation for the upcoming season.
But if you haven’t seen these ladies play, you are missing out. “We know what we have to do” Taj McWilliams-Franklin told me at our recent GameON! TV taping. “Our sights are set on the bigger prize and that’s not just getting back to the playoffs. We achieved our goal last season and we CAN do it again. We want another championship”. The Lynx tall center was smiling as she told me that, flashing that championship ring.
There’s good reason for the confidence. Up and down the roster you see it, Olympic Champions and Gold Medal winners Moore, Seimone Augustus, Minnesota’s own Lindsey Whalen to standouts Candice Wiggins, “Mama” Taj, Rebekkah Brunson, Monica Wright, Jessica Adair and Amber Harris. Head coach Cheryl Reeve is the winningest coach in franchise history.
It’s true that anything can happen in the playoffs but it’s clear that these Lynx are now ready for the challenge. So long first half stumble. Bring on your doubts and discussion. Everything has been thrown at them and this team’s responded. Built for a title run, they’re in the blocks and I see it happening. Back to Back. The sweetest ring of them all.
At our last taping of GameON! at SEVEN Steakhouse, I saw big Nikola Pekovic and just wanted to interrupt his meal and talk hoops. Glad I didn’t. But makes me think that with more than 9,000 season tickets, there’s still room on the bandwagon and the Wolves are making it possible for you to be there and at a great price point. The Timberwolves offering fans customizable ticket packages and back by popular demand, fans will once again have the opportunity to create their own multi-game ticket package at the prices they want. Through the Flex Pack, fans can build a personalized ticket package by selecting 12 or more games of their choice, with the flexibility to change seat location, the number of tickets per game and price point based on the matchup. They start as low as $108! Additionally, fans that purchase 16 games will receive 5% off their total order, while buyers of 20 games will receive 10% off. Flex Packs are on sale and to purchase a Flex Pack, log on to www.timberwolves.com or call 612-673-1234.
We’re all on MY 29!
You know that GameON! is on FOX’s MY29 and now the Wolves will offer a franchise-record 78 regular-season games will be televised locally, including 50 on Fox Sports North and 25 on the Wolves' exclusive over-the-air broadcast home, WFTC My29. For the second consecutive season, every Wolves regular season contest will be carried live on News Radio 830 WCCO-AM.
The 2012-13 Wolves Home Opener vs. Sacramento will be broadcast on WFTC MY29, beginning a string of 36 consecutive televised games to start the season.
See you on TV
You don’t want to miss GameON! powered by SEVEN Steakhouse/Sushi/Ultralounge & Skybar this Sunday morning on FOX’s My29 at 10:30AM. Our special guests include Vikings starting offensive lineman and member of the Minnesota Moving Company Brandon Fusco, Fantasy Guru Jeremy Johnson, Local MMA standout Marcus “The Prospect” LaVesseur and Minnesota Stars FC leading scorer Amani Walker. All shows are broadcast in High Definition and can be found on ITunes & online @ www.gameontvmn.com.
GameON! powered by SEVEN allows you the opportunity to get up close and personal, to meet your favorite players and fellow fans at our weekly tapings next door to Target Center at SEVEN (7th and Hennepin). GameON! offers in-depth interviews with the top players, great food, sports newsmakers and we get you inside your favorite teams (including the Wolves). You can friend us on Facebook at GameOnTvMN and drop me a note, Rod@GameOnTvMn.com. We reserve the right to use your e-mails here in SimonsSays at Timberwolves.com.
Keep your GameON! See you soon!