Los Angeles, Calif. – As the 12-0 Minnesota Lynx prepare to take on the 11-0 Los Angeles Sparks, the mood with both teams is decidedly different.
The Lynx warmed up focused, but loose. Their drills were punctuated with exclamations.
The Sparks, in contrast, were fairly quiet during their shoot-around, and also focused.
Tipoff is in 10 minutes on NBA TV.
I talked with a few players in between warm ups.
Sue Favor: You seem to have come to the Lynx and fit right in immediately. What has the change been like for you?
Jia Perkins: It’s been a great transition. The team makes it so much easier. You’d think coming into a championship team….you might have to be initiated to get in, but it wasn’t like that. (laughs) They helped me along the way. There’s no cliques, it’s just real cool.
Sue Favor: How is it playing for Cheryl Reeve?
Jia Perkins: I love it. She’s a straight shooter and she’ll tell you how it is and what you need to do. In practice we get it in, and do what we need to do. We’re in and out and if we don’t do what we need to do, we have to sit there a little longer. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve been in the league 13 years, and I’m still learning a lot from being on this team.
Sue Favor: Are you making any decisions about retirement right now?
Jia Perkins: Not right now. I’m not making any announcement, I’m just leaving. (laughs)
Sue Favor: How did the Lynx prepare for this game?
Jia Perkins: It’s the most important game because it’s the next game. I’ve learned that too.
Sue Favor: How did the Sparks prepare for this game?
Alana Beard: It’s been pretty consistent, it’s another game and we’re ready to play.
Sue Favor: Are you excited about this match up?
Alana Beard: We get excited for every game because it’s a new challenge for us every single day, whether it’s practice or a game, our goal is to get better.
Sue Favor: Before you came to the Lynx, Maya Moore might have been the silliest player, but you might be challenging her for the title.
Sylvia Fowles: Well, they do call me silly Syl. I think me and Maya and probably Seimone and Whalen are the silliest. It’s a pretty hot mess with us four together.
Sue Favor: You all seem to be loose but focused.
Sylvia Fowles: There’s been a lot of hype, but from the media. Both teams are blessed to be in this situation. We’ve got to take it like any other game. We can’t look at records and all the hype. It’s two good teams going against each other that match up well, so we have to stick to our basics and do well, but at the same time maintain our level of play.
Sue Favor: It’s been pretty hot here in Los Angeles for your stay.
Sylvia Fowles: I stayed in the hotel yesterday! It was 100 degrees outside.