After spending her offseason playing — and winning yet another championship — in Russia, Maya Moore is officially back with the Minnesota Lynx.
Due to the deep postseason run by her UMMC Ekaterinburg squad, Moore was delayed in her return to Minnesota for training camp.
Everything happened quickly. Her first day back to practice was Friday, and she was back in game action at the Target Center the following day.
“It’s been kind of a fast turnaround, but it actually worked out well because I wouldn’t want to be here and not be a part of today,” Moore said after Saturday’s 87-58 preseason win over Chicago. “It’s really refreshing to just come back to this.”
With the return, Moore has found herself having to adjust to a few things on a somewhat new-look Lynx team this season.
This year, Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve said the team will experiment having Moore play more at the power forward position, after spending a majority of her time in the league as a guard or wing.
“I think she’s excited to be back and playing here at Target Center with her teammates again and playing some (forward), I think she’s just really excited to get going,” Reeve said. “I see gravity wherever she is, so that means you’re going to get spacing for your interior. She’s active and that’s a challenge for anyone that guards her, particularly a post player. … It will be a nice look for us.”
Moore will see time at the power forward position mainly when Rebekkah Brunson or Sylvia Fowles are on the bench. On Saturday night, where Moore finished with 15 points, five assists and four rebounds in 24-plus minutes, she matched up alongside Fowles a few times while Brunson was out of the game.
Moore, a solidified WNBA great regardless of position, welcomes the opportunity to expand her game.
“I enjoy it. It’s a challenge I think defensively,” Moore said. “Just as it was transitioning to (a wing) coming out of college. Defensively, that was a hard thing. I have those instincts offensively just because that’s what I played throughout college, so I kind of feel like I’m in college mode when I get to play at forward.
“It just gives our team another look and I get to enjoy setting screens and getting in there to get rebounds and set the pace.”
Lynx to Make More Cuts on Sunday
Reeve said prior to Saturday’s preseason finale that the Lynx will make a few more cuts on Sunday.
Gearing up for the start of the regular season, Minnesota will narrow its roster down to 11 heading into the final week of practice.
“We are going to make cuts just to get down and to get that final week (of practice) with the final roster,” Reeve said. “It’s not a necessity because (Cecilia Zandalasini) and Endy (Miyem) just lost overseas, so they are in a Game 5, which is (Sunday). I think, if they won Game 4, they would be here Monday and we would have had to make room for them anyway.”
Zandalasini and Miyem, both of whom are playing for Famila Schio in Italy, are the only two players currently on the roster who have yet to report to training camp.
Players to watch as potential cuts on Sunday include Jillian Alleyne, Miyem, Camille Zimmerman and Carlie Wagner.