After writing a few thousand words on how the Indiana Fever won Game One, rest assured that the breakdown of what the Minnesota Lynx have to do in order to win Game Two is far simpler.
The Lynx just have to play Lynx basketball.
You know, the style of ball that has earned them home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
That sounds so cliche - every coach says some version of this concept that they just have to play their game. I've heard coaches of sub-.500 college teams say that their team just had to get back to playing their game when their record suggested that "their game" was losing games.
But in this case, yes, if the Lynx play anything near the way they played during the season - a dominant rebounding team on both ends that can score efficiently and keep opponents from shooting efficiently - it seems like they should find themselves heading to Indianapolis for Game Three tied at a games apiece.
The Fever are not likely to get another record-tying rebounding performance (such is the nature of setting records). The Lynx's Olympians are not likely to go 2-for-anything from the field for an entire quarter. it would even be surprising if the Lynx went a whole half only forcing three turnovers as they did in the first half of Game One. None of this is to say that what the Fever did was luck, but that the Lynx almost certainly had an off game in a few significant ways and won't repeat that performance at home.
So in sifting through all the talk from Minneapolis over the past two days, the comments that stood out most to me were those from Lynx center Taj McWilliams-Franklin. After noting on Monday that "you don't change fundamentally who you are" after going 27-7, yesterday she reiterated the point.
"We can't change anything. It's the Finals. If you start changing things it's going to mess you up. You do your things by habit, so by now after 34+ games everything is a habit. If you try and change things now, it's going to mess you up really badly. We worked on what we always do - our in-game situations, after timeout situations, and our regular fast-break."
There are times when keeping it real goes wrong, but in this case if the Lynx stay true to what's gotten them to this point it's hard to imagine them losing a second consecutive game at home.