Voepel on Maya's performance in game 1 | The Boneyard

Voepel on Maya's performance in game 1

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Replicant

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"What Maya has that most people don't is the drive to always do something else," McWilliams-Franklin said. "If Maya isn't scoring, she's going to help in some other way. She's thinking, 'I can get that offensive rebound. I can throw a good pass.'

"All game, what I saw was Maya diving, hustling, running, getting rebounds, getting loose balls. It's what's always set her apart."
 
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That's all fine and dandy, but had San Antonio pulled of the upset, all the thoughts and talk of Maya's intangibles would have been placed on the back burner. The problem is that those two free throws are now in her head and there is no telling if she will ever get another opportunity like this to redeem herself mentally. An opposing coach may try to get further into her head by going out of his/her way to intentionally foul Maya in crunch time. I have no recollections of her being a clutch free throw shooter at UConn either. The only ones that come to mind are the four straight down the stretch against LSU in Baton Rouge her freshman year. Of course, she was downright awesome in that nationally televised game.
 

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That's all fine and dandy, but had San Antonio pulled of the upset, all the thoughts and talk of Maya's intangibles would have been placed on the back burner. The problem is that those two free throws are now in her head and there is no telling if she will ever get another opportunity like this to redeem herself mentally. An opposing coach may try to get further into her head by going out of his/her way to intentionally foul Maya in crunch time. I have no recollections of her being a clutch free throw shooter at UConn either. The only ones that come to mind are the four straight down the stretch against LSU in Baton Rouge her freshman year. Of course, she was downright awesome in that nationally televised game.
But San Antonio didn't pull off the upset, so I don't see what's gained in dwelling on a negative "what if" hypothetical? Looking on the bright side, Maya recovered the loose ball that Whalen tipped to seal-the-deal. It's all Maya's "intangibles" that put her in position to get to that loose ball before anyone else did. Her never quit, I'm gonna do whatever it takes hard-wiring made that play a reality. Remember the DePaul game her freshman year? Maya, the uber student and achiever will take only positives away from her overall performance. I highly doubt Maya will ever miss two back-to-back FT's in a playoff game again in her career.
 

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But San Antonio didn't pull off the upset, so I don't see what's gained in dwelling on a negative "what if" hypothetical? Looking on the bright side, Maya recovered the loose ball that Whalen tipped to seal-the-deal. It's all Maya's "intangibles" that put her in position to get to that loose ball before anyone else did. Her never quit, I'm gonna do whatever it takes hard-wiring made that play a reality. Remember the DePaul game his freshman year? Maya, the uber student and achiever will take only positives away from her overall performance. I highly doubt Maya will ever miss two back-to-back FT's in a playoff game again in her career.
Plus her teammates recognize and value the drive and difference in her.
 

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Plus her teammates recognize and value the drive and difference in her.
Bingo. Maya's winning influence is contagious and incomparable. The Lynx returned all of their core players (Augustus, Brunson, Houston, Whalen, Wiggins and Wright) from last year's team that went 13-21. Only Tulsa's 6-28 was worse. A quick look back at the last 5 Lynx seasons shows a combined 67-103 record and not a single one of those seasons coming anywhere near .500 ball. Taj was certainly a good acquisition for the Lynx, but is also clearly in the twilight of her career. Maya the Magnificent is the be-all and end-all.
 

MilfordHusky

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Those of us who saw Maya's games in Seattle her senior year of high school know what she does. Collins Hill, fresh off their Nike TOC win, played top 10 teams in Winter Have (with Tiffany) and St. Elizabeth's (with Khadijah Rushdan). In the second game, Maya scored 38 points in a 16-minute half as part of an amazing offensive explosion. In the first game, Maya and her team were jet lagged. Shots were coming up short all game ling. But when Collins Hill needed a steal, a layup, and a block at the end to come from behind to win, Maya delivered. At the high school and college levels, Maya simply took over games. Her impact at the pro level, may be less, but it is still there. Maya is a scorer, but most of all she is a winner.

Regarding FTs, she has to be pissed about last night (though she would not use that term). She was a very good FT shooter at UConn and improved over 4 years, but she is not in Sue Bird's class. I expect Maya to work on that, as she always does. I believe she missed FTs in both of our losses last year, which killed our momentum in comebacks. It is not the best part of her game, but I look for her to improve. Someone check the rim at that end of the court! :)
 
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That's all fine and dandy, but had San Antonio pulled of the upset, all the thoughts and talk of Maya's intangibles would have been placed on the back burner. The problem is that those two free throws are now in her head and there is no telling if she will ever get another opportunity like this to redeem herself mentally. An opposing coach may try to get further into her head by going out of his/her way to intentionally foul Maya in crunch time. I have no recollections of her being a clutch free throw shooter at UConn either. The only ones that come to mind are the four straight down the stretch against LSU in Baton Rouge her freshman year. Of course, she was downright awesome in that nationally televised game.

when someone plays at the level maya moore plays at, things like missing a foul shot or two don't get in your head.
 

EricLA

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Bingo. Maya's winning influence is contagious and incomparable. The Lynx returned all of their core players (Augustus, Brunson, Houston, Whalen, Wiggins and Wright) from last year's team that went 13-21. Only Tulsa's 6-28 was worse. A quick look back at the last 5 Lynx seasons shows a combined 67-103 record and not a single one of those seasons coming anywhere near .500 ball. Taj was certainly a good acquisition for the Lynx, but is also clearly in the twilight of her career. Maya the Magnificent is the be-all and end-all.
You forget that Minny made a TON of effective changes this year.

  1. Augustus was healthy for the entire year
  2. Wiggins was healthy for the entire year
  3. Adair only played 1 game in 2010
  4. Maya and Harris were the drafted rookies
  5. Taj McWilliams was added to the team
i'm not trying to down play Maya's contributions, both tangible and intangible. but to imply that she was responsible for even a slight majority of the success the Lynx had is simply incorrect IMHO. you add the above 5 things and that's why the Lynx had the best record this year. however, if they manage to get past the SASS, games like last night against Seattle will result in a sweep by the Storm.
 

EricLA

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when someone plays at the level maya moore plays at, things like missing a foul shot or two don't get in your head.
agree 100%. she also shot the 3 ball fairly poorly for a good stretch of the season, but ended turning it around. she missed two FT's in a tight game that could have cost her team, but she won't remember that in the next game...
 

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You forget that Minny made a TON of effective changes this year.

  1. Augustus was healthy for the entire year
  2. Wiggins was healthy for the entire year
  3. Adair only played 1 game in 2010
  4. Maya and Harris were the drafted rookies
  5. Taj McWilliams was added to the team
i'm not trying to down play Maya's contributions, both tangible and intangible. but to imply that she was responsible for even a slight majority of the success the Lynx had is simply incorrect IMHO. you add the above 5 things and that's why the Lynx had the best record this year. however, if they manage to get past the SASS, games like last night against Seattle will result in a sweep by the Storm.

I think that is why looking at 5 year is important and noting they have not been above .500 in those 5 years. Injuries or not that is not a healthy winning sports culture.
 

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You forget that Minny made a TON of effective changes this year.

  1. Augustus was healthy for the entire year
  2. Wiggins was healthy for the entire year
  3. Adair only played 1 game in 2010
  4. Maya and Harris were the drafted rookies
  5. Taj McWilliams was added to the team
i'm not trying to down play Maya's contributions, both tangible and intangible. but to imply that she was responsible for even a slight majority of the success the Lynx had is simply incorrect IMHO. you add the above 5 things and that's why the Lynx had the best record this year. however, if they manage to get past the SASS, games like last night against Seattle will result in a sweep by the Storm.

Of course it's never just one thing and injuries often have a profound effect on a team's season. But teams that are already good (which the Lynx were not before the injuries or other factors you note) almost always find the means to compensate. Perhaps not with a championship, but at least with maintaining a high quality of play and competitiveness. I submit Seattle's performance this year without the services of the incomparable Lauren Jackson as case-in-point. So IMHO and with all due respect, I do believe that the addition of Maya and her aura of invincibility is the magical ingredient that has elevated her teammates expectations, play and catapulted the Lynx from next-to-worst, to first.
 
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That's all fine and dandy, but had San Antonio pulled of the upset, all the thoughts and talk of Maya's intangibles would have been placed on the back burner. The problem is that those two free throws are now in her head and there is no telling if she will ever get another opportunity like this to redeem herself mentally. An opposing coach may try to get further into her head by going out of his/her way to intentionally foul Maya in crunch time. I have no recollections of her being a clutch free throw shooter at UConn either. The only ones that come to mind are the four straight down the stretch against LSU in Baton Rouge her freshman year. Of course, she was downright awesome in that nationally televised game.

Your lack of recollections of clutch FT shooting is because UConn has only been in a handful of games during Maya's 4 years that weren't over at halftime.
 

EricLA

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Of course it's never just one thing and injuries often have a profound effect on a team's season. But teams that are already good (which the Lynx were not before the injuries or other factors you note) almost always find the means to compensate. Perhaps not with a championship, but at least with maintaining a high quality of play and competitiveness. I submit Seattle's performance this year without the services of the incomparable Lauren Jackson as case-in-point. So IMHO and with all due respect, I do believe that the addition of Maya and her aura of invincibility is the magical ingredient that has elevated her teammates expectations, play and catapulted the Lynx from next-to-worst, to first.
with all due respect, that makes little sense. Minnesota essentially added 6 players this year to the roster - Siemone Augustus, Candice Wiggins, Jessica Adair, Taj McW-F,and Maya Moore. i'm sorry guys, but Maya's "attitude" and "work ethic" and "aura of invincibility" was a part of what made Minny so good this year. and to answer ice's question, did Minny have a healthy Siemone, or Jessica or Taj the last 5 years?

i realize some want to give all the credit to Maya for Minny's great season, but it's just not true. yes she's a big part of it, but she's not most of it. i'm not going to sit here and try to argue whether Maya's addition was 20, 30, or 40% responsible for the team's performance. Take Siemone away from this team and Taj, and Wiggins, and you think they make the playoffs? because last year they had no Taj, and Siemone and Candice were injured. the year before, they had no Siemone as she was injured. the 3 years before that, they were a completely different team.
 

Icebear

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Only taking Lynx players at their word. Nothing more. They almost to the player have noted that Maya competes harder than anyone they know. She has no off button. Reeves, Taj, Augustus, Whalen and Wiggins have each and all said it in print more than once. No one is giving Maya all the credit so no need for any hyperbole. But they all have noted the thing that has always set Maya apart.

Maya is a player who motivates others by her actions, she did it here and there is no reason to expect it is any different there. When teams are used to losing no matter what the reason is it is hard to change the culture just like in business, less than maximum effort and less than ultimate performance is just accepted.

UConn wins many games because the team culture expects it, same at TN during it's heyday. Why not just take the Lynx players at their words? No doubt being healthy helps TREMENDOUSLY but history is littered with great players on OK teams. Being a champion takes focused and directed talent not just talent. In no way is Maya carrying the Lynx but I have little doubt she is changing them for the better.

In no way am I suggesting the Lynx win without Augustus, Taj, Whelan, et al. What I am suggesting is one small, key thing, and it is, that even when Maya isn't putting up UConn like numbers she is still "different" and that attitude is "the key difference" in team culture. Don't make it Moore than it is, but I expect it is critical to the success of the Lynx this year.

Remember I do not watch the WNBA since I don't like the style of play (same for the NBA) I am only going by what I read and see in print and occasionally on ESPN wrap ups and highlights.
 

DaddyChoc

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Only taking Lynx players at their word. Nothing more. They almost to the player have noted that Maya competes harder than anyone they know. She has no off button. Reeves, Taj, Augustus, Whalen and Wiggins have each and all said it in print more than once. No one is giving Maya all the credit so no need for any hyperbole. But they all have noted the thing that has always set Maya apart.

Maya is a player who motivates others by her actions, she did it here and there is no reason to expect it is any different there. When teams are used to losing no matter what the reason is it is hard to change the culture just like in business, less than maximum effort and less than ultimate performance is just accepted.

UConn wins many games because the team culture expects it, same at TN during it's heyday. Why not just take the Lynx players at their words? No doubt being healthy helps TREMENDOUSLY but history is littered with great players on OK teams. Being a champion takes focused and directed talent not just talent. In no way is Maya carrying the Lynx but I have little doubt she is changing them for the better.

In no way am I suggesting the Lynx win without Augustus, Taj, Whelan, et al. What I am suggesting is one small, key thing, and it is, that even when Maya isn't putting up UConn like numbers she is still "different" and that attitude is "the key difference" in team culture. Don't make it Moore than it is, but I expect it is critical to the success of the Lynx this year.

Remember I do not watch the WNBA since I don't like the style of play (same for the NBA) I am only going by what I read and see in print and occasionally on ESPN wrap ups and highlights.

my issue is why are we surprised & shocked that it must be quoted every time a teammate mentions it. As mentioned WE know what Magnificent brings to the table... and Eric is saying these other guys deserve some credit too (of course Maya is a UConn alum so more focus will be on her).

I wonder what Angel's mates say about her, how about DT.... geesh Sue must be GOD in Seattle.

anyways, its a team effort IMO!
 

Icebear

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DC, the simple answer is because the discussion was of Voepel's column where similar statement was made once again and a detailed example given about how Maya "never" gives up on a play. Someone could easily ask the same thing about why you have to throw Augustus into the middle of a discussion on a UConn board every time a similar thread appears. People just do. Its a UConn board, of course people are going to celebrate and probably over celebrate UConn players and UConn alum. Frankly, many of us have no interest in other players from other schools. (I happen to, also, follow PSU.) We are, generally, UConn fans and WCBB fans, not pros. You like a broader spectrum and that's fine. I'll cheer for Augustus, Angel and whoever else is on the US National team but probably not til then. They don't interest me. I don't dislike them, they simply don't interest me.

I have never read anything about Angel along the lines of what has been said of Maya. The closest to the same thing said about Diana is that she makes everyone around her better but that comment is not the same as what has been said of Maya. Hopefully, McAughtry, Augustus, Taylor, Wright, Poindexter and any other pro doesn't care in the least what fans on some college bulletin board say and are just happy if their teammates are out on the court getting their job done to the best of their ability.

Of course it is always a teammate effort, the Yankees didn't win those world series with just Ruth and the Celtics didn't win those NBA Championships with just Russell, but different players bring different things to a team and Ruth and Russell made unique contributions, and here the contributions of UConn players get celebrated.
 

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Only taking Lynx players at their word. Nothing more. They almost to the player have noted that Maya competes harder than anyone they know. She has no off button. Reeves, Taj, Augustus, Whalen and Wiggins have each and all said it in print more than once. No one is giving Maya all the credit so no need for any hyperbole. But they all have noted the thing that has always set Maya apart.

Maya is a player who motivates others by her actions, she did it here and there is no reason to expect it is any different there. When teams are used to losing no matter what the reason is it is hard to change the culture just like in business, less than maximum effort and less than ultimate performance is just accepted.

UConn wins many games because the team culture expects it, same at TN during it's heyday. Why not just take the Lynx players at their words? No doubt being healthy helps TREMENDOUSLY but history is littered with great players on OK teams. Being a champion takes focused and directed talent not just talent. In no way is Maya carrying the Lynx but I have little doubt she is changing them for the better.

In no way am I suggesting the Lynx win without Augustus, Taj, Whelan, et al. What I am suggesting is one small, key thing, and it is, that even when Maya isn't putting up UConn like numbers she is still "different" and that attitude is "the key difference" in team culture. Don't make it Moore than it is, but I expect it is critical to the success of the Lynx this year.

Remember I do not watch the WNBA since I don't like the style of play (same for the NBA) I am only going by what I read and see in print and occasionally on ESPN wrap ups and highlights.
Great job. These are my sentiments entirely, stated far more eloquently.
 
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