July 8, 2021
Kayla McBride is feeling good as the Lynx go on a 5-0 winning streak
‘It means so much more to me than just makes or misses’
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Minnesota Lynx guard Kayla McBride has scored 21+ points three games in a row. She’s averaging 2.3 assists per game, including 5 assists in the Lynx’s 85-79 win over the Dallas Wings.
“Sometimes you get in these moments where the ball is just going in and you feel good in the offense.” She told reporters postgame, “I really don’t think too much about that stuff, it’s more about how I feel.”
It’s safe to say that McBride is feeling good. And her recent performance has certainly helped the Minnesota Lynx, who are on a five-game win streak.
McBride and the Lynx improvement appear to be linked.
Like the Lynx, McBride was off to a disappointing start at the beginning of the season, shooting below 50% in the first six games.
“Kayla’s such a competitor. I think the up and down nature of her season so far has bothered her. But she shows up every day working, working, working.” head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve told reporters.
McBride’s grit and work-hard mentality has led her to this moment – she’s shot 69.2%, going 9-13 in the last three games. She had 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the team’s win over Dallas.
McBride made 38 consecutive free throws, missing her first free throw in the final seconds of that Dallas game, tying Lynx assistant coach Katie Smith with the fourth-longest streak in franchise history.
“These performances that she’s been putting on these last three games [are] freaking amazing,” said center Sylvia Fowles, who in her own right is putting on a fantastic performance notching 174th career and 7th season double-double after the win against Dallas.
It’s not just her shooting that is on display this season. McBride has had a strong display of defense the last three games, including holding Dallas’ Arike Ogunbowale to 11 points, the second time hitting her lowest points this season.
“[McBride’s] defense on Taurasi was really, really good.” Coach Reeve said, “As much as everybody loves the ball going in the hole, I thought her defensive effort was incredibly valuable to our team.”
“I know what it is to be a scorer.” said McBride, “I know that when you’re able to be in somebody else’s space and be active, it can be disturbing. It can be disrupting. And you’re talking about two of the best scorers probably ever in Arike [Ogunbowale] and in Diana [Taurasi], so knowing that and being a shooter myself, I just want to be in their space and take on the challenge. I enjoy the challenge.”
Although both the Lynx and McBride started the season on the wrong foot, it appears that heading into the Olympic break, both are finding success, but also acknowledging the ups and downs it took to get here.
But a rough start to the 2021 season for both McBride and the Lynx has highlighted the opportunities for growth and support provided in the Cheryl Reeve system.
“Being here has been a blessing for me. I’m being coached all the time – good times, bad times – and when it’s good, it’s great because this culture means so much to me. My teammates mean so much to me. And Coach Reeve and the staff mean so much to me.”
Midway through the season, it appears that McBride is very happy with her decision to join the Lynx during free agency.
“It means so much more to me than just makes or misses. Just being able to be myself and feeling like I can compete through the good and bad,” said McBride.
The Lynx have two more road games before the Olympic break and they’ll be tough matchups. They’ll take on the Las Vegas Aces Friday, July 9, who are coming off of a tough overtime loss against the Mercury (not to mention, their overtime loss to Minnesota will be fresh in their mind in this rematch).
The Lynx will then travel to Los Angeles to take on the Sparks who have lost five in a row and are hungry for a win.