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05 ottobre 2017
Lynx outlast Sparks to win fourth WNBA championship

MINNEAPOLIS -- All the building blocks line up like blue-and-green dominoes when you look back at what has led to this tremendous run of success for the Minnesota Lynx, who celebrated their fourth championship after a 85-76 victory over Los Angeles in Game 5 of the WNBA Finals on Wednesday at Williams Arena.
Last year, the Lynx and their fans were crushed to lose Game 5 of the Finals on a last-second shot by the Sparks.

このとてつもないMinnesota Lynxの一連の成功に通じているものを振り返って見る時、建築用のブロック(構成要素)は全て、青−緑のドミノのように並んでいる。Minnesotaは水曜日、Game 5 of the WNBA Finalsで、Los Angelesに85-76で勝った後、4回目のchampionshipを祝った。
去年、Lynxとファンは、粉砕されて、Sparksの終了間際のシュートで、Game 5 of the Finalsを落とした。

This year, when they fell behind 2-1 in the series -- and the Sparks had another chance to clinch the title in Los Angeles -- things seemed bleak for the Lynx, at least to outsiders. However, they were confident they could win Game 4 and send the series back to Minnesota, just as they did in 2016.
And this time, Game 5 didn't get away from them, and the Lynx tied the Houston Comets' record of four WNBA titles.

今年−そのシリーズで2-1の遅れを取り、Sparksには、Los Angelesでタイトルを確定させる別のチャンスがあった−、事態はLynxにとって希望がないように見えた−少なくとも、部外者には。しかしながら、彼女達は、Game 4に勝って、シリーズをMinnesotaに送り返せると確信していた−ちょうど、2016年にそうしたように。
今回、Game 5は、彼女達から離れず、Lynxは、Houston Cometsの4タイトルという記録を引き分けた。

All five Minnesota starters scored in double figures. Sylvia Fowles had 17 points and 20 rebounds, Maya Moore added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Lindsay Whalen 17 points and eight assists.
Fowles became the first player since Seattle's Lauren Jackson in 2010 to win both the regular-season MVP and WNBA Finals MVP.

Minnesotaのスタメン全員が、二桁得点だった。Sylvia Fowlesは、17 points and 20 rebounds、Maya Mooreが、18 points and 10 reboundsを、17 points and 8 assistsを付け加えた。
Fowlesは、Lauren Jackson以来、初めて、regular-season MVP and WNBA Finals MVPを獲得した選手になった。

In a twist of fate, the victory came on the college home court of Whalen, Minnesota's point guard. The Lynx hosted their playoff games at Williams because their usual home, Target Center, is being renovated. They'll be back at Target next season, but this year they got to celebrate in the nearly 90-year-old arena called "The Barn."
Whalen led the University of Minnesota to the Women's Final Four her senior year in 2004, and then was the No. 4 pick in the WNBA draft, by Connecticut. She played in the WNBA Finals twice with the Sun (2004, '05) and then was traded back home in 2010.

皮肉な事に、勝利は、Whalenの大学のホーム・コートで起きた。Lynxは、Target Centerが改装中なので、Williamsで、playoffの試合を主催した。来シーズンは、Targetに戻ってくるだろうが、今年は、ほぼ90才のアリーナで(優勝を)祝うチャンスを得た。
Whalenは、2004年、Minnesota大学をWomen's Final Fourへ導き、その後、ドラフトで、Connecticutによる第4位指名選手となった。Sun (2004, '05)で2回、WNBA Finalsを演じ、その後、2010年にホームへトレードされた。

Whalen is from Hutchinson, Minnesota, about an hour west of Minneapolis. The Lynx have become a model franchise, and it has happened in her backyard.
"That's something to really be proud of -- that our team has had this big of an impact on our community, our league, and the sport," Whalen said. "To have it be here in Minnesota where I grew up and played in college -- it's really cool.

Whalenは、Minneapolisから約1時間、西にあるHutchinson, Minnesotaの出身である。Lynxは、模範的なフランチャイズになっているし、それは、彼女の本拠地で起きている。

"When you're young, it's not like you could predict any of this stuff. But knowing the way people are here, you feel that this can happen. Anytime you get some wins and have a team that plays the right way, and does the right things on and off the court, Minnesotans are really ready to support you and show up. Not just as fans, but as a real part of it."


A lot of hard work has elevated this franchise, but a little good fortune helped along the way.
"When you go through a period of time when you're successful, some of it is luck, and some is timing," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "As they say, you have to go through some failure before you go through success."

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve曰く:”成功している時期を体験する時、幸運(のおかげの時)もあれば、タイミング(のおかげの時)もあります。彼女達が言うように、成功を体験する前に、失敗を体験しなければなりません”。

The Lynx won just one playoff game in their first 12 seasons. In the seven seasons since, they've won 41 playoff games. From 2011-17, they are 182-56 in the regular season. Minnesota is the standard-bearer, a franchise that players want to join.
Such was the case with Fowles, who sat out the first half of the 2015 season with Chicago to force a trade to Minnesota.
"They do things differently here, and that starts from the top down," Fowles said. "Everybody holds each other accountable, and that's something that I like. Everybody has a role and knows that."

Lynxが最初の12シーズンで、playoffの試合に勝ったのは、1回だけだった。それ以来7シーズン、playoffの41戦に勝っている。2011-17年まで、regular seasonでは、182-56である。Minnesotaは、旗手(リーダー)であり、選手達が加わりたいと思うフランチャイズである。
それは、Fowles−2015 seasonの前半に参加せず、Minnesotaへのトレードを強要した−にもあてはまった。

Obtaining Fowles, the double MVP, was a major move for the Lynx. But go back to the winter of 2009-10 to see how the stars really began to align. Under coach Jennifer Gillom, the Lynx were 14-20 and missed the playoffs in 2009. Seimone Augustus -- the 2006 No. 1 draft pick -- was the team's primary asset. Then, in just over a month's time, three huge acquisitions changed the course of WNBA and Lynx history.

Fowlesを得る事は、Lynxにとって大きな動きだった。が、スター達がどういうふうにして、本当に一列に並び始めたのかを見るには、2009-10年の冬に遡る(必要がある)。coach Jennifer Gillomの下で、Lynxは、14-20(の成績)で、2009年はplayoffsを逃した。Seimone Augustusは、チームの主要資産だった。それから、ちょうどその1ヵ月あまりのうちに、影響力を持つ3人の獲得が、WNBAの進路とLynxの歴史を変えた。

*On Dec. 8, 2009, Lynx general manager Roger Griffith hired Reeve, who'd previously been an assistant with Cleveland, Charlotte and Detroit.
*Six days later, the Lynx chose Rebekkah Brunson -- who won her fifth title Wednesday, more than any WNBA player -- with the second pick in the dispersal draft of the Sacramento Monarchs, who had ceased operations.

*Dec. 8, 2009、Lynx general manager Roger Griffithは、これまで、Cleveland, Charlotte and DetroitでアシスタントをしていたReeveを雇用した。
*6日後、Lynxは、運営を停止したSacramento Monarchsの分散ドラフトで、Rebekkah Brunsonを2位指名で選んだ。

"You could start to see the pieces coming together," Brunson said of her assessment of the Lynx back then. "I had played with [Augustus] overseas, so I was familiar with her. If I could have picked anywhere, I would have picked here."


*On Jan. 12, 2010, the Lynx finally were able to make the deal with the Sun that they'd long been working on to get Whalen.

*Jan. 12, 2010、Lynxは、ついに、Whalenを獲得するために、長い間、働きかけていたSunと取引をする事が出来た。

"The funny thing is, there were some fans locally who were saying, 'Oh, it's too late now, she's washed up,' " Reeve said, chuckling about the unwarranted pessimism in regard to Whalen, who was almost 28 at the time. "They thought she was at the end of her career then."
Then the Lynx hit the lottery jackpot with the No. 1 draft pick in 2011: future league MVP Maya Moore of UConn. Luck had its hand in that, too. The 2010 season was challenging for the Lynx, as Augustus was not 100 percent because of her recovery from a knee injury and abdominal surgery.

その後、Lynxは、2011年のドラフト1位指名権で、大当たりした:将来のleague MVP Maya Moore。幸運も、それに一枚かんでいた。2010年は、Lynxにとって、試練のシーズンだった。というのも、Augustus(の状態)は、膝のケガからの回復、腹部手術のせいで、100%ではなかったから。

Still, the Lynx had made a playoff push, but missed the last spot because they lost the tiebreaker to Los Angeles, as both teams finished 13-21. Reeve still recalls a blown defensive assignment in an August loss to the Sparks that could have flipped the script and sent the Lynx to the 2010 postseason and the Sparks to the 2011 draft lottery.

それでも、Lynxは、playoffの追い込みにかかったが、最終枠を逃した。というのも、同点決着の基準で、Los Angelesに負けた(両チーム共、13-21で終わった)から。Reeveは、8月にSparksに負けた時、吹っ飛ばされたディフェンスの課題を思い出す。(2010年8月に、負けていなかったら、両チームの)立場は変わり、Lynxは2010 postseasonに、Sparksは2011年のドラフト会議に向かっていたかもしれない。

Also, Tulsa had the league's worst record in 2010 and could have gotten the top pick if it had won the lottery. But instead, Moore ended up in Minnesota.
"I had no control over where I was drafted, but I went to a team that was on the cusp of greatness," Moore said. "I've been the beneficiary of having experienced, competitive, smart, poised coaches -- going from Geno [Auriemma] to Cheryl -- for the last 11 years now.

Moore曰く:”どこにドラフトされるかを私がコントロールしていたわけではありませんが、偉大な成果をあげようとしていたチームに行きました。私は、この11年間、経験があり、競争的で、賢明な、落ち着いたコーチ−Geno [Auriemma]からCherylまで−がいる事の恩恵を受けています。

"There are so many factors that go into dynasties and success over time. Some of it is being blessed to have the right people at the right time in the right place. But there's no question it's the people that are at the top. Leaders are the ones who push for things to be great."


But what if Reeve herself had not ended up in Minnesota? The Shock left Detroit after the 2009 season for Tulsa, and the new owners could have offered the head coach/general manager job to Reeve, who'd been with that franchise for three trips to the WNBA Finals and two championships. She acknowledges if they had, she would have at least considered it.

しかし、Reeve自身、結果的にMinnesotaに行かなかったとしたら?Shockは、2009 seasonの後、Detroitを去って、Tulsaに行き、新しいオーナー達は、監督職/GM職をReeveに提供(しようと思えば)出来ただろう。彼女は、そのフランチャイズと、WNBA Finalsへ3回旅し、2 championshipsを手に入れたのだから。提供されていたら、少なくとも考えただろうと、彼女は認めた。

"The team was relocating, and I was pretty attached to that group," Reeve said. "I would have felt probably a strong responsibility to be there for them though that difficult time, leaving Detroit.
"I can name three-four things from my playing career and coaching career that -- had they gone differently -- I might not be where I am now. Things have a tendency to work out."


The Comets won their four titles in consecutive years, as opposed to four in seven years for the Lynx. The WNBA's first season was 1997, and Houston won titles from 1997-2000. The first two years of the WNBA, a lot of the sport's professional talent was with the would-be rival American Basketball League before it folded.
This is not meant to lessen anything about the dominance of the Comets. But what the Lynx have done is add a rich, long chapter to women's basketball lore. One that they aren't finished writing yet.

Cometsは、数年連続で、4つのタイトルを獲得した−Lynxの7シーズンで4つとは対照的に。WNBAの初シーズンは、1997年で、Houstonは、1997-2000年にタイトルを獲得した。最初の2年は、多くのタレントが、競争相手となりそうなAmerican Basketball Leagueの一員だった。

"Chemistry is really important, and the management and coaching staff understands that," Brunson said. "It isn't just about your talent, but how you function together."
And as Augustus, the longest-tenured Lynx player, puts it, "We cherish every opportunity we have to step on the floor and compete for championships.


"It's heartwarming for me because I got to experience the good, the bad, and the ugly here. To see us where we are, with people actually saying we're a dynasty? I can remember the days when we were a laughingstock. Seeing the crowds here, talking to little kids who say, 'You are my role model!' I had the patience to wait to see if it would unfold here."



October 5, 2017
Aging Lynx core proves it’s still the WNBA’s gold standard

With a half-empty bottle of celebratory champagne at her right, Cheryl Reeve, sat at her postgame news conference Wednesday and contemplated what her top five players have meant as the Minnesota Lynx won four WNBA championships in seven years.
Reeve’s trademark ferocity dissipated and she began to cry.

半ボトル空になったお祝いのシャンパンを右手にして、Cheryl Reeveは、水曜日、試合後の記者会見に座り、Minnesota Lynxが、7年間に4つのWNBA championshipsを獲得した時、トップ5の選手達が何を意味しているのかを熟慮した。

“I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to just be around these guys every day,” the Lynx head coach said. “Most importantly about this group, we let each other be ourselves, and there is so much to be said for that. I’m not easy to be around. … (But) we’re in it for life, this group.”

Lynx head coach曰く:”毎日、この人達の傍にいて、どれだけ私が幸運だと感じているか言い表せません。このグループに関して最も重要なのは、私達がお互いに自分らしくいる事で、それについては、利点が非常にたくさんあります。私は、傍にいるのが楽ではない(近寄りにくい)人です。・・・しかし、私達は、命懸けで参加(関係)しているのです、このグループは”。

Reeve’s comments followed Wednesday’s Game 5 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks at Williams Arena, which secured Minnesota’s fourth championship in a seven-year run that cements the Lynx as one of the best teams in the WNBA’s 20-year history.
Their four titles match the now-defunct Houston Comets for most in league history and were earned mostly with the same starting lineup. Only Sylvia Fowles, the regular-season and finals MVP who joined after a midseason trade in 2015, wasn’t around for the first two titles in 2011 and 2013.

Reeveのコメントは、Los Angeles Sparksに対する水曜日の勝利の後に起きた(ものである)。それによって、7年間で4度目のchampionshipが確実なものとなり、WNBAの20年の歴史の中で、最高のチームの一つとして、Lynx(の地位)が強化される。
彼女達の4タイトルは、リーグ最多(のタイトル)で、今は亡きHouston Cometsに匹敵し、大部分は同じスタメンで手に入れられた。Sylvia Fowlesだけが、最初の2タイトル(2011 and 2013)で、(スタメンに)いなかった。

Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunson were part of all four, forming a core that rivals the Comets’ trio of Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson as the league’s best.
But the Lynx’s fourth championship didn’t just put them in conversation with the Comets. For another year, they proved that even with four starters 31 or older, they’re still better than the Sparks, who seemed poised to become the league’s next great team after they beat the Lynx for the 2016 title.

Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Rebekkah Brunsonは、4つのタイトルを全て獲得した一員で、Cometsのトリオ・Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompsonに匹敵するコアを形成していた。

“We’re deeper than the first five (players), but our identity is those five,” Reeve said. “And so I know that everyone wanted to do all that they could to put this team in position to do what they did, because the group is just so special. They’re so special. I just can’t even impart to you how special this group is.”


Can they do it again? The Lynx were already the league’s oldest team with an average age of 30.22. Next season, Brunson and Whalen will be 36, while Augustus will be 34. Fowles turns 32 Friday and Moore will be 29 next June.
The WNBA doesn’t disclose terms of contracts, but Whalen, Augustus and Fowles all signed multi-year deals within the past 13 months. Moore signed a multi-year deal in 2015.

再度、それは可能だろうか?Lynxは、(今年)既に平均年齢30.22才で、リーグ最年長のチームだった。来シーズン、Brunson and Whalenは、36才になる一方、Augustusは、34才。Fowlesは、金曜日、32才になり、Mooreは、来年の6月に、29才になる。
WNBAは、契約条件を明らかにしていないが、Whalen, Augustus and Fowlesは全員、この13ヶ月以内に、複数年の契約(延長)に署名した。Mooreは、2015年に、それを行った。

“I think every time you do this, it gets a little bit more special because it gets a little harder,” Whalen said. “And it gets a little more meaningful because you know it’s not easy, you know it’s not something that we try to take for granted.”


A year ago, it was questioned whether the Lynx would reach a fourth title with this core after they lost to the Sparks, a younger team built around 31-year-old Candace Parker and 27-year-old Nneka Ogwumike. Yet this Lynx team hardly lost a step this season, boasting the best record in the regular-season before celebrating a championship with a parade Thursday.


“You just don’t understand,” Reeve said. “I mean, I know that we have developed these expectations. I get it. And when you get the No. 1 seed, everybody just says, ‘Hey, you’re the No. 1 team, you should win.’ And I just can’t explain to you in words what it’s like to be those guys and to have to walk that walk every single day of greatness, of expectations every single day.

Reeve曰く:”あなたは、理解していないでしょうね。というか、私達はこの期待を高めているのだと確信しています。No. 1のシードを手に入れたら、皆、No. 1のチームなんだから、勝つはずだと言います。言葉では説明出来ないですね−この人達がいる事、来る日も来る日も、(口先だけではなく)きちんと偉大な成果を上げ、期待に応えなければならない事がどういうものなのか”。

“Now, they wouldn’t have it any other way, but it’s just incredibly draining, and every night we play, we get a team’s best effort – like every night throughout the regular season. This isn’t a case where we’re surprising people. And so it takes a toll on you. I just give them so much credit for their fortitude.”

”今は、そのやり方の方がいいのでしょうが、信じられない位に疲れるものです。プレーする度に、チームの最高の成果を得るわけですから−regular seasonの間、毎晩のように。これは、私達が驚異的な人達だという事ではありません。だから、犠牲を強いるわけです。その不屈の精神故に、私は彼女達をとても信頼しています”。



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