Coaches Reeve, Dunn downplay conflict

October, 19, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- A ho-hum Friday morning shootaround before Game 3 of the WNBA Finals?

Not exactly. Instead, the media were crowded around Fever coach Lin Dunn and Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve to play a couple rounds of she said/she said.

Dunn appeared to try to diffuse Thursday's comments, which appeared critical of Reeve for both her team's physical play and the technical foul the Minnesota coach drew after throwing off her jacket in protest of a technical called on Lindsay Whalen.

Dunn said Thursday that Reeve showed a "lack of respect" for the game and the officials and should have been ejected.

On Friday, Dunn said she wasn't criticizing Reeve but questioning why the officials didn't hit her with a second technical since she threw her jacket after receiving the initial call. Dunn also received a technical in the game.

"I wish I had been wearing a jacket," Dunn said.

As far as Reeve's halftime comments to her players -- encouraging them to go to the basket with their "elbow out" -- Dunn said she was just gaining an "understanding" of how the Lynx wanted to play.

"What I was commenting on was if that is how she is teaching them to play, then we have to understand that and understand how someone could get a concussion or an injury," Dunn said.

She said her team is willing to be "just as physical as [the Lynx] are going to be."

Dunn said she and Reeve are "great friends."

Asked if this will impact their relationship, Dunn said, "Oh, hell, I mean heck, no."

For her part, Reeve wasn't backing down.

Asked what she thought of Dunn's criticism, Reeve said she didn't read the comments and "doesn't give a hoot what Lin thinks about me or my players. We don't answer to her."

Reeve added that Dunn's criticism "seems a little bit to me as the pot calling the kettle black," especially since, Reeve indicated, Indiana is regarded as one of the league's most physical teams.

"After Game 1," she said, "we decided that if this was how it was going to be played, we were going to join the party."

Reeve had no comment on being fined by the league for throwing off her jacket, but said she has "no regrets."

Indiana guard Katie Douglas, whose injured left ankle has kept her out of the Finals, was not at shootaround and is not likely to be able to play Friday night. Dunn talked with Douglas on Thursday as well as her doctors, and she will be sitting for Game 3.

"There is a very little window of hope for Sunday," Dunn said. "But it's very little."

Jeanette Pohlen, who sustained what appeared to be a potentially serious knee injury in the second quarter of Game 2, was at practice, her left knee wrapped in a bandage. She will also be out for Game 3.

Neither Dunn nor Pohlen were specific about her diagnosis.

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith has covered pro and college sports for AOL Fanhouse, the San Francisco Chronicle and espnW.


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