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Crystal Dangerfield arrived back in the United States on Tuesday. She was back at Lynx practice Friday. And Sunday she will see her first action as the Lynx finish their preseason with a game against Las Vegas at Target Center.

No rush.

"I want to come in and be as fluid as possible," Dangerfield said. "Especially at the point guard position, making sure I'm getting my teammates in the right position."

Dangerfield played in Israel during the WNBA offseason, winning her league's championship. That postseason kept her away from camp until now. With the regular season starting in a week — and with tremendous competition for a roster spot — Dangerfield needs to hit the ground running.

The good news? Having played a full season in Israel, she's in good shape. And she's been through two Lynx training camps before.

"I was just commenting on the joy of seeing a player in her third year,'' said Cheryl Reeve, the Lynx coach and general manager. "After having been overseas and had a good season, just the confidence that they come back with, and maturity. On her first day she's trying to get up to speed on everything that we're doing. But Crystal's Crystal. She gets places quickly. And, overall, I thought she had a good day.''

But it's a process. Dangerfield has to erase the playbook she's been working with overseas and get back to the Minnesota offense which, while basically the same as last year, has some new wrinkles. "It isn't a situation where they're like, 'OK, we're going to break this down for you.' " Dangerfield said. "You have to do it on your own, come in and execute."

Preseason finale

The final result of preseason games aren't that important. But, after a loss at Washington on Wednesday, Reeve expects to see some improvement in some key areas.

The first is shooting. The Lynx shot 29.2% while losing 78-66 to the Mystics.

And then? Defense. "Our defense was horrendous [in Washington]," Reeve said. "And so I hope that our defense is one of the biggest areas of improvement."

There are still decisions to be made on the roster. And not just for the final 11 that will have to be announced later this week. With Damiris Dantas (Lisfranc injury) still not practicing and with Kayla McBride due to miss the opening weeks of the season while playing overseas, the Lynx will be making use of replacement players at the start of the season.

"There are still a lot of opportunities," Reeve said. "That's what I told the players. In years past you might go, 'You='ve got no chance to make the team. Just have a good camp and we'll try to help you get somewhere.' That's not the case [this year]. We're really looking at anybody that's here, for some role. It might be now, it might be a month from now. It might be next year."


  • After missing the Mystics game because of leg soreness, point guard Layshia Clarendon was back at practice Friday. A right fibula stress fracture limited the end of Clarendon's season last year. When Reeve found out it was the same leg on Wednesday, she was admittedly worried. Clarendon had some imaging done on the leg upon the team's return to the Twin Cities, and it all looked good.
  • Reeve said Friday's practice was the team's best of the preseason. "Everyone came into the building with great energy,'' she said.