In 1991, Kirby Puckett told his teammates prior to game six of the World Series to "climb on my back". Puck delivered with an amazing catch in center field, he then won the game in extra innings with a dramatic walk off home run.
By everyone's account, Maya Moore struggled in game one. Looked upon as one of the leaders of the Lynx, she never seemed to get going against the Fever. Moore shot just four of 14 from the floor, turned the ball over three times and picked up five fouls in the Lynx game one loss at home.
Head coach Cheryl Reeve said in her postgame press conference that Moore isn't the same player when she picks up early fouls. That statement was gone over with a fine tooth comb in the 36 hours since.
"There is no question; I've seen that from day one since she walked in here. I was worried for her, because I know how hard this league is and I also know how far Maya has to go to refine her game," said Reeve. "She is obviously a terrific player, there is no doubt about it, but there is expectation for her to do everything, be everything."
Fair or not, she is a game changing dynamic player that regardless if she has picked up one foul or five needs to produce. Moore has won at every level she has played.
The greatest players have that pressure, understand it and thrive under it.
If the Lynx are going to win game two, let alone repeat, Moore needs to step up her game. That is the pressure that is squarely on the first overall selection in the 2011 WNBA draft.
Tomorrow night Moore's mission is simple.
Walk into the locker room and look her teammates in the eyes and say "climb on my back tonight, I've got this one."