Wright to back up three positions

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 18, 2013 - 6:31 PM

Guard Monica Wright gives the Lynx a quick, strong, versatile veteran. She can play three positions and be a spark off the bench.

hide

Monica Wright during game 4 of the WNBA Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis last season

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

A recent Lynx practice ended with an extended, intense scrimmage. Starters vs. reserves. It was fast, loud, competitive. And a little surprising too, with the reserves winning rather easily.

So what happened?

“Monica Wright happened,” center Janel McCarville said afterward. “I mean, she was unstoppable, coast to coast. I don’t think anybody can keep her in front of them. She kind of picked us apart today.”

Think of the veteran-laden Lynx. Three Olympians in Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore. McCarville, the newcomer. Rebekkah Brunson, powerful in the post.

But talk to the coaches and you get the idea that, in many ways, Wright could be one of the most important players on the team this season. The reasons? In no particular order: Her speed, which she has learned to harness; her strength, which sets her apart, and her versatility, which you will see a lot this season.

Candice Wiggins was traded away during the offseason, part of a three-team deal that brought McCarville here. That plus the team’s decision not to re-sign Erin Thorn has opened the door for big minutes for Wright, who will start the season as coach Cheryl Reeve’s main guard off the bench, both at point and off-guard. Wright also will play small forward at times when Reeve uses a smaller lineup with Moore at power forward.

That means Wright should see a big jump in minutes and opportunities over last season, when she averaged 8.6 points in 19-plus minutes per game.

“Every year I come in with the intent to make the team better, in any role coach wants me to fill,” Wright said.

But what if you’re asked to fill three roles? Reeve believes Wright is ready. As the second overall pick in the 2010 draft, Wright was forced into the starting lineup as a rookie due to injuries that slowed both Augustus and Wiggins. The past two years she has played mainly as a reserve, learning by both playing and watching. And there have been lessons learned.

Blend of talents

“You know, we used to tell her ‘slow down and be more under control,’ ” Augustus said. “Now it’s like, ‘Go and be you, Monnie.’ ”

She has learned when patience is a virtue and when to use her speed to get to the basket. She has made a case study of Whalen as a point guard when it comes to learning how to control the pace of the game. Put that together with her natural abilities?

“She can score a lot of points for us,” Moore said. “She’s strong, she’s quick. There is nobody like her on the team. With the ball in her hand, she’s so fast. And strong? She moves almost like a running back. She has learned to control it. That creates fouls. She will be one of our leaders in free throws.”

She will play both with the team’s reserves and starters.

“She has been in our minds, one of the most unique players in the league,” assistant coach Jim Petersen said. “There is nobody faster than her in the WNBA. She is a powerhouse, and she’s gotten so much more under control.”

So the Lynx believe Wright will do the WNBA what she’s been doing in practices during Lynx camp. “It comes with time,” Wright said, about the maturation of her game. “This is the best women’s league in the world. I just want to do what I do well, not go outside what I believe I can do. Just help the team win.”

Notes

  • related content

  • Lynx waive Jessica Adair

    Thursday May 16, 2013

    Roster now stands at 14

  • Lynx media day.

  • Minnesota Lynx Maya Moore spoke with the media during Lynx media day on Thursday. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ cgonzalez@startribune.com May 15, 2013, Minneapolis, Minn., WNBA, Minnesota Lynx

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Diego 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Detroit
Dallas 7:00 PM
New Orleans
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Vancouver 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Chicago 7:00 PM
Nashville
Arizona 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Carolina 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Columbus 9:30 PM
San Jose
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close