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

Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston 1 Top 4th Inning
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 0 Top 4th Inning
NY Yankees 0
Washington 3 Top 4th Inning
Miami 1
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Milwaukee - K. Lohse 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Arizona - V. Nuno 7:40 PM
Colorado - Y. Flande
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 8:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
Seattle - F. Hernandez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc
Tampa Bay 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 3 1st Qtr 3:41
(20) Kansas State 0
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close