2013 WNBA Season Previews: Minnesota Lynx

 

PG: Lindsay Whalen/Lindsey Moore

SG: Seimone Augustus/Monica Wright/Sugar Rodgers

SF: Maya Moore/Rachel Jarry

PF: Rebekkah Brunson/Amber Harris

C: Janel McCarville/Devereaux Peters

 

Significant gains: Janel McCarville, plus whoever works out from L. Moore, Jarry and Rodgers.

Significant losses: Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Candice Wiggins (and Erin Thorn’s gone too).

 

The 2012 WNBA Finals were a little bit of a rude awakening for the Minnesota Lynx. After a title the year before, and another dominant regular season (albeit with an occasional hiccup), the Indiana Fever crashed the party and outplayed the Lynx to take the title. But this is still a very talented team and losing the trophy they expected to retain should only leave them hungrier in 2013. They may just have to make a few minor tweaks to the juggernaut that rolled through the last two regular seasons.

 

The most obvious change this year is the departure of Taj McWilliams-Franklin. Mama Taj had to call it a day sometime, and she finally hung up her sneakers to join Bill Laimbeer on the sidelines in New York. Despite her advancing years, Taj was the anchor to the impressive Minnesota defense, always in the right place at the right time, and they’ll miss her. To plug the hole, Janel McCarville’s rights were acquired from the Liberty, and she returns to the WNBA for the first time since 2010. She’s a popular player in the area after forming a successful partnership with Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen back in her college days in Minnesota, and she’ll slide straight into McWilliams-Franklin’s starting spot in the post. McCarville isn’t the same calibre of defender that Taj was, but she has a more varied offensive game with good vision and passing skills. The Lynx will be hoping that those talents offset the drop-off at the other end. McCarville’s also not had the best of times overseas in the last couple of years, but she’s only 30 so there should be some solid basketball left in her yet.

 

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2012 In-Depth WNBA Season Preview: Minnesota Lynx

PG: Lindsay Whalen/Erin Thorn

SG: Seimone Augustus/Candice Wiggins

SF: Maya Moore/Monica Wright

PF: Rebekkah Brunson/Devereaux Peters

C: Taj McWilliams-Franklin/Jessica Adair/Amber Harris

Significant additions: Thorn (free agency from Chicago), Peters (college draft), Championship rings

Significant losses: Alexis Hornbuckle (‘trade’ with Phoenix), Charde Houston (‘trade’ with Phoenix)

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You know what makes sense when you win a championship and prove to be one of the better teams in league history? Bringing back everyone who mattered from that team, and going for the repeat. So the Lynx did just that. Early fears that Candice Wiggins might leave through free agency or that Taj McWilliams-Franklin might wish to move on to yet another team ultimately proved unfounded, so the top nine players from last year’s squad return in 2012. And they’ve arguably upgraded the remaining two spots. Injury, complacency, and the big bulls-eye now painted on their back are the only things that look like threats to stop this team from being just as good as they were last year. Continue reading

WNBA Offseason Overview/Preseason Preview: Minnesota Lynx

Current roster certainties and virtual certainties:

PG: Lindsay Whalen/Erin Thorn

SG: Seimone Augustus/Candice Wiggins

SF: Maya Moore/Monica Wright

PF: Rebekkah Brunson/Amber Harris/Devereaux Peters

C: Taj McWilliams-Franklin/Jessica Adair

Fighting it out to try to make some kind of impression in camp: Julie Wojta, Kayla Standish, Queralt Casas, and plenty of filler.

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This one’s almost as dull as Connecticut. When you waltz through the regular season 27-7, then drop just one playoff game on your way to the first championship in franchise history, you understandably don’t want to change much. They cored Taj McWilliams-Franklin just in case she might’ve been affected by another bout of wanderlust, allowing them to re-sign their evergreen starting center. Rather more surprisingly, restricted free agent Candice Wiggins was also re-signed, despite widespread expectations that someone would throw a large contract at her that the Lynx wouldn’t want to match. The offer never seemed to materialise, so Wiggins decided to stick around and go for the repeat.

The only players from last year’s squad that are no longer in Minnesota are Alexis Hornbuckle and Charde Houston, and considering they were essentially the 10th and 11th players on the roster it’s no great loss. Continue reading

WNBAlien 2011 Previews: Minnesota Lynx

PG: Lindsay Whalen/Candice Wiggins/Alexis Hornbuckle

SG: Seimone Augustus/Monica Wright

SF: Maya Moore/Charde Houston (I refuse to call her a power forward)

PF: Rebekkah Brunson/Amber Harris

C: Taj McWilliams-Franklin/Jessica Adair

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Head coach: Cheryl Reeve

Significant additions: Moore (duh), McWilliams-Franklin, Harris, a healthy Wiggins, and a hopefully healthier Augustus.

Significant losses: Nicky Anosike. Maiga-Ba and Hollingsworth are gone as well, but no one’ll care.

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Can you have too much talent? After stinking it up for so many years that they’re starting to rival the T-Wolves, the Lynx have assembled so many good players that it’s getting a little ridiculous. Continue reading