2017 WNBA Preview: Minnesota Lynx depth key to redemption

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 20: Seimone Augustus
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 20: Seimone Augustus /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – May 1: Plenette Pierson
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – May 1: Plenette Pierson /

Most of last year’s team remains intact, including the entire starting five. Joining them in 2017 is Plenette Pierson, a 14-year veteran who signed to Minnesota as a free agent. Pierson rarely appears on league leader boards, but the 35-year-old has offered a steady hand throughout her career.

Naturally, Pierson is pleased that she won’t have to scout against the vaunted Lynx lineup. Upon her arrival, she was impressed by their strong cohesion.

“It actually feels like I’ve been on this team for 10 years. The vibe in here is just great,” she told The Summitt. “They’re thinking about the next move before the next move even happens, and I want to be a part of it.”

ATLANTA, GA – JULY 22: Plenette Pierson
ATLANTA, GA – JULY 22: Plenette Pierson /

Over the last two years with the Shock/Wings organization, Pierson increased her frequency of three-point attempts. Her accuracy behind the arc last year was a pedestrian 33.7 percent, but her willingness to shoot the three could open up some space when she is on the floor. Another asset for Pierson is her free throw shooting, going above 80 percent in each of the last three seasons. With the Lynx starters locked in, Pierson will come in as a reserve, but her experience could blend in nicely with the burgeoning Natasha Howard.

“I’m looking forward to setting screens for all these young ladies,” Pierson said. “I’m willing to do anything for this team. If that means I go and I play five minutes and I get five fouls in five minutes, oh well, that’s what I had to do to frustrate the other opponent and help my team win.”

Pierson and Reeve have some familiarity from their time in Detroit, winning two WNBA titles there. Reeve was an assistant coach then, but from Pierson’s point of view, a change in title hasn’t changed how Reeve handles players.

“She pushes me. You always want a coach that’s going to push you as hard as you possibly can, even when you think you can’t go anymore, and that’s what she does,” Pierson said.