Stats: 26 games, 8.8 MPG, 3.3 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.1 SPG, 35.2 FG%, 32 3P%, 75 FT%
Season in a Nutshell: Uneven. It was an up-and-down season for the second-year guard.
A Deeper Dive: When watching games, you can tell something is there with Alexis Jones. There’s a reason why she was the No. 12 pick in the 2017 draft (thought to be a steal) and a back-to-back First-Team All-Big 12 nod.
But her WNBA career hasn’t gone as planned quite yet, and that’s not entirely on her. With the Lynx’s roster, they weren’t in a position where they needed Jones to excel right away.
Jones’ 2018 season had 11 games in which she played 10 or more minutes and 11 games in which she played five or less. Her minutes, and her play, were somewhat inconsistent.
“In the case of AJ, it’s two things. She played a lot early on. As we navigated our new situation at the point guard spot when Lindsay was not going to be in position to do a lot of the things that she did physically, that was uncharted for us,” Reeve said. “I didn’t love what that looked like. AJ was getting opportunities through that and we were 3-6. PER wise, and things that we look at, Lindsay was higher . . . A Tanisha Wright, the competitor and the willful player that she is, is something that AJ just doesn’t have yet. For some players there’s a disconnect on who’s fault it is on not playing. . . It’s now her time as we transition. She’ll get the opportunities to show us who she is.”
Needless to say, 2019 will be a defining year for Jones’ career.
Top Three Games:
3. July 15 vs. Connecticut
Coming off the bench, Jones finished with nine points, one rebound and one assist. Her shooting was on display, shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from deep in 10 minutes.
2. Aug. 12 vs. Seattle
Jones made quick work in this one, playing just six minutes. That didn’t stop her from putting up 10 points while shooting 4-for-6 from the field and 2-for-3 from the 3-point line.
1. July 13 vs. Las Vegas
Jones played a season-high 28 minutes in this loss and played solid, finishing with 10 points, three rebounds, an assist and a block while shooting 4-for-9 from the field and 2-for-5 from the 3-point line.
The one thing Jones can give the Lynx that they need is 3-point shooting. In her rookie season, she shot 37.9 percent from deep. Last season, that mark dropped to 32 percent.
As a team, the Lynx shot 36.8 percent from the 3-point line. That’s good and ranked second in the WNBA. But the team attempted just 19 per game, tied for last in the league with Los Angeles.
Jones can help out with that improvement if she can get back to around the 35 percent.
For a young player, a lot of playing time comes from just being able to do the little things. Jones needs to watch plenty of film, know where Reeve wants her, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Role in 2019:
We’ll see. Best-case scenario for Jones is that she is one of the first guards off the bench, along with Cecilia Zandalasini, behind a starting five of Danielle Robinson, Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore, Rebekkah Brunson and Sylvia Fowles.
It depends on how much Jones has improved in the offseason and what moves the Lynx make as well. With Moore and Fowles, there’s enough talent on this team to win a title in the next window. There’s a scenario where we see Jones as a rotational player and emerge as a playoff contributor. But there’s also a scenario in which she’s clawing for minutes like she did this season.