Hitting the Hardwood | Lynx Confident In Montgomery, Jones Stepping Up

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate

Last Friday, the Minnesota Lynx learned that Lindsay Whalen will be out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a fracture in her left hand.

Although you never want to see someone go through an injury, the Lynx are confident with a next person up mentality while their starting point guard recovers.

Two players that will be dealt the challenge of stepping up for their team will be guard Renee Montgomery and rookie guard Alexis Jones.

“I know it’s next player up. Whatever we have to do, that’s my mentality,” Montgomery said. “(Whalen) is my homie, they always say we have the one-two punch, so (her injury) hurt me a little bit. . . Like coach says, we have the mentality that we can fight through any adversity, so that’s how we take it.

“We are going to keep working through whatever comes our way.”

The two backup guards are more than capable of having an expanded role while Whalen is away.

Montgomery has been the leader off the bench for the Lynx so far this season, averaging seven points, 3.2 assists, 1.4 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 18.6 minutes per game.

Since Whalen’s injury, Montgomery has stepped into the starting lineup for Minnesota.

“You go down on your depth chart and other people get the opportunity to play,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “You have to adjust in terms of what your running and what Renee’s strengths are. There are different elements of her game that you can bring out that will help our team. . . Renee is battle tested, she’s been through it.”

Jones, who has spent the whole season behind Whalen and Montgomery on the depth chart, has had a limited role to this point in the year. The rookie is averaging 1.6 points and 0.5 rebounds in 4.7 minutes a game.

But, despite limited playing time, many are confident in Jones stepping up in a backup role to Montgomery for the time being.

“I always talk to AJ (Alexis Jones) all the time about being ready. You never want to see anybody go down and get hurt. . . Things happen,” Seimone Augustus said. “This is an opportunity for Renee to get a lot of experience under her belt to push forward as well as AJ. We’re going to need them. We’re going to need them for five minutes, 10 minutes, maybe 20 minutes. You don’t know.

“We always say we got each others back and this is just another opportunity to have that moment where we had each other’s back. It’s time for us to have Whalen’s back as she’s recovering from a broken hand.”

Big Night For Lynx On Friday 

Friday night will be a big night for the Lynx in St. Paul.

Minnesota will host the Los Angeles Sparks at 7 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center for the second time this season. Minnesota leads the season series 1-0.

The Lynx will also unveil their new logo at halftime of the game. Artist Dan Dunn will painting the logo live.

If you can’t make it to the game, be sure to tune in. That game will be aired on Fox Sports North Plus, NBATV and 106.1 BOB FM.