With the regular season behind in the rearview and teams now competing in the 2020 WNBA Playoffs, it’s finally time to distribute some season awards. Although the WNBA’s awards have yet to be announced, the Associated Press have released their winners for the awards, and three members of the Minnesota Lynx are featured.
It should come as no surprise that for their Rookie of the Year, the Associated Press voted Crystal Dangerfield as their recipient. After being drafted 16th overall, Dangerfield has made sure to let every team that passed on her know that it was a mistake. She not only played in 21 of the 22 games the regular season; she started in 19 of them. No. 2 ended the season not only leading the team with 16.2 PPG, but leading all rookies with 341 total points. Dangerfield may not have been a frontrunner at the beginning of the season, but she most definitely stated her case with her strong play over the course of the season. If she were to be named the 2020 WNBA Rookie of the Year, she would be the lowest draft pick ever to earn the prestigious award.
Leading the way to Minnesota’s tenth consecutive playoff appearance, Head Coach and General Manager Cheryl Reeve was named the Associated Press’s 2020 Coach of the Year. Not only did the roster look different than previous years, with Sylvia Fowles being the only returning player from Lynx’s dynasty era, but the team was faced with adversity from the start: Minnesota guard Odyssey Sims missed the beginning part of the season after giving birth to her son in April, the team lost Karima Christmas-Kelly to an Achilles injury in the second game of the season, while Fowles only played in seven games this year due to a strained calf. Lexie Brown missed a number of games due to concussion protocol. Despite the obstacles, Reeve still managed to rack up a winning record and lead her team to the fourth seed going into the WNBA playoffs.
Lastly, Napheesa Collier was named to the All-WNBA Second Team by the Associated Press. After earning Rookie of the Year last year, Collier started this season by being named team captain. In her second year with the Lynx, Collier led the league with 752 minutes played, and is in the top ten for scoring with 355 points and is second overall in rebounds with 199. Collier has been the leader on the court for Minnesota this year after losing her fellow team captains due to injury.