Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Lynx are tied for the WNBA’s best record having gone 8-0 to start the 2016 season. One key element to the 2015 defending WNBA Champions’ success thus far has been the play of two newcomers on their bench.
Forward Natasha Howard and guard Jia Perkins have given the Lynx extremely valuable minutes off of the bench this year and look to already be in mid-season form.
Howard, who the Lynx acquired from the Indiana Fever, is averaging 4.9 points, three rebounds and a block in only 12 minutes of play per game. The 24-year-old out of Florida State University is also shooting an impressive 61.5 percent from the floor.
Perkins, who Minnesota traded for on draft day, struggled slightly in her first couple of games with the Lynx, but has come on strong as of late, scoring 11 points in their victory against the Mercury on Tuesday night. The 12-year veteran is averaging 5.5 points and a steal per game.
“We’ve been pretty good to this point regardless of who we’ve been playing,” Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We’re just locked in. Zeroed in on what we need to do to win. Their energy, it’s just a really cool energy across the board with all 11 players, it’s just something that you feel, when you come out of training camp you kind of go, ‘this is a good group.’ Health is a big reason as well, they’re all feeling good.”
With the season a long way from over, look for Howard and Perkins to only get more comfortable in the Lynx system and to continue to improve their chemistry with the rest of the squad.
Don’t miss the opportunity to catch these two crucial bench players in action on Friday night when Minnesota travels to Atlanta to battle the Dream. Be sure to tune-in at 6:30 p.m. on Fox Sports North Plus or 106.1 BOB FM to soak in the game.