Unsurprisingly, the Lynx aren’t quite ready for Erlana Larkins’ run in Minnesota to end. The team announced on Monday that they have signed the 6’2 forward through the remainder of the 2018 season.
Larkins has averaged 1.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 13.1 minutes in four games with the Lynx this season and has been an important facilitator and defender for the team in that time.
What has been probably the most important factor in Larkins’ short-but-effective tenure with the Lynx is her ability to spell forward Rebekkah Brunson. Brunson has led the team in minutes in several key games this season. Her rebounding, hustle and energy have been extremely difficult to find in the few minutes where she manages to get some rest.
That’s where Larkins comes in. Larkins is an incredibly talented screener who gets other players the ball in great positions to score. She’s also a very intense defensive player who bothers her opponents incessantly on and off the ball. That energy on the defensive end helps keep the Lynx afloat when Brunson is on the bench, even though Larkins is not as effective of a rebounder as Minnesota’s starting power forward.
Additionally, Larkins provides a stable veteran locker room presence that will certainly come in handy down the stretch. The Lynx aren’t short veteran leaders, but having another player on the roster who has been a part of a deep playoff run (and won a finals series, Indiana in 2012) can only help the Lynx’s culture.
Larkins probably won’t see major minutes every night, but she has the ability to make an instant impact without needing a ton of time to get in rhythm. Don’t be surprised if she has some big moments for Minnesota down the stretch.