Roster Review | Natasha Howard

F | 6-2, 171 lbs

2016 season: 34 games, 1 start, 6.7 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.7 BPG, 57.4 FG%, 20.0 3P%, 67.7 FT%

In 2016, Natasha Howard concluded her first season with the Minnesota Lynx and her third season in the WNBA.

Howard was selected by the Indiana Fever with the No. 5 pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft. She spent two seasons with the Fever before being a part of a sign-and-trade deal that sent her to Minnesota prior to the 2016 season.

The 25-year-old Ohio native, who has made two straight WNBA Finals appearances, served as one of the key contributors off the bench for the Lynx a season ago, averaging over 14 minutes a game while appearing in 34 games during the season.

In her third season in the league, Howard ranked seventh on the team in points (6.7 per game), fourth in rebounds (3.6), second in blocks (0.8) and second in field goal percentage (57.4).

Howard will kick off her fourth WNBA season in 2017. The Lynx open up the season on May 14 against the Chicago Sky at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Top Three Games Of The Season

3.) July 9 vs. Dallas Wings

In the 93-56 win over the Dallas Wings at Target Center, Howard recorded a near double-double of 12 points and nine rebounds in 20-plus minutes off the bench. She shot 5-of-7 from the field and went 2-for-4 from the free throw line. 

2.) Oct. 2 at Phoenix Mercury

In the 82-67 win over the Phoenix Mercury in a series-clinching Game 3 of the WNBA playoff semifinals, Howard had a nice all-around game for Minnesota. She finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists in 27-plus minutes off the bench. Howard shot 8-for-11 from the field and went 1-for-1 from the free throw line.

1.) July 2 vs. San Antonio Stars

In the 91-68 win over the San Antonio Stars at Target Center, Howard had a game-high and season-best 21 points and four rebounds to lead the Lynx. She shot 9-of-14 from the field and went 3-for-5 from the free throw line. In 23 minutes off the bench, Howard recorded a plus/minus of plus-16.

Offseason Plans

Howard is spending the offseason overseas in South Korea playing for Samsung Blue Minx.

In 17 games this offseason, she is averaging 15.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. Howard, who is playing 25-plus minutes per game, is shooting 47.4 percent from the field, 23.5 percent from three and 73.6 percent from the free throw line.

Role For 2017?

In 2016, Howard was one of the key pieces coming off the bench for the Lynx. She was a part of a post rotation that also included Sylvia Fowles, Rebekkah Brunson and Janel McCarville.

Howard showcased her ability to be a quality contributor on both ends of the floor for Minnesota. This season, look for Howard to again provide Minnesota with that spark and depth coming off the bench.