The Minnesota Lynx season wrapped up earlier this week with a first round loss to the Connecticut Sun. Though the Lynx had a chance to surprise the higher seeded team in the first round, it was still a bit of a sour note after an unexpectedly successful season. Our Mitchell Hansen did a great job examining the year in full here.
That said, we still got some wonderful news that broke this morning.
Napheesa Collier wrapped up a spectacular fifth season (fourth if you remove her brief four-game stint last year) by garnering attention from national pundits with her exceptional performance on the court. It was clear that Collier was Minnesota’s
only most effective weapon on the offensive end in the postseason, being the only player to score double-digits in each playoff game. Despite carrying that load, she still defended at a high level.
That series was a microcosm of what Phee contributed all season long.
Some people tried to discount Collier’s defensive contributions, but when it was all said and done, she rightfully earned her second All-Defensive Team selection, becoming just the fourth player in Lynx history with multiple selections (Fowles, Brunson, Moore). The counting stats were there, finishing 6th in total steals, 13th in total blocks, and 15th in defensive win shares. Above all else, she had to anchor a Minnesota defense that lost a multiple-time Defensive Player of the Year, Sylvia Fowles.
The young Lynx team, that dealt with significant injuries all season long, understandably struggling to defend at a macro level. They finished 10th out of 12 teams in defensive rating with an expected 14-26 Pythagorean win-loss record. They still finished 19-21. Those additional five wins are directly correlated to Phee’s team-high 5.2 total win shares (12th in the league).
The soon-to-be 27-year-old superstar is just beginning to peak. Many are expecting Collier to lasso in her second All-WNBA Team selection soon as well, whether that is a First Team or, at minimum, a Second Team spot. Phee won’t be pumping her brakes anytime soon either, as our Jack Borman reported via her teammate, Kayla McBride, that Collier may be joining McBride in Turkey for her first overseas campaign.
Kayla McBride broke some news for us:— Jack Borman (@jrborman13) September 21, 2023
Napheesa Collier is joining K-Mac at Fenerbahçe in Istanbul for part of the offseason