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  • Writer's pictureKyle Flannery

3 Players in the W that Need More Playing Time

Updated: Jun 9, 2023


Aces Head Coach Becky Hammon draws up a play for her team during a time out

(Mike Kirschbaum—NBAE/Getty Images)


As we approach the quarter-way mark of the WNBA season, the dozen teams in the league are still optimizing their rotations in order to remain (or become) competitive through the summer. Whether making a playoff push or already thinking ahead to next year, these three players need to see more run for the overall benefit of their respective franchises.

 

Mercury guard Evina Westbrook sizes up her defender

(Sarah Stier / Getty Images)

1. Evina Westbrook, Phoenix Mercury G


In just her second season in the W, Evina Westbrook is somehow already a journeywoman. The former UConn standout has played regular season games for three teams in addition to being waived by Seattle, the team that drafted her, before the start of the 2022 season. With Diana Taurasi playing terribly inefficient basketball (35% from the field, -5.6 plus-minus) in the twilight of her career, it's time to see what Phoenix has in their other guards. Should the Mercury continue on their current skid, they need to cut into Taurasi's whopping 32.5 minutes per game and give them to the versatile Westbrook to set themselves up for success in the future.



Indiana Fever guard Grace Berger is defended tightly by Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum

(USA TODAY Sports)

2. Grace Berger, Indiana Fever G


After not seeing the floor in the Fever's season opener, Berger played just over three minutes in a 90-73 loss to the Liberty, Indiana's worst of the season. Subsequently, Indiana narrowly lost to the Las Vegas Aces, unquestionably the best team in the league, in a game where Berger logged 16 minutes and led her team in assists. The rookie out of Indiana is a plus defender, a gifted facilitator, and a crafty scorer with a killer mid-range jumper. If head coach Christie Sides wants to optimize the Fever's chance to be competitive in the near future, she should lean into her young core and carve out a larger role for Grace Berger.


Connecticut Sun Guard Dijonai Carrington throws a pass to a teammate

(Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports)

3. Dijonai Carrington, Connecticut Sun G


A combination of Natisha Hiedeman's inefficiency as a scorer and Connecticut's ageing core should pave the way for Carrington to see more run. Hiedeman is currently second to last in True Shooting Percentage (43.5%) and Effective Field Goal Percentage (40.0%) among Sun players who have played every game this year. Although Carrington doesn't sit too far ahead of Hiedeman (48.8% and 46% respectively), her play has warranted more than ten minutes per game. With DeWanna Bonner and Alyssa Thomas solidly in the back half of their careers and the Sun's championship window potentially closed with Jonquel Jones' departure to New York, it's time to see their young guns get more involved.

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