Tue 10 Jul 2012
While the Minnesota Lynx have been scuffling a bit lately, losing three straight before today’s victory at Tulsa, they still sit fairly comfortably atop the Western Conference and hold the WNBA’s best record. The defending champs remain the team to beat.
Reserve guard Erin Thorn has had a great view of it all. The 10-year veteran spent six years in New York and the last three in Chicago before signing a free agent contract with the Lynx in February. Acting as the third point guard behind Lindsay Whalen and Candice Wiggins, Thorn’s minutes have been sparse, but as a competent, competitive professional she stays ready to go if her number is called.
The 31-year-old and I discussed a variety of topics following practice last week.
DZ: You guys are pretty close to the midway point (of the season), what are your impressions so far?
THORN: We’ve had good moments and we’ve had bad moments. We’ve talked about it several times; we are not where we want to be, but we are working toward it and that’s always a good thing. We recognize there is room for improvement and we just have to continue to work on those things.
DZ: When you lose a game like you did the other day, when are winning this much, is it hard not to keep perspective on (the loss) and not overreact to that?
THORN: Yeah (laughs), whether you have 13 wins or not, a loss hurts and it’s a good time for us to reflect and look back and say “You know what, yeah we’ve been winning, but we haven’t been playing well even when we’ve been winning.” The losses magnify things, but it’s a good time for us to reflect and it will probably help us progress.
DZ: You were a free agent last winter, what made you decide to come here?
THORN: A chance to win a championship. I don’t think you can pass that up. They are hard to come by and this team, with the talent we have, have a big opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done (for 10 years), a repeat and I have an opportunity to get my first. It’s exciting.
DZ: Obviously this team has a loaded roster and you’re not getting a lot of minutes, how much more important does that make the practices?
THORN: It’s always important, whether you are playing or not. This is professional athletics and you have to always keep yourself ready, you never know when somebody is going to get hurt – nobody wants that, but things happen. You always have to stay ready because you never know when your number is going to be called…it’s like any other job, you have to do your part for the team.
DZ: You did some coaching at BYU (her alma mater) in the past, is that something you could see yourself doing in the future?
THORN: Yeah. Anything around the sport, whether it’s coaching or like a personal trainer-type individual – one-on-one type stuff. Just to be around the sport would be an amazing opportunity.
DZ: You’ve played with Becky Hammon in New York and now Lindsay Whalen, two of the best point guards probably ever, what’s the same and what’s different about those two?
THORN: They are both crafty, especially off pick-and-roll situations. Lindsay is great at using her body, Becky’s great at attacking help defenders and being creative and they are good at keeping their dribble through traffic. Differences: like I said, Lindsay’s size helps her when she gets down in that lane with the contact, Becky has to rely on more floater-type situations – she is really good at kicking out and finding shooters. They have a lot of similarities in their games and they are both great point guards.
DZ: One last thing, I noticed your shoes are a little different – low top shoes – they almost look like tennis shoes. Are they tennis shoes?
THORN: They are actually tennis shoes. I always wear a low, between a tennis and a basketball (shoe), there is not much difference. A lot of the movement is the same – lateral and the forward – so support wise they are very similar.
DZ: Do you like the added ankle flexibility?
THORN: I do. My ankle bones are really boney, so if I wear a high, they usually seem to rub and I get little sores on my ankle bones.
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