Thorn Searching For Title No. 1

Mark Remme
Lynx Editor/Writer

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Mutual respect between Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve and guard Erin Thorn goes way back, long before either joined Minnesota’s organization.

While Reeve was an assistant in Detroit and Thorn was a sharp-shooter for the New York Liberty, Reeve couldn’t help but notice the threat Thorn brought on the floor. Thorn, talking with former Shock player Kara Braxton while playing in Turkey, learned a lot about the type of coach Reeve is and piqued her excitement for joining the Lynx.

Now, with Thorn joining Minnesota as a free agent this offseason, she has the chance to play with Reeve and alongside a veteran Lynx team coming off a season in which they earned something that’s eluded Thorn her entire career: A WNBA title.

“Any time a team can win a championship and bring back most of the pieces of that team, it’s going to be exciting for anybody whose ultimate goal is a championship,” Thorn said. “And I think that’s anyone’s goal who is playing professional sports.”

Thorn brings nine years of professional experience to Minnesota, spending six seasons with the Liberty and the past three years with the Chicago Sky. She brings additional veteran leadership to an already deep bench, a third ball handler that can also play off the ball and an intelligence for the game that fits in well with the team Reeve has in Minnesota.

But more than anything, Thorn is an additional threat from beyond the arc.

Thorn has shot better than .400 from 3-point range twice in the past three seasons and three times in her WNBA career. She connected on 39.5 percent of her shots from 3-point range last year, and since she’s been in camp Thorn has consistently shown she has the ability to hit from long range in volume.

“She’s a really good shooter—I was shooting with her the other day,” guard Monica Wright said. “She’s lights out.”

Reeve said it’s not just about Thorn’s impact when she’s making her shots, but also when she’s not connecting. She said Thorn isn’t afraid to keep shooting even on nights when she needs to work her way out of a drought.

“She’s got a great mentality—she’s going to shoot it if she’s open,” Reeve said. “She’s got the confidence. If she’s missing a couple, she’s still going to shoot it because that’s what she gets paid to do.”

Being thrown into a back court filled with a logjam of talent only makes Thorn more excited to be part of the Lynx organization. She’s one of three ball handlers—along with Lindsay Whalen and Candice Wiggins—and can also help out at the shooting guard position, only adding to the team’s depth.

Thorn said the Lynx have a depth chart filled with bench players who could start on other teams, and that’s important in a championship run.

She said she’s ready to fill whatever role is needed, and her teammates see her as being able to do just that.

“Erin is so easy going, it doesn’t matter,” Wright said. “She’s like a chameleon. You can throw her into any situation and she’ll fit right in.”

Thorn simply wants what her teammates already have. She’s made a pair of trips to the Eastern Conference Finals but hasn’t had a shot at the title.

This year, she hopes it’s a different story.

“I haven’t had a championship myself, so I want my first,” she said. “I know they’ve all had theirs, but I want my first.”

Day 3 Camp Notes

  • Reeve said the Lynx kicked it up a notch at practice on Tuesday, adding to the intensity and making the drills more game-like. She said they added more of their offensive playbook and are seeing the young players getting more confidence in the plays they put in on Sunday and Monday. “Probably tomorrow we’ll have more head-spinning,” Reeve joked. “After three days, the stuff we have in they’re not bad at, but we have a lot to put in. We’ve just got to stay on the go.”

  • Six regulars are still not at practice, but that will begin to change on Wednesday. Forward Maya Moore is scheduled to return, and between Friday and next Monday the full team should be back at camp. Those who are here are excited to have the rest of their teammates join them. “I miss them,” Wright said. “I can’t wait to see them. I think I’m going to jump on Maya.”

  • For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.