Kelsey Plum, the first pick of the last draft is struggling. We here at WNBA fan zone implore Coach Vickie Johnson to give her more court time.
As a rule, I tend to let WNBA coaches do their job. This is because they are much better at it than I am. However, I am going to ask Coach Vickie Johnson of the San Antonio Stars to give Kelsey Plum more playing time.
I understand professional coaches need wins, it keeps them employed but I think this season, wins are secondary to player development for the Stars.
Kelsey Plum had a great pre-season game against the Dallas Wings. She scored 19 points and all things looked good for the second leading college scorer of all time. Unfortunately on the eve of her WNBA debut, Plum suffered an ankle injury. This caused her to miss the first three games of the WNBA season.
Now, if you are a seasoned veteran, missing three games is nothing. You know your place on the court, your place on the team. Missing three games as a rookie is huge, especially the first three of the season. This team has the number two pick from last year, Moriah Jefferson, the number one pick from this year, Plum, and the number five pick in Nia Coffey.
Unfortunately, only Jefferson appears to be performing at the moment. Plum earned herself a starting role but has not performed well over the last two games, going scoreless in both. Last game, Plum was pulled off the court after less than three minutes and only saw about two more minutes for the game.
If the Stars were looking to make Playoffs, this may be understandable. Plum is certainly struggling. Unfortunately, the Stars are 0-10 and not looking like a win any time soon. Coach Johnson should put Plum and Jefferson on the court together. Yes I know they are both under 6-foot, but they need to work on their chemistry for the future.
Plum is showing an alarming lack of confidence in her game at the moment and the coach yanking her within minutes of tip-off will not be helping. Now that her ankle has healed, Plum needs to get used to the pace of the WNBA which is so much faster than college ball. Sitting on the pine is not going to help her there.
Plum also needs to work out how to play against opposition defenses. In college she could pretty much do as she pleased. College players could not guard her. In a recent interview I saw with Diana Taurasi, she said the WNBA was waiting for Plum. That is the difference for any rookie in the league. Plum is now coming up against professionals who study tape and can guard phenoms. It is their job, their livelihood. The only way to get through that is to play, Plum is certainly good enough to work it out.
Plum also needs the support of her team. In her first game against Dallas Plum was running down one wing, Moriah Currie was running down the other. The Stars player with the ball opted for a cross court pass to Currie to shoot the three. Currie hit the shot but imagine the confidence Plum would have got hitting a transition three in her first game. The village needs to support her. She will pay the support back in spades.
John Lennon sang “all we are saying is give peace a chance”. All I am saying is give Plum a chance.