There were to games on the opening night of the 2023 WNBA preseason. The Minnesota Lynx too on the Washington Mystics, beating them 72-69. In the other game, the Dallas Wings took on the Chicago Sky, beating them 75-70.
There were eight rookies who played on opening night of the preseason with still more sitting out. Anneli Maley, the Australian energy machine did not see the court for the Sky while Lou Lopez Senechal and Stephanie Soares missing the opening night of preseason thanks to knee injury.
There were five rookies who made the court in the first game, one for the Mystics and four for the victorious Lynx. The Mystics played Elena Tsineke, the 20th pick in the 2023 WNBA draft for a total of 23 minutes. She was less than impressive, only scoring five points on 2-of-10 shooting, including 1-of-4 from deep. She had two rebounds, two assists, and a steal in that time but fouled out which says that she is still a step slow.
The Lynx had four rookies take the court. Bria Beal came off the bench for just under 17 minutes and had a plus four impact on the game despite missing both her shots from the floor and the line. Taylor Soule also came off the bench, making 2-of-3 from the floor for four points. She also collected three rebounds.
The Lynx started Dorka Juhasz at the pivot and she finished with a double-souble with 11 points and 10 rebounds in a very impressive debut. She was an efficient 4-of-7 from the floor and 2-of-2 from the line. She even showed range making 1-of-3 from behind the line.
However, the performance of the night went to Diamond Miller who had an amazing all-around game. She had 19 points on 5-of-12 shooting, including going 1-of-5 from deep. She made it to the free-throw line 12 times, making only eight of them. She has room for improvement in her shooting which is going to be dangerous for the rest of the league.
Miller also had five rebounds, two assists and a block. The more she finds her feet, the more the second overall pick is going to have an influence on the Lynx’s finishing position.
The Dallas Wings game against the Chicago Sky used less rookies
Despite the Wings having three of the top five picks in the 2023 WNBA draft, there was a lot less rookie action in the second game. Part of the reason for that is Soares and Senechal sitting on the sidelines due to injury.
Maddy Siegrist, the third overall pick of the draft played just under ten minutes from the bench. In that time she went 1-of-2 from the floor and 1-of-1 from the line for three points. Abby Meyers, the 11th pick of the draft played just over five minutes and missed her only shot attempt. She did not do much else to get onto the box score.
The Sky only played one rookie, Kayana Traylor for eight minutes. She missed both of her field goal attempts, including her only attempt from behind the 3-point line. She also collected one rebound, one assist, and one steal in a decent performance for the 23rd pick in the 2023 WNBA draft. She also did this before the game.
Check back for more rookie roundups when the Indiana Fever take on the Chicago Sky in the next preseason game on Sunday.