BEST LYNX PLAYER Minneapolis 2002 - Katie Smith
Even if the rookie-heavy, injury-hobbled Lynx didn't give fans much to cheer about in 2001, this first-team All-Star remains one of the brightest marquee players in the WNBA. In the midst of a 12-20 season, the hot-shooting forward seemed to smash a league record every week: single-season scoring (739 points); points per game (23.1); and single-game scoring (46 against Los Angeles on July 8). It's worth noting, too, that with 2000 Rookie of the Year Betty Lennox sidelined, Smith drew an inordinate share of attention from opposing defenses. Next season, with Lennox back--not to mention the continuing maturation of center Svetlana Abrosimova--Smith ought to get more open looks. What's more, her veteran savvy is the best reason to hope that the young, athletic Lynx squad will come into its own in 2002.