After a rough start to her rookie season, guard Kelsey Plum is starting to show everyone just what she’s capable of on the court.
Now this is the Kelsey Plum everyone has been waiting to see.
After spending the bulk of the season riding the bench, Plum has finally begun to emerge as the player everyone assumed she would be. She is a big part of the reason the San Antonio Stars are riding a three-game win streak, the team’s first since 2015.
Just during those three games, Plum has averaged 14 points and six assists. Plum had career-high 12 assists against the Washington Mystics on Friday and then followed that up the next day with a 23 point performance in an overtime win against the Seattle Storm.
On the season as a whole, Plum is averaging 7.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, still pretty far from Rookie of the Year material. That said, it is becoming more and more obvious with each game that if you put Plum on the court and let her play the way she is capable, she can accomplish amazing things.
Of course, it wasn’t always like this. Plum started the season with an injured ankle which is still healing and delayed her pro debut. And then there is the fact the Stars have a glut of talented guards on the roster, which includes Moriah Jefferson and Kayla McBride.
The idea before the season began was that head coach Vickie Johnson would use a three-guard lineup that would play to the strengths of each player. Unfortunately that never happened as Plum began the season injured, Jefferson has been dealing with knee issues off and on all year and Johnson has seemed reluctant to play all three guards at the same time.
Consequently, Plum has had few opportunities to get into any kind of rhythm on the court and really shine. But with Jefferson out again, Plum has finally gotten her chance and is making the most of it.
To put it another way, when Plum plays 30-plus minutes a game, the Stars are undefeated. When she plays less than that, they are 1-18.
You don’t need to be a genius at math to figure out that the more Plum plays, the better San Antonio does.
What exactly this means for the future of Jefferson and/or McBride with San Antonio remains to be seen. With the playoffs out of reach and a very deep draft next year, there is a very good chance Stars GM Ruth Riley will be making some moves to balance the roster in the offseason. If that means trading Plum or someone else, we will have to wait and see.
But it has become obvious that Plum really is as good as everyone thought before the season began. Yes, the year could have begun better, but if she proves half as good over the length of her career as she has been the last three games, the rest of the WNBA should be on notice.
Kelsey Plum has arrived.