With all the signings of this off-season, does Sancho Lyttle and her style of basketball fit the current Phoenix Mercury setup.
By Matt Hallett
The Phoenix Mercury have had a busy time re-signing players. They re-signed Emma Cannon, Camille Little, Yvonne Turner and Dewanna Bonner. They acquired draft picks by executing a sign and trade of Kelsey Bone and sent Cayla George to the Connecticut Sun for draft picks.
The only experienced WNBA who has been added to the roster is Sancho Lyttle, a 13-year veteran who has played for the Houston Comets and the Atlanta Dream. In her 13 years, the veteran has accumulated a number of honors, mostly defensive.
Lyttle has been named to the All-defensive second team four times and the first team twice. Lyttle was also an All-Star back in 2009.
However, Lyttle is past her All-Star form, she is a veteran presence who will help shore up the sometimes leaky Mercury defense. However, the problem is, Lyttle does not spread the floor in a way which will help the future leader of the team, Brittney Griner.
During the playoffs last season, the Los Angeles Sparks were able to almost leave Camille Little open and double down on Griner. This strategy worked as Griner struggled in the series. Lyttle is a career 25.6 percent shooter from distance, making 40 of only 156 shots for her entire career.
Lyttle is not going to be asked to score much for the Mercury, the addition of Bonner will help in that regards. The aspect of her game which will help the Mercury the most is her rebounding. Lyttle is 12th all-time in total rebounds with 2,448 for her career. This has her in 19th overall in rebounds per game with 6.92.
Lyttle is also ninth all-time in steals with 605 for her career. This has her in 12th all-time for steals per game with 1.71. Her defense will create transition opportunities for this team.
Last season Lyttle averaged 6.4 points and 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Even after 13 seasons Lyttle is showing she can still work hard for any team she plays on. Lyttle will do more of the heavy lifting on defense.
This will in turn allow Taurasi and Bonner to take some plays off on defense. This will allow them to work harder on offense to try and space the floor for Griner to go to work.