July 20, 2023 

1-on-1: Diamond Miller talks draft night and rookie season in Minnesota

'I think the pace of play is pretty much the same for me'

ATLANTA – Minnesota Lynx rookie wing Diamond Miller, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, is heading up a new, retooling period in Minnesota, alongside star forward Napheesa Collier. Miller’s rookie season started off rocky, missing eight straight games with a right ankle sprain after suffering an injury in the second quarter of the Lynx’s 94-89 loss against the Dallas Wings on May 30. Miller is averaging 12.1 points and 3.9 rebounds on 40.4% shooting from the field in 14 games of action so far, flashing her unique combination of length, footspeed and coordination at 6’3.

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“[Miller] is exactly what we thought she would be — she’s contributing to a team that is rising right now and her athleticism is super special,” Atlanta Dream head coach Tanisha Wright told The Next. It seems like [Lynx head coach and president of basketball operations Cheryl Reeve] is allowing her to play through rookie mistakes and because of that, she is only going to continue to improve.”

On July 18, we sat down with Miller for the first installment of our new Q&A series, spotlighting the league’s young, up-and-coming stars.

Q: Take me back to draft night, did you have a good idea that you’d end up in Minnesota? What was that thought process like for you?

Miller: I had an idea because I had a call with Coach [Reeve] and she told me it was between me and another person, so I was just like, if they pick me, they pick me, if they don’t, they don’t. Obviously, on draft night, you don’t know. I had speculations, but you don’t know for sure until your name is called.

Q: One thing you’ll hear a lot with rookies coming into the WNBA is the pace of play, so how do you feel like your time at Maryland, playing in Brenda Freese’s up-tempo offense, transition-heavy offense prepared you for the next level?

Miller: I think the pace of play is pretty much the same for me, just, sometimes I feel like teams inbound the ball faster, but overall, the hardest part has been the other stuff.

Q: So what you do feel has been the biggest learning curve for you in your rookie season?

Miller: Defense and finishing at the rim against a lot of length.

Q: And with your finishing style, how do you feel like that has translated and has it posed any difficulties for you?

Miller: A little bit, more of the scoop [finishes], and defenders are more athletic now and can read it, so just finishing through contact is something I definitely need to work on to develop my game into something better.

Q: What is your film-watching process like? How much are you focused on that side of things?

Miller: It’s a lot of film watching. I’m constantly watching film and constantly watching for ways to get better because there are so many games and only so much work I can do afterward. I’m trying to balance when to get into the gym and when to watch film because the season goes by so fast.

Q: What has been your favorite road WNBA city to visit so far, based on the atmosphere and stuff like that?

Miller: I’m not going to lie, this is my first time here [playing Atlanta] and this is probably one of the top ones so far. I mean, the crowd was amazing tonight.

Q: What is your go-to pregame meal?

Miller: Go-to pregame meal, something like spaghetti or pasta with red sauce — a lot of carbs.

Q: Who is your funniest teammate?

Miller: It has to be Tiffany [Mitchell], she’s pretty funny.

Q: Lastly, what is one word to describe your game on the court?

Miller: Hardworking.

Written by Hunter Cruse

Hunter Cruse covers the Atlanta Dream and the WNBA Draft for The Next.

1 Comment

  1. RM Williams on July 22, 2023 at 11:53 am

    By this time next season, if not sooner, every one of Miller’s rookie mistakes will belong to the past. Miller will become a scoring machine. And when the Lynx have a point guard that can do with Dorka Juhász what Caitlin Clark did with Monika Czinano, look out. Of course, when the Lynx stop giving up so many 3s and start making more of them, well, they will become a formidable team. I predict big changes next season, with more than a few new faces.

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