Reviewing Week 2 in the WNBA

May 30, 2012 12:44pm

Recapping the 9 games played since last Thursday as we extract a statistic or two from each game. Every team has now played at least two games. 3 teams remain undefeated in Minnesota, Indiana and Connecticut. Seattle, Tulsa and New York are still searching for their first victory.

Thursday May 24th:

Minnesota 92 – Los Angeles 84: 17 fast-break points for the Sparks, but only 1 FGA in the 4th quarter for Candace Parker (0 pts)

The Sparks led by 4 heading into the 4th quarter looking to hand the defending WNBA champions their first loss of the season.  LA’s ability to force turnovers and turn them into 17 fast-break points had given them a chance for a huge road win. In the 4th quarter, the Lynx turned their game up another level, as they kept turnovers to a minimum and the ball out of CP3′s hands outscoring the Sparks by 12.

Friday May 25th:

Connecticut 83 – San Antonio 79:  Game-high 23 points for Renee Montgomery, on 8-16 shooting.

Much was made about Montgomery’s move to the bench this season. She didn’t seem to take the news well, but maybe coach Mike Thibault is pulling the right strings. She came off the bench and generated some easy baskets for herself with her off the ball movement and use of screens. In addition to her efficient 8-16 shooting, Montgomery went 2-5 from 3pt, 5-6 from the free throw line.

Atlanta 100 – New York 74: 100 points on 88 Atlanta Dream possessions

Ask coach John Whisenant before the game if his team was going to win a game where Atlanta had 88 possessions and he would have told you his team didn’t have the legs for such a track meet. It was clear from the start that the Dream were going to have an easy time scoring as they played at a very high tempo. They finished with 46 points in the paint, in addition to 26 fast break points.

Indiana 83 – Chicago 72: 28 points off turnovers for Indiana

While Chicago made the biggest splash of the offseason with their acquisitions of Cash, Willingham and Riley, their Achilles heel from last season emerged again in their loss to Indiana. Chicago’s 24 total turnovers led to 28 points for the Indiana Fever, who Pokey Chatman would agree, don’t need to be handed any points. Despite a two point game with 7 minutes to play, the Sky were not able to overcome their turnover problems as they would never get any closer.

Saturday May 26th:

Washington 64 – Tulsa 61: Washington turned the ball over on 40.5% of their possessions

On 4 of every 10 offensive possessions the Mystics did not manage to attempt a shot. Tulsa played their high pressure defense and really bothered the Mystics down the stretch, cutting a 16-point 2nd half deficit to 1 with 4 minutes to play. Despite the Mystics turnover problems, Langhorne proved too tough to handle, as she recorded a double-double and Washington escaped with a win.

Los Angeles 99 – Phoenix 88: 17 offense rebounds for the Sparks

In a game with sizzling efficiency, the Sparks showed they had just a little more offensive punch to their game. In scoring 1.27 pts/poss (and allowing 1.14 pts/poss) Los Angeles had their way on offense, especially in the 2nd half. The Sparks came away with 17 offensive rebounds, getting a lot of easy shots and putbacks at the rim. Rookie Nneka Ogwumike showed off her prowess around the rim, as she finished with a career high 22 points, including 5 offensive rebounds.

Sunday, May 27th:

Indiana 78 – Atlanta 62: Atlanta offensive efficiency: 0.82 pts/possession

After these two met in a fast-paced game to open the season, the Indiana Fever put on a clinic in rebounding and transition defense as they forced the Dream to operate in the half-court for much of this game. Helped in part by allowing only 6 2nd chance points, the Indiana Fever held the Dream to their worst offensive output since July 9th of last season, in a game at Chicago, where they managed only 69 points on 88 possessions.

Minnesota 84 – Seattle 71: Seattle attempted 34 three-point FGs

Minnesota started the game with such a strong defensive effort that Seattle barely managed to attempt a shot each possession. Minnesota’s plan of keeping Seattle out of the paint worked as Seattle was forced into 34 shots from behind the arc. Ultimately the final score was closer than it seemed as Seattle connected on 41% of those attempts. For as good as Brian Agler’s Seattle teams have been defensively during his tenure, the Storm allowed Minnesota to score 84 points which is a scary proposition for teams visiting the Target Center.

Tuesday, May 29th:

Los Angeles 76 – Tulsa 75: Kristi Toliver sets a league record with 14 turnovers

Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg might not have a win through his first 4 games as a WNBA head coach, but he has transformed the Shock into a very difficult opponent that might be the most improved team in the league. Although the Shock suffered their 4th straight narrow loss, they made life miserable for the Sparks getting to the line 28 times, and forcing 28 turnovers. Half of those turnovers were committed by Sparks PG Toliver. Despite setting a league record for turnovers in a single game, Toliver sent the Shock to yet another loss with her game winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.



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