Blog Archives

Interview: Silver Stars preview with STL and HFH from SS Nation

May 22, 2012 10:00am
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Hot For Hammon (HFH) and STL are the owners of Silver Stars Nation and once again took the time to share their thoughts about the upcoming Silver Stars season.  The Silver Stars Nation forum has evolved into a site where you can find live chats during SASS games, an active message board, and interviews with Silver Stars players, coaches, and staff.

The Silver Stars started the season with a 88-79 win over the Tulsa Shock at the BOK Center in Tulsa, led by Sophia Young’s 20 points, Becky Hammon’s 9 assists, and some crucial 3-pt field goals from Shameka Christon off the bench.

How much improvement might we see from 2nd year players Danielle Robinson and Danielle Adams? I imagine this could be a year they both take a big leap forward.

STL – I think that DRob still needs to settle down some, she is so fast but also a little out of control. The pre-season game against Indy she had 4 PF’s and 7 TO’s… she can’t give up 7 TO’s in the regular season PLUS 4 PF’s and only contribute 4 points. With DA the key is keeping that foot healthy. She had issues last season with it and off and on her entire Euro season in Italy. So if she stays healthy I see no reason why she wouldn’t pick up where she left off.

HFH – From Robinson I’m hoping we some development in her court vision. She plays at such fast pace I think she needs to learn to slow down and take the time to see the entire court and use her peripheral vision. Last season she tended to only see what was in front of her and missed opportunities for a better play. I think/hope for some development in that aspect of her game. What I am hoping to see from Adams is her picking up where she left off. She showed she was capable both in the post and on the perimeter and she doesn’t lack confidence. I’d like to see some improvement in shot selection. And I hope to see improvement/dedication to her body. She is going to have to make some changes if she wants to avoid injury and last a full season. Read more »

Interview: Phoenix Mercury preview with SB Nation’s Kristofer Habbas

May 17, 2012 3:02pm
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Kristofer Habbas covers the Phoenix Mercury for SB Nation Arizona. He has been covering basketball for the past few years with Dime Magazine and shared his thoughts on Coach Corey Gaines’ fast-paced team from the Valley of the Sun. In his SB Nation season preview, Kristofer discusses how this year’s Mercury team, “with plenty of talent and new faces… will be one of the most interesting years in franchise history.”

Discuss the state of this offense without all-star Penny Taylor this season:

Offensively this team is going to struggle to replace Penny Taylor. They brought in Charde Houston to help some on the wing, but they have very little interior scoring with the current roster.  Alexis Gray-Lawson, and Houston will be adequate scorers on the perimeter to compliment Diana Taurasi. Plenty of options on the perimeter for scorers. The interior is another question, and the roster is not set yet to determine what options they will have down there.

What kind of impact can rookie Samantha Prahalis make? Do you think she can handle the PG position for an entire game?

Samantha Prahalis is a very talented passer and is gifted in the way she sees the floor, especially in transition. The running style of the Mercury will help her a lot in the transition from college to the WNBA. Her clear lack of strength will be a challenge for Coach Gaines to keep her on the floor. She was the smallest player on the court in the teams scrimmage against the Japanese National Team, and by a lot. With Gray-Lawson, and even the injured Alexis Hornbuckle on the team Prahalis will not need to play like an All-WNBA player this year.

Any players that will surprise this year or you expect improvement from?

Alexis Gray-Lawson will have a terrific year in the place of Penny Taylor. She is a scoring guard with great natural instincts. A lot of pressure can be taken off Diana Taurasi if she takes her game to the next level. Her scoring will allow Taurasi to be a play-maker at times and even run the point at times. Look for Gray-Lawson to make an impact as a scorer and potentially even a starter for this team.

Coach Gaines talked about wanting his team to push the pace even more after their first preseason game. Might we see an even faster paced Mercury team this season?

This team will run a lot this year – out of necessity. As mentioned a few times before this is not a big, talented team. Arguably the four to five best players on this team are perimeter oriented. Look for the Mercury to run and run often, which will highlight the team’s best assets, their guards.

 

Interview: Los Angeles Sparks preview with WNBA writer Sue Favor

May 13, 2012 1:43pm
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Sue Favor covers the Los Angeles Sparks as a media member. According to her blog They’re Playing Basketball she was “a founding fan of the Seattle Storm” and follows “the Lady Vols like a cult member.” Her outstanding work can be found on such websites as Sports Illustrated, Hoopfeed and Full Court. You can also follow her on Twitter @hoopism.

Sue was kind enough to share her thoughts and insights on what should be a new look Los Angeles Sparks team this season.

How do you think the chemistry of the Sparks will be early on with a new coach and so many new faces on the roster?

Carol Ross told me Wednesday (http://www.hoopfeed.com/content/2012/05/09/los-angeles-sparks-working-on-defense-as-roster-shapes-up-ross-makes-cuts/) that the team is still finding its identity. She has set the tone with her insistence on aggressive play and urgency every time an athlete hits the court, to the point where players are repeating her words in interviews. She’s got the team on the same page. Then the veterans set the tone on the first day by welcoming the rookies and giving them tips. The Sparks have got a huge head start on building chemistry this season, and in both exhibition games they’ve had so far, whomever is on the floor together is operating as unit.

What style of play will we see from the Sparks under new coach Carol Ross? 

Ross is very technical, and is a true teacher in practice. She also expects athletes to play very hard and never take a possession off. Both she and Sparks players keep mentioning the word “aggressive,” which is how they are playing their first two weeks. Ross’ third main emphasis is defense. She especially wants to bring sound defense to the Sparks, because she said they’ve been lacking it for a long time.

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Interview: The Examiner’s Mike Peden previews the returning champion Minnesota Lynx

May 12, 2012 8:46am
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Mike Peden covers the Minnesota Lynx for the St. Paul Examiner. Mike is a writer and video producer for TSB Sports and contributes written and digital stories in all levels of sports. His beats include the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher women’s basketball team and Twin Cities area high school webcasts. Make sure you head over to his YouTube channel where Mike has uploaded a ton of great interviews from Lynx Media Day. You can also find him on Twitter @thesportsbrain

Mike shared his insight with us on the Minnesota Lynx, and their high expectations this season.

With essentially the same roster coming back, after a year in which they won the title, is there anything different that stands about this year’s team heading into the season?

One preseason game and training camp isn’t enough to fully evaluate differences to last year, but you’re seeing a valiant effort from Minnesota’s bench players, almost as if they’re addressing rumors about chemistry and emotion before they ever begin. Many reporters, local and national, have noted how the second-string players could make a legitimate starting five on another franchise, and much discussion floated around whether Candice Wiggins would take her talents to another team where more exposure could be offered. Instead, Candice talked about how grateful she felt that Minnesota wanted her back, a feeling that echoed throughout the league as no opposing team even made an offer for her. Wiggins is on a mission to signal unity and good spirits with the reserves, hoping the term “Bench Mob” will catch on with Lynx followers on Twitter. So far, the effort to subdue any thoughts of egos overflowing is the major difference between this year and last year as they continue to navigate unfamiliar territory.

Recently, Coach Cheryl Reeve talked about her high hopes for Maya Moore. What do you expect to see in her 2nd season?

Maya Moore’s rookie season could be considered “average” statistically, but even when she didn’t do well, her presence benefited Minnesota. Moore was fifth in the WNBA last year in the overall plus/minus rating with a +12.1. The WNBA preview mentioned Moore fighting minor injuries with her legs in 2011, but if there is a second-year leap for the UConn prodigy, look out. Barring something fishy, I don’t believe we’re going to see Maya get another goose egg on the stat sheet in a game like she did against San Antonio in the regular season. Consistency is the biggest hurdle she needs to clear.

 

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Key dates for the 2012 WNBA season

May 7, 2012 4:35pm
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Some quick thoughts on the unique schedule this season with the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. These dates can be found on the WNBA home page linked below.

Key Dates for the 2012 WNBA season

Mon., April 16 WNBA Draft
Sun., April 29 Training Camp Starts
Sat., May 5 Pre-season Games Begins
Fri., May 18 Regular Season Begins
Sat., July 14 – Wed., Aug. 15 Olympic Break
Fri., July 27 – Sun., Aug. 12 2012 Olympic Games – London, UK
Thur, August 16 Second Half Schedule Starts
Sun., September 23 WNBA Regular Season Ends
Thur., September 27 Playoffs Begin
Wed., October 24 Last Possible Finals Date

WNBA Draft, April 16th: This date has obviously passed but rookies are finally getting a taste of the league as training camps have started. Their impacts will vary greatly, with some just hoping to earn a roster spot, while others such as first overall pick Nneka Ogwumike looking to provide a major contribute right away. She was the consensus top player in this year’s draft in what some have called a “one-player” draft. Tulsa’s Glory Johnson will have chance to play major minutes as she landed with the Shock. Ohio State’s Samantha Prahalis could be one rookie with quite a bit of pressure as the Mercury are lacking a true point guard besides her.

Training Camp Starts, April 29th: A lot of the coverage this week will deal with players fighting for the last few roster spots. While some rosters like Minnesota look pretty clear, others such as Tulsa and Indiana still have a lot of question marks for the last 2 or 3 spots on the roster.

Pre-season Games Begin, May 5th: 3 preseason games were played this past weekend with games every day this week. Nate Parham at Swish Appeal has some further coverage on the preseason’s first games.

Regular Season Begins, May 18th: The Los Angeles Sparks, with new coach Carol Ross will head to the Northwest, and face a veteran Seattle Storm squad in this year’s first game.

Olympic Break, July 14th – August 15th: A month long break will divide this year’s WNBA schedule into basically two different seasons. While they will all count toward making the playoffs this season, it’s going to be a very interesting  pre-Olympic and post-Olympic portion of the schedule for many teams.

2012 Olympic Games – London, UK, July 27 – August 12th: Many of the league’s best players will be on display. Team USA is stacked with a potential starting lineup of Bird, Taurasi, Catchings, Parker and Fowles.

Second Half Schedule Starts, August 16th: The 2nd half of the season could become one big question mark. Will the break be good for some teams and bad for others?  With so many of the league’s top players playing in Europe during the off-season, will those extra Olympic games result in injuries or tired legs down the stretch for a team like Connecticut? Also, how will the break help a team like Tulsa who should get Cambage back and some rest for other players? (assuming they are still in the playoff hunt?)

We are back for the 2012 WNBA season

May 4, 2012 7:54am
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We are happy to announce we will be back covering the WNBA for the 2012 season. While other jobs and commitments, did not allow us to provide coverage through the duration of the season, we look forward to the start of a new year.

 

 

The Silver Stars look to bounce back at home against the Seattle Storm

July 14, 2011 9:01am
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San Antonio started the season better than anyone could have imagined. They were getting quality minutes from their bench and rookies, as well as stars Becky Hammon and Sopia Young leading the way. Suddenly after a 7-1 start, the Silver Stars are looking at a 3 game slide.

Terrence Thomas’ article shares some insight into the current psyche of the Silver Stars players. “It’s not the end of the world,” said Silver Stars guard Jia Perkins. “We still have a lot of basketball to play. We’ve just got to bounce back. (Today) we’ll worry about Seattle, so we don’t have much time to fix anything, but we have to come into practice determined and just go to work.”

Meanwhile the Storm have been great at home but still will have to overcome their struggles on the road, playing without Lauren Jackson for possibly the rest of the season.

Nate Parham explains how the Storm held the Mystics without a single 2nd-chance point in Tuesday’s game. This article gives some insight on why this Storm team might be turning the corner.  ”The Storm showed the type of consistent intensity on the glass that helped hold the league’s best offensive rebounding team to no second-chance points. That alone could be considered a sign that this team is slowly hitting their stride after a slow start.”

Amber Holt returns for Tulsa tonight

July 8, 2011 5:04pm
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Jessica Lantz with Swish Appeal is reporting that Amber Holt is dressed and in the starting line-up for the Tulsa Shock tonight. She was expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a broken thumb. Also, Ivory Latta is not in uniform tonight.

The expected starting line-up is:  G Doneeka Lewis, G Sheryl Swoopes, F Kayla Pedersen, F Tiffany Jackson, and F Amber Holt.

The Mystics playing without Langhorne, lose at home to Seattle

July 4, 2011 7:54am
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The Washington Mystics were without Crystal Langhorne for Saturday’s loss to the Storm. Carla Peay of the Washington Times writes how rookie Victoria Dunlap shined in her absence, but it was still not enough as the Mystics fell 73-63. Coach Lacey was happy about the defense, but noted they did not do enough offensively.

Sancho returns for the Dream, as Mazzante is waived

July 3, 2011 1:05pm
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The Atlanta Dream announced today that Sancho Lyttle will rejoin the team, after playing for Spain in EuroBasket Women 2011, a qualifying tournament for the 2012 Olympics.

Mazzante appeared in six games for the Dream, averaging 5.7 minutes per game. She was signed by the Dream on June 6, 2011.

Injury Report