Blog Archives

Summary of recent personnel changes in the league

June 5, 2012 2:55pm
By

As we enter our 3rd week of the WNBA season, we have seen a series of personnel changes as coaches and GMs have had some time to evaluate rosters and make some changes whether it be chemistry or injury related.

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

Atlanta Dream: Courtney Paris was waived last night, as the Dream signed journey women Jessica Moore. Paris’ fate was most likely sealed before the Chicago game as she did not play against the Sky, despite the game going to overtime, and Atlanta’s less than stellar bench.

Chicago Sky: Ticha Penicheiro is set to come back from injury after being out to start the season. As Nate Parham of Swish Appeal discussed today, Penicheiro has historically been a good distributor,  a quality needed for the turnover prone Sky. Pokey Chatman has explained that they did not want to rush Ticha back from injury and are taking it slow with the longtime veteran.

Connecticut Sun: No personnel changes

Indiana Fever: No personnel changes

New York Liberty: No personnel changes

Washington Mystics: No personnel changes

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE:

Read more »

Reviewing Week 2 in the WNBA

May 30, 2012 12:44pm
By

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. Read more »

Sparks Guard Sharnee Zoll done for the year

May 23, 2012 3:31pm
By
The Los Angeles Sparks have just announced that Guard Sharnee Zoll will be done for the remainder of the season with a tear in her ACL. 

“It’s unfortunate that Sharnee won’t be able to play this season,” Sparks Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler said. “Up until her injury, she was playing really well. We look forward to seeing what she can do next season.”

After a great season in Europe many speculated Zoll would compete for and possibly earn the starting point guard position. After not appearing for the Sparks in their season opener at Seattle, the status of Zoll became unknown. In her place has been Kristi Toliver who has lit up the Storm from the perimeter in 2 straight games, going 9-13 from behind the arc. While the Sparks have to be excited about a 2-0 start, this season ending injury is certainly a blow, as Zoll could have been a major contributor to the Sparks backcourt.

WNBA Opening Weekend Thoughts

May 22, 2012 12:05pm
By

The 2012 season is officially underway as there were 7 games this weekend. This also means the Minnesota Lynx have started their road to repeat as WNBA Champions.

It all started Friday night in Key Arena, home to the Seattle Storm and one of the league’s best home courts. Here was a team, partly in transition, after they sent Cash and Willingham to Chicago for their 2nd pick in this year’s draft. A still veteran team though, that added all time leading scorer Tina Thompson and great Euroleague big Ann Wauters, Seattle was hoping to maintain their high expectations. Hosting the Los Angeles Sparks under new coach Carol Ross, LA was hoping to turn around their disappointing results in recent seasons. The Storm came out on fire, getting Wauters a ton of easy post touches. While TT drained her NBA range 3′s, the Sparks were settling for and missing a series of mid-range jumpers. As the game wore on it seemed the Sparks had enough to get back into the game, but were suddenly staring at a 21 point deficit late in the 3rd quarter. Lots of ball pressure from the Sparks led to some Seattle TOs and easy run-outs, a barrage of 3′s from Toliver and some key baskets from Parker sent LA on a massive run which tied up the game late in the 4th and continued through, to the final buzzer.

Saturday’s card had 4 games on tap. It started early as the New York Liberty hosted the Connecticut Sun at the MSG. The Liberty enjoyed an 8 point halftime lead, due in part to the time they spent at the free throw line. Despite still trailing by 7 entering the 4th quarter, the Sun scored 27 points in the final period, capitalizing on a fatigued Liberty team who couldn’t execute on offense or get the necessary stops on defense.  Read more »

Top 6 2012 Draft Class preseason update

May 15, 2012 12:35pm
By
Pick 2012 WNBA DRAFT – ROUND 1
1 Los Angeles — Nnemkadi Ogwumike
2 Seattle — Shekinna Stricklen
3 Minnesota — Devereaux Peters
4 Tulsa — Glory Johnson
5 San Antonio — Shenise Johnson
6 Phoenix — Samantha Prahalis

A quick update on top 6 draft picks in this year’s 2012 WNBA draft and how they might factor into their respective teams this season.

1. Nnemkadi Ogwumike: The consensus top player on every team’s draft board moves down the California coast from Silicon Valley to Hollywood. Although WNBA training camps are brief, Candace Parker has already declared Ogwumike “one of the most athletic players I’ve played with or against in my entire career.” After the Sparks preseason game against Japan coach Carol Ross said, “Nneka is playing with a lot of energy and really uses her athleticism. She brings a real spark to the team.” This new Spark has now lead them in scoring in 2 of their 3 preseason games and logged the most game minutes. If she’s not starting by mid season I’d still imagine Ogwumike logging starters minutes and being on the floor in crunch time very early in the season.

2. Shekinna Stricklen: After missing the Storm’s first preseason game due to her commencement ceremony at the University of Tennesee, Stricklen came back to score a game high 15 points and play a game high 30 min in the Storm’s win over Los Angeles in their 2nd preseason game. While Stricklen won’t have the impact of Ogwumike, she will be expected to contribute right away with a very different Seattle roster this season. Don’t count out what playing for coach Brian Agler and with PG Sue Bird can do for a young player like Stricklen. Read more »

Minnesota’s final roster suddenly not so final

May 11, 2012 8:56am
By

Heading into training camps, the Minnesota Lynx were one of the teams with a roster pretty set in stone. They would keep their top draft pick Peters, add their veteran signing in Thorn and say goodbye to everyone else. That is until last night’s preseason win over the Connecticut Sun, where Amber Harris suffered a potentially serious ankle injury. Combine that with some inspired play from rookie Julie Wojta, in both tonight’s game and throughout training camp, and suddenly this Lynx roster might not be set. Many have speculated that Julie Wojta would probably land with another WNBA team if she did not make the Lynx, but Harris’ injury last night makes earning a roster spot with Minnesota a greater possibility now.

Mike Peden from the St. Paul Sports Examiner discusses this developing situation further. “Determining who will make the final roster for the Minnesota Lynx is no longer considered a cinch… Wojta’s inevitable conversion from power forward to small forward may tilt the argument to Harris, but with three Minnesota players participating in the Olympic Games in London this summer, a shorthanded roster to start the season could risk exhausting energy too early.”

A candid Trudi Lacey discusses tonight’s preseason game

May 10, 2012 2:13pm
By

Washington Mystic’s head coach Trudi Lacey discusses tonight’s preseason game against the Chicago Sky. “We got a couple things, under our belt, that we’re going to try. We really want to perfect our team defense, so that will be a point of emphasis.”

The Washington Mystics have undergone quite a change in personnel this off-season. They will be one of the more interesting teams to follow early in the year.

Part 1: Another WNBA installment of “Did you know?”

August 5, 2011 2:37pm
By

Part 1 of 2

We did a segment earlier this season where we shared some interesting statistics on the WNBA. We wanted to re-visit this idea and find some new interesting statistics and tidbits for each of the league’s 12 teams. Here’s is Part 1 of “Did you Know?”

Atlanta Dream: The Dream are the league’s 2nd fastest team ahead of San Antonio and Minnesota and behind Phoenix. What is interesting is that generally the faster they play, the worst they do.  In their 5 fastest games, all played with at least 86 possessions, the Dream are 1-4, -9 point differential. In their 5 slowest games all played at less than 79 possessions, the Dream are 4-1 with a +8 point differential.

Chicago Sky: Much has been said about the horrid 4th quarter performance by Chicago as they scored 1 point in the entire quarter to lose at New York by 10 on Thursday. While their 4th quarter efficiency was certainly the worst this season for a single quarter (if not the worst ever, which I think it was) their efficiency for the entire game was only the 2nd worst offensive output of the year.  Seattle’s 74-50 loss to the Sparks, in the 1st week of the season, takes the cake. While Tulsa has come close many times, they never dipped below a 70 efficiency.

Connecticut Sun: I tend to think of the Sun as very balanced and deep. While that might be true, Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery have each come up with big single game performances this season. Charles has recorded a 31 point game, a 23 rebound game which is 5 higher than anyone this season, including 15 and 14 rebound performances, and 5 block game. Meanwhile her teammate on the perimeter Montgomery, has recorded a team high 33 point game which included 6 3-pointers, a 10 assist game, and a 5 steal game.

Los Angeles Sparks: It is assumed that Candace Parker is really, really good. Possibly the best women’s player in the world. The Sparks only played the first 6 games (6.5 as she was injured in their game at New York) with her in the lineup. With her in the lineup LA went over 110 offensive efficiency in 3 of their 1st 6 games and held their opponents under 100 in 3 of their first 6 games. Since then that New York game, without Parker in the lineup LA has gone over 110 only once in 12 games, and held opponents to less than 100 in only 2 of 12 games.

Minnesota Lynx: Taj McWilliams-Franklin was the only Minnesota starter to not make the All-Star team, which might automatically designate her the most underrated player in the league. She leads Minnesota with 15.8 net plus/minus rating and has been crucial to the success of this Lynx team. While she isn’t lighting up the scoreboard, her veteran leadership and understanding of where to be on the floor is exhibited by her 3rd best net plus/minus in the league.

Washington Mystics: The Mystics might be suffering through a difficult season, but at least they know who they are, and attempt to play to their strengths. Relying on their front line of Langhorne and Anosike, with not much bench to speak of, Washington has played at the slowest tempo in the league. They also crash the boards as they have the 3rd most second chance points which in part explains why they have taken the 2nd most shots from the 1-5 feet.

In part 2, we will look at the remaining 6 teams in the WNBA.

WNBA resumes play for the 2nd half of the season

July 25, 2011 10:52am
By

After a back and forth game where neither team led by more than 5 points, the East defeated the West 118-113 in the 2011 WNBA All-Star game. After last season’s format pitting the USA National Team against the WNBA All-Stars (or the best players that weren’t already on the national side), the league returned to the traditional conference vs conference match-up. This game definitely showcased the amount of talent this league has to offer.

All but two teams return to action on Tuesday, with 5 games scheduled as the league begins the 2nd half of the season.

San Antonio at Washington: The Silver Stars will look to get back their shooting form displayed in the early part of the season, while the Mystics look to fight out from the bottom of the Eastern conference.  Washington has played better since Langhorne has been back healthy, but will have to contend with the deep Silver Stars bench to get this much needed home win.

Connecticut at Chicago: Two of the best young post players meet again in Charles and Fowles. The Sun look to turn their fortunes around on the road, while the Sky too have enjoyed better success in their home arena.

Los Angeles at Minnesota: The Sparks hope to turn it around on the road after two straight losses at home. The problem is they have to travel to Minnesota who beat them by 17 earlier this season, and that was with Parker in the lineup.

Atlanta at Tulsa: The Dream are hoping to find last year’s form, while the Shock are looking for anything but the form they have shown since last season. We could see some familiar faces back in their respective starting lineups if Sancho Lyttle and Ivory Latta return for this game.

Seattle at Phoenix: How much things have changed in the short season as these two teams met in Seattle to start the season. The Storm had Lauren Jackson then, while the Mercury were still looking for an offense of all things. Fast forward to tomorrow, where the Storm hope to slow down the leagues best offense without LJ, and turn around their road woes all in one trip.

The Atlanta Dream are slowly finding their identity

July 20, 2011 1:45pm
By

They were the consensus preseason favorite to win the Eastern conference. They added all-star PG Lindsey Harding, the supposed missing piece. They were coming off their 2010 WNBA Finals run. This was supposed to be the year it would finally come together for coach Meadors and the Atlanta Dream. On paper they had it all.

In reality, the Dream came into the season banged up and lacking a true team element. They have arguably one of the most talented rosters in the league, but are now only finding their identity.

Today Atlanta defeated the Mystics 86-79, lead by Angel McCoughtry’s season-high 33 points. One of the biggest reasons for the Dream’s slow start has been Angel’s injured knee which has kept her from playing at a 100%. After some time off with their recent schedule, it appears Angel and Atlanta have started to turn the corner. After the win against Indiana, McCoughtry said, “The team did great.  We have really come into our own.  We’re playing with great chemistry.  We’re moving the ball well and sharing it.  Everyone is out there playing well together.  It’s good to see our growth and we want to continue to grow and get better as a team.”

The player with possibly the most pressure has been Harding, whose offseason move to Atlanta was among the most talked about. After struggling to find her role as the point guard of a new team, Harding has been one of the reasons for Atlanta’s current 3-game win streak.  After the win over the Fever, coach Meadors said, “Lindsey played really awesome.  She controlled the game, the pace of the game. Even though we had a lot of fast breaks, she was leading in a lot of those situations.  And she distributed the ball really well to her teammates.”

Atlanta has been improving their play on the defensive end which has turned into more fast-break opportunities for a Dream team that likes getting out on the break. “We’re able to score off our defense and get layups.  I think if we can continue to play that aggressive defensively, than we can run and score off our defense. That’s the difference,” said coach Meadors.

With Atlanta still waiting on Sancho Lyttle to make a return, the Dream still have an entire 2nd-half of the season to live up to their preseason hype. I think this team still has time to be the darling of the Eastern conference that so many people made them out to be before this season started.

 

Injury Report