WNBA

Three of five ESPN experts predict Phoenix to win it all

May 20, 2013 2:52pm
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Kate Fagan, Rebecca Lobo and Michelle Smith all think that Brittany Griner and Diana Taurasi will lead the Phoenix Mercury to a WNBA Championship. The other experts, Andrew Lovell and Mechelle Voepel gave the nod to the Minnesota Lynx.

Griner was also the top pick for Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

For the full list, visit:

http://espn.go.com/wnba/story/_/id/9293258/wnba-preseason-predictions

Summary of recent personnel changes in the league

June 5, 2012 2:55pm
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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
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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 »

Top 6 2012 Draft Class preseason update

May 15, 2012 12:35pm
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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 »

A candid Trudi Lacey discusses tonight’s preseason game

May 10, 2012 2:13pm
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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.

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.

 

 

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

August 5, 2011 2:37pm
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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
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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.

WNBA Weekend in Review

July 18, 2011 9:34am
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The 2011 season is moving along quickly as the All-Star game is this Saturday. After tonight’s game between San Antonio and Los Angeles, every team will have played between 13 and 15 games.  Besides probably Tulsa, every team still has a legitimate shot at a playoff spot.

Going streaking:

The Phoenix Mercury head into their re-match against the Minnesota Lynx with their league leading 6-game win streak on the line and first place in the Western Conference.  Last game saw the Mercury storm back in the closing minutes to take a 112-105 victory, in the highest scoring game of the season.

The Tulsa Shock have now lost a league leading 9 games in a row. After leading the Sparks for most of Friday’s game, Tulsa couldn’t generate the necessary scoring chances once the Sparks stopped turning the ball over. The Shock will have a chance to re-group as they don’t play again until Tuesday after the All-Star break, hosting the Atlanta Dream.

There’s no place like home:

After a short 1-2 road trip, and two double-digit losses, the Connecticut Sun returned home to the comfy confines of the Mohegan Sun and defeated the Indiana Fever on Sunday. The Sun are undefeated at home, at a perfect 6-0.

Meanwhile the Seattle Storm finish up three game road trip tomorrow at Chicago before heading home. The Storm now stand at 2-5 on the road with their two wins coming against Tulsa and a Mystics team that was missing Crystal Langhorne. Seattle is coming off two road losses including a 69-62 defeat to Minnesota on Saturday.

The bottom of the Eastern Conference:

Although the Washington Mystics are 6 games behind Eastern Conference leading Indiana, they only trail 4th place Chicago by 3 games and have more than half a season left to play.  The Mystics showed lots of resolve in their overtime win over the Sparks, where they mounted the 2nd biggest comeback in WNBA history. Even in the last of their 5 game road trip, and a season full of injuries, Washington showed they should not be forgotten yet.

Just above Washington is the preseason conference favorite Atlanta Dream. Atlanta has been possibly the biggest disappointment this season, but put together their best effort on Saturday. Even playing without Sancho Lyttle, Atlanta looked like the team many pundits believed we would see before the season.

Injury Report