Posts Tagged ‘ Seattle Storm ’

WNBA Weekend in Review

July 18, 2011 9:34am
By

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.

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

July 14, 2011 9:01am
By

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.”

The Mystics playing without Langhorne, lose at home to Seattle

July 4, 2011 7:54am
By

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.

Part 2: Thoughts and stats through the first two weeks of the WNBA season

June 23, 2011 11:59am
By

PART 2 of 2

Part 2 of our quick takes and looks at some of the underlying stats for each team in the league.

 

New York: Between learning a new scheme under new head coach John Whisenant, and having Pondexter handle more of the point guard duties, the Liberty have gotten off to a slow start.  Don’t be surprised to see this white-line defense turn a corner, as Whiz’s Monarch teams were consistently among the league’s best defensively.

Did you know: New York has yet to keep an opponent under 100 efficiency for a single game. The Sparks scored over 1.18 points/possession in their latest outing.

 

Phoenix: With a healthy and rested Diana Taurasi, the Mercury looked to be a team that would run out of the gate to start the season. Combined with a difficult schedule and poor defending the Mercury lost their first 3 games, but have since gained some momentum with two straight wins.

Did you know: Not that it is anything new with the Mercury, but they they are the only team to score and allow more than 1.06 points/possession. With coach Gaines, a Westhead disciple, don’t except to see Phoenix stop flying up and down the court anytime soon.

 

San Antonio: With coach Hughes back on the sideline, and the emergence of rookie Danielle Adams, the Silver Stars are one of the early season surprises. They were the league’s only undefeated team before Tuesday, as they fell in their rematch with Phoenix, playing without star Sophia Young.

Did you know: The Silver Stars lead the league in offensive efficiency and are the only team to top 100 offensive efficiency in every game this season.

 

Seattle: With essentially the same team back from their 2010 championship season and the addition of Katie Smith, the Storm were expected to start right where they left off. Instead, the defending champs have started slow in part to Lauren Jackson, who is not 100% healthy. Despite injuries, they still stand at 3-2 and welcome Minnesota to the Key Arena for a 2nd time this season.

Did you know: Seattle has recorded the single worst offensive output in a game this season, where they scored only 50 points in approximatively 75 possessions in a loss to Los Angeles on June 19th.

 

Tulsa: After suffering two blowout losses at the hands of the Silver Stars, the Shock have since been more competitive although have only one win to show for it. 2nd overall pick, Liz Cambage has given Tulsa an inside presence, but they have suffered from lack of depth at the guard position after losing Amber Holt for an extended period of time.

Did you know: After Thursday’s game at home against New York, the Shock will have been the first team to play 8 games, with the latest three games played at home.

 

Washington: No team might have experienced more turnover during the offseason than the Mystics. They lost Smith, Harding, and then Currie to injury (and Beard has yet to play this season). They brought in Anosike and a new coach in Lacey Trudi. One constant from last season has been the continued great play of Langehorne. One constant from this season has been atrocious defense.

Did you know: The Mystics have the lowest scoring bench in the league at 12 pts per game. That is more than 9 pts below the league average.


Fever/Storm game full of connections

June 17, 2011 3:58pm
By

If you’re tuning in tonight to the Indiana Fever/Seattle Storm tonight, you’re going to see more than a possible 2011 WNBA Finals preview. What you’re going to see are a multitude of connections between the two teams.

Connection #1: Seattle’s Lauren Jackson and Belinda Snell, along with Indiana’s Erin Phillips, are three members of the Australian women’s basketball national team (Opals). In fact, Phillips originally signed with Seattle this past February but was traded to Indiana as part of the deal to acquire Katie Smith.

Connection #2: Seattle’s Ashley Robinson and Indiana’s Tamika Catchings, Shyra Ely, and Shannon Bobbitt are all former Tennessee Lady Vols. Catchings and Robinson were teammates for a year (2001) while Robinson and Ely were teammates for three years (2002-04).

Connection #3: Indiana Fever head coach Lin Dunn was the first coach/GM of the Seattle Storm. Two of her draftees are playing in tonight’s game, and you might have heard of them (2001: Lauren Jackson and 2002: Sue Bird, both #1 overall picks).

Connection #4: Indiana’s Briann January is a native of the state of Washington. She was born in Spokane.

Defending Eastern and Western Conference champions not impressive thus far

June 10, 2011 7:10am
By

After the first week of the season, the Atlanta Dream and Seattle Storm have one win combined between them (a 78-71 win for Seattle over the visiting Phoenix Mercury). The Atlanta Dream, with superstar SF Angel McCoughtry, have dropped their first two games of the 2011 season (both home games), the latest defeat coming in OT against the Washington Mystics on national TV. The Seattle Storm, meanwhile, took one on the chin at the hands of the Minnesota Lynx, a game in which they had to climb out of a 24-point hole and did not score until there were two minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Though neither team looks sharp at the moment, one has to keep in mind that the season is barely a week old and most teams are still evaluating personnel for rotation spots or trying to get healthy following the bumps and bruises suffered during training camp.

Observations from Opening Weekend

June 7, 2011 10:53am
By

The 2011 WNBA season got underway last weekend. Here were some of the interesting observations:

-Maya Moore is that good. The rookie sensation averaged 18.5ppg in two games against the Sparks, a team high. She also made an array of offensive moves that left the Sparks veterans wondering what hit them.

-Speaking of the Lynx, they certainly have the best wing rotation in the entire WNBA. When you consider that they start two scoring wings (Seimone Augustus and Moore) and bring two scoring wings off their bench (Monica Wright and Candice Wiggins, with the latter doubling as a back-up PG), you’re reminded of just how deep and talented this Lynx team is in 2011. What remains to be seen is whether the lack of playable post depth will be a hindrance.

-LA and Tulsa are missing pieces. Tulsa could use more talent across the board, but attempting to use Amber Holt, a natural forward, as a back-up PG isn’t going to work for a team that wants to prove itself to be more than just a doormat. Ivory Latta is a fine talent, but she simply cannot go at it alone, as evidenced by the effort against San Antonio (seven of her team’s 28 turnovers).

LA would like to contend for a title this season, but it does not appear to be feasible at the moment. Starting PG Ticha Penicheiro looks noticeably a step slower this season, and there is no true PG backing her up. In fact, each of the two players who have been receiving back-up minutes at the point (Kristi Toliver and Natasha Lacy) have each accumulated six turnovers through two games. Not good.

-Diana Taurasi leads the league in scoring…again! But her 31-point effort wasn’t enough for Phoenix to overcome the defending champs (Seattle Storm) in Key Arena. Who led the Storm in that game production-wise? If you answered Camille Little, then you’re absolutely correct. Little fell one rebound short of a double double, as her 18 points and 9 rebounds led the Storm in both categories against the Mercury.

Weekend Preseason Recap

May 30, 2011 2:15pm
By

Saturday, May 28th:

The Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Phoenix Mercury 83-72, in a preseason game played at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Sparks started the game well, leading 26-13 after the first quarter. “I’m very pleased with my team tonight” said Sparks head coach Jennifer Gillom, “I thought the energy was there, the aggressiveness was there, and tonight told me a lot.”

This game concludes the Sparks preseason, as they open up at home Friday, against the Minnesota Lynx at Staples Center. Phoenix travels to Seattle to face the defending champions on June 4th.

Sunday, May 29th:

The Atlanta Dream defeated  Great Britain 82-51, in the Dream’s only preseason game played in Manchester, England and the WNBA’s first game in Europe.

From James Bowman at Swish Appeal, “Coco Miller got off to a hot start in the first quarter, scoring seven of the first nine points for Atlanta and scoring 11 total first-quarter points.  (She would finish with 10-for-12 shooting and score 21 points.)  The Dream went to a double-digit lead early in the first quarter and never looked back.”

In the 3rd preseason game of the weekend the Seattle Storm defeated the Tulsa Shock 76-71.

After missing the game against Los Angeles, both Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird returned to the starting lineup as Seattle raced out to a 24-6 1st quarter lead and 45-25 halftime lead.

2nd overall pick Liz Cambage let her emotions get the best of her.  ”I was so nervous,” she said. “The first quarter I was so sick and had to run back and get it out of my system. But even getting off the plane yesterday, I was just so nervous going into training.”

Some additional thoughts from Jayda Evans’s in-game thread can be found here.

Hoops Insider pictures from the Sea/LA and Chi/Was Preseason games.

May 26, 2011 3:31pm
By

Los Angeles and Seattle played Wednesday May 25th at the Torodome on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson, CA. The Sparks won 71-66.

Kids and fans packed the stands on both sides of the court for this preseason matchup.

Ashley Robinson with a layup as the Seattle Storm warm up after the halftime break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more »

Sparks and Storm play tomorrow in Carson, CA

May 24, 2011 5:34pm
By

The Los Angeles Sparks kick off their preseason against the Seattle Storm tomorrow at the Torodome on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills.

I will be attending the game tomorrow and tweeting at @wnbainsider

Injury Report