Archive for September, 2013
Posted in WNBA, tagged Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream, Briann January, Diana Taurasi, Indiana Fever, Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore, minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, Seimone Augustus, Tamika Catchings, Tiffany Hayes on September 29, 2013|
Posted in WNBA, tagged Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream, Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, Indiana Fever, Maya Moore, minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, Playoffs, Seimone Augustus, WNBA, Women's National Basketball Association on September 26, 2013|
Could we please have two great games? (Next, I’m going to ask for four extra hours in the day so I can catch up with my work work so I can have more time for my basketball work….)
The WNBA’s MVP award winner, Candace Parker, and rookie of the year, Elena Delle Donne, already have been eliminated from the WNBA playoffs. Which leaves us left in this postseason with …
Gee, at least four players who all could have been the 2013 MVP. And the rookie who was picked No. 1 in April’s draft. In other words, the WNBA conference finals, which begin Thursday night, are not lacking for star power. They are saturated with it.
“I love the fact that it’s not always a shoo-in for the team that’s got the MVP to win the championship,” Minnesota’s Maya Moore said. “I think that just speaks to the level of the WNBA and the talent that we have. The great quality of teams, the fight of the teams, and the big plays that people make to try to propel their team to a championship.”
This, in fact, will be the third year in a row the league’s regular-season MVP won’t even be in the WNBA Finals.
Lin Dunn, head coach of the reigning WNBA champion Indiana Fever, Fever forward and 2011 WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings, and the Atlanta Dream’s Angel McCoughtry, the league’s leading scorer this season, took time out from practice Wednesday for a media teleconference to share their thoughts on their upcoming Eastern Conference Finals series, which tips off today in Atlanta’s Phillips Arena at 7 p.m. EDT, airing on ESPN2. ESPN analysts Carolyn Peck and LaChina Robinson also weighed in. Here are some highlights from what they had to say. Click here for Full Court’s detailed preview of the Fever-Dream Eastern Conference Final.
Mechelle also previews Atlanta v. Indiana: Defense on stars is key in East
In a similar theme, Bob ponders: East finals: Which decimated roster will survive one more round?
Michelle writes: Mercury try to turn tables on Lynx
from Mel (thanks, Mel).
One colleague from her law duties related later Monday at a reception in nearby West Orange at the Wilshire Grand Hotel that the Essex County courthouse was closed for the day “because no one was coming to work today anyway whether or not it was open.
“Everyone admired her whether or not they worked direectly in her office.”
Posted in WNBA, tagged Atlanta Dream, Candace Parker, Indiana Fever, Los Angeles Sparks, minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, Seattle Storm, Shavonte Zeallous, Tina thompson, washington Mystics on September 23, 2013|
’cause that’s what game threes should be!
The Atlanta Journal Constitution couldn’t be bothered. (Probably recovering from the Falcons’ meltdown.)
From Roman at the WaPo: Washington Mystics must rebound in Game 3 of WNBA Eastern Conference semifnals (sic)
Small pockets of boos could be heard circulating through Verizon Center during the third quarter of the Washington Mystics’ 63-45 loss to the Atlanta Dream on Saturday night. The jeers began when the Dream, leading by 16, pulled down four offensive rebounds on one possession, the last leading to an Erika de Souza layup that gave Atlanta its largest lead.
That possession was a microcosm of the Mystics’ problems during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Dream had more second-chance opportunities (18 offensive boards) than Washington and made 11 more field goals to send the series back to Atlanta for a decisive Game 3 on Monday night. The quick turnaround affords the Mystics little time for self-reflection — and even less time to rediscover the offensive identity they need to keep the season alive.
Melissa writes: Sparks, Phoenix brace for deciding game of series
Parker said that after Thursday’s 86-75 Game 1 loss at home, the Sparks made some major adjustments. They didn’t have much to do with basketball though.
“We just changed our mind-set more than we changed our play,” Parker said.
“I thought the ball wound up in one person’s hands too long,” Mercury coach Russ Pennell said after Saturday’s loss. “The shot clock is so short. If you hang on to it too long, you are going to wind up taking a marginal shot. And I think (Saturday night), we took a lot of marginal shots, and we need to get that corrected before (Monday night), for sure.
“We did some things that were not really characteristic, I think, of this team. Bottom line is, we just didn’t get it done, and we have to try to correct it before we play again.”
Who ya got?
Sometimes, Indiana rookie guard Layshia Clarendon suddenly will remember that her down-to-earth, low-key, friendly teammate is actually a very big deal.
“I see the way people cheer for her, the way the other team reacts when they announce her name,” Clarendon said. “And I think, ‘Oh, my gosh, that’s right. This is the Tamika Catchings, three-time gold medalist, awesome community leader.’ They are those ‘oh wow’ moments. But she makes you feel like she’s just another person.”
Of course, Catchings isn’t just another player. She is a future Hall of Famer, someone who is at least in the MVP discussion every WNBA season. And in the Fever’s Eastern Conference first-round series victory over Chicago, Catchings displayed her usual relentlessness. She was the best player on the court.
Nice to have the MIP on your team, too: Zellous’ play helps fill Douglas void – Guard’s offensive improvement paying dividends for Indiana Fever
From Mark Ambrogl: Why the Indiana Fever are on the verge of another title run (or maybe not)
From Philip Hersh
“We know how to play basketball,” said Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot, who spent several minutes after the game with her head buried under a towel. “We have enough experience and talent and skill in this room to win games in the playoffs.”
It went missing in both playoff games.
“In the end, it always comes down to toughness — rebounds, loose balls, deflections,” Chatman said. “It starts in the fight areas. You’ve just got to have some dog in you. You’ve just got to get it done.”
Clay offers Analysis: A tale of two series
Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best” blared from the speakers as the announced crowd of 3,457 chanted “Thank You Tina” until she exited the court. Thompson, a 6-foot-2 power forward, finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. She announced in May she would retire from the WNBA after this season.
“I can walk away and feel OK with how we finished because we gave as much as we possibly could,” Thompson said Sunday. “I’ve always wanted to retire from the game and not the game retire from me. So, when I leave on my own terms, it’s a lot easier to settle with.”
From Jim Caple: Tina Thompson retires on her terms
After Minnesota beat the Seattle Storm 58-55 Sunday afternoon, the Lynx asked the league’s all-time scoring leader if she would honor them by posing for a team photo with them. This is not the way teams generally celebrate sweeping a first-round playoff series. But then, teams don’t usually end opponent’s careers that are as old as the very league in which they play.
“It was a bigger-than-basketball moment,” Lynx forward Maya Moore said. “We have so much respect for her, and we just battled it out with her. And we just wanted to get a picture. ‘Hey Tina, can we get a picture?’ It was really kind of childlike and beautiful. And she was great. She said, ‘Go ahead and win the whole thing guys.”’
Yes, I sense the irony: Minnesota Public Radio has a link to some great game shots.
“The WNBA is the best-kept secret in the world in a sense that in every single season that I’ve been a part of, this product has been amazing and the level of competition has been very high,” she said to Storm teammates, Tulsa Shock players and a crowd of 8,978. “You guys are the future of the WNBA. Continue to work and play as hard as you do.”
It’s one of those scary moments to which parents can relate. At some point, you have to let go of your baby in order for it to flourish. Now Thompson, 38, embarks on the final days of her career beginning with a first-round playoff game Friday at Minnesota.
Thank you Tina. May joy follow you the rest of your days.
Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.
Wonder what this means for the snowboarders and winner of the Official Sunglasses of US Sochi Olympics competition?
really hurts my heart.
It’s the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.
”Who would have thought Kim Perrot would be a two-time W.N.B.A. champion?” she said when she accepted her second championship ring during a Comets home game on June 22. ”When no one else believed in me, my teammates and the fans stuck with me.”
Perrot, who was 5 feet 5 inches and 130 pounds, was indeed an unlikely professional champion despite a record-setting college career. She held 26 school records at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, where she remains the career scoring leader with 2,157 points. As a senior, she led the nation in scoring, averaging 30.1 points a game.
“She was a fighter. I watched Kim for many years overseas. She was the smallest person on the court, but again, had the biggest heart,” recalled Lynette Woodward during a 2011 edition of WNBA Legends Roundtable, along with Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson. “This is what the league did for us. It let the world know who she was. Just think, if we didn’t have the league, nobody would know Kim Perrot the way that we do.”