Posts Tagged ‘Candice Dupree’

Sylvia Fowles: 8-20
Epiphanny Prince: 3-11
Allie Quigley: 4-15
Elena Delle Donne: 10 minutes

Add a little double-double from Diana Taurasi, and the Merc say


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Things are getting clearer in the run to the playoffs.

Yes, the Storm are one win away from clinching playoff berth as Tina Thompson continues to go out with a bang, not a whimper.

Thompson, a 17-year league veteran, has willed the Storm into playoff contention. She’s averaging a team-leading 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in August. In a crucial regular-season series clincher against San Antonio on Tuesday, Thompson scored 27 points in the 72-71 road win.

The performance isn’t surprising to Thompson, 38. She recently said she had one of her better offseason training regimens in order to retire this season on a high. Thompson also made it clear when she signed with Seattle in 2012 her intention was to win a fifth WNBA championship.

BUT: If they do make it, they ain’t playing at Key. Next up: Minnesota.

Seattle is chasing Phoenix, but the Merc are twice lucky: they get to play Connecticut, and Candice Dupree has picked up the pace after Russ Pennell’s arrival as coach

Dupree said for her, the current scoring binge is about a “mind-set.”

“In order for me to help make this team better, I have to be aggressive and assert myself against these other teams,” she said. “I just can’t wait for shots to come within our system. When I catch the ball, I look to drive or shoot. If it’s not there, then pass the ball and play out of that.”

Interim coach Russ Pennell has made sure Dupree is featured in more offensive sets.

They almost let it get away, but Catch and Zellous made sure the Fever stayed ahead of the Liberty in the race for 4th. Or 3rd. Or 2nd, if Atlanta doesn’t right their injured ship. (They get a chance against Chicago today)

Chicago gets some love:

David Haugh – Delle Donne doing her (substantial) part to grow WNBA – League’s top rookie and legit MVP candidate will promote game after Sky season

Eric Zorn – Excuse me while I kiss the Sky

Contrasting opinions:

From SlamOnline: Standard Bearer – Ten years into her WNBA career, Diana Taurasi is having one of her best seasons yet.

Coming off of a hip flexor injury that limited her to just eight games last season, she’s come back with a vengeance, currently ranking second in the WNBA in scoring with 21.4 points per game. Ten times this season, she’s scored 26 points or more.

Though she receives less credit for other aspects of her game, she’s also averaging a career-high 6 assists a night, ranking second in the WNBA. That’s up from her average of 3.6 in 2011 (her last full season). She had double-digit assists three times: 10 vs Tulsa (August 20) and New York (July 2) and 11 vs Indiana (August 14). She’s also grabbing 4 rebounds per game.

From Aman Ali at the .com: Race to the MVP: Week Twelve

“Taurasi is one of the fiercest competitors in the league and a perennial favorite for the MVP award. But this season she hasn’t been able to shed her reputation of being an alpha-dog player that likes to shoot way more than she likes to pass. She has so much talent on her team, but how many of them are playing better as a result of Taurasi on the floor? McCoughtry suffered from the same reputation in years past and shed it this season – just ask her teammates Tiffany Hayes and All-Star Erika DeSouza who are playing some of the best basketball of their careers alongside her.”

Rebkellians clear up Ali’s lack of stat comprehension.

Also from SlamOnline: WNBA MVP Rankings – Candace Parker delivers in the clutch, fills the box score.

This past week, #CandaceCan became a mantra, as Candace Parker led the Sparks to a double-overtime comeback victory against Tulsa on Sunday. Slyvia “Big Syl” Fowles continues to spit out double-doubles and rise up the MVP rankings. Third year wing Maya Moore seems to be heating up at the right time as the Lynx look to make a trip back to the finals.

and Unsung Hero- Courtney Vandersloot is thriving at point guard for the Chicago Sky.

Quietly running the point is Courtney Vandersloot. The third-year guard is having her best season as a pro, averaging career highs in points (9) assists (5.5) and rebounds (3.3). Vandersloot is also averaging a career low in turnovers per game (2.5) while ranking fourth overall in the WNBA in assists.

Katie Konsiders Koaching: Katie Smith set to retire from WNBA.

Powell is going to Gonzaga.

Now to some off-court stuff via Nate:

RJ Aguiar of Towleroad has a pretty evenhanded account of the demonstration outside of the San Antonio City Hall yesterday that injured San Antonio Silver Stars forward Sophia Young attended yesterday, including links to local news coverage describing why the black and Latino protesters are opposed to an addition to the city’s existing nondiscrimination ordinance (click here from a video of the event from KENS 5). Andy Towle makes a good point in his associated post about Young’s tweets: “Given what she tweeted, however, she seemed to think that the anti-discrimination bill, to be voted on by the San Antonio City Council in early September, would also somehow legalize same-sex marriage.” (Hint: it won’t). (Read more)

I love that Coach Dunn has tweeted her support of Tully and Clarendon… And that Coach Boyle retweeted it. BUT: Where is every single other NCAA and WNBA coach?

Speaking of Coaches: Hall of Fame Inductee Dawn Staley Reflects on her WNBA Career and Community Outreach


Did you catch this from Fagan: SEX SELLS? TREND MAY BE CHANGING

In the Nine for IX film “Branded,” premiering Tuesday on ESPN (8 p.m. ET), filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady tackle the age-old question in women’s sports: Will sex appeal always supersede achievement?

But before we try to answer that, we need to ask ourselves a few more: Does sex really sell now? How do we know for sure? What if I told you it doesn’t?

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the Czechs were the victims… followed by the Brazilians.

Sherri’s bloggin’:

Every afternoon I try to take a little jog around the village. It’s therapeutic. And there is always plenty to see. I find it funny that the outdoor courts that join flag alley in the median of campus are a magnet for athletes from all countries. There are nets and goals and hoops, but by and large people gather there to shoot baskets. Plain and simple. Sometimes boxers shadow fight themselves in the corners and occasionally people hit a volleyball back and forth, but mostly athletes gather just to hoop. It’s so funny. Most are ridiculously awful and yet seemingly unashamed–I suppose their prowess in their own respective venues more than tides them through.

Not gonna gloat, but did you see who won last night’s Minny/Dream game? Someone thought “Losing Augustus could be nightmare for Lynx against Dream,” but that wasn’t the case. During the first half, though, I did want to say to Rebecca — yah, the Lynx are shooting a zillion %, but they’re still only up 10 or so… but that became a moot point in the second half as Minnesota made another home-court statement, overwhelm Atlanta. Who stepped up? A Cavalier: Wright engages starting role as Lynx dismantle Dream. And yes, Minnesota Lynx looking a lot like WNBA’s best team

Do not despair, Atlanta, cause even though the Dream Fell to Minnesota, They Still Holds Best Record in WNBA

Ray’s an EDD fan too: Elena Delle Donne’s combination of attitude, intelligence and talent helping her succeed in rookie year

She stood in a corner outside the Chicago Sky locker room, a barrage of cameras, microhones and notepads in front of her.

The media closed in more than some defenses.

Through it all Elena Delle Donne was cooperative, insightful and generally cheerful. A 93-64 win on the road, cynics would say, helps the disposition. True, but in his case this is classic Delle Donne – this is who she is.

Revisiting the “expand the roster question” issue about “no one to practice against,” remember the Merc promo/gimmick? Mercury’s challenge working out

Michael Romero sprinted down the basketball court, hoping to at least slow down the opposition’s fast break.

But the other team had numbers and were pressing in transition. Romero turned to pick up the ball handler. Too late.

A devastating screen sent the 5-foot-11 Romero tumbling to the floor. Standing over him, seemingly unfazed, was 6-foot-2 Phoenix Mercury forward Candice Dupree.

“She just drilled me with this nasty screen,” Romero said. “It was like, man, these girls are rough, they can play.”

With that bone-rattling pick, Dupree opened the eyes of one male non-WNBA fan. The Mercury hope to do the same to thousands more, albeit in a less intimidating way.

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Or, in this case, Chicago’s peril, ’cause yes, the WHBCurse seems to have come to roost in Chicago as the Sky lost Big Syl, then lost a lead, and then lost the game to the Storm. Oops.

With Sky center Sylvia Fowles out with an ankle injury, the Storm could put a lot of focus on defending Delle Donne. Seattle did that well, holding her to a season-low 12 points on 3-of-13 shooting. Sky guard Epiphanny Prince also felt the effects of the Seattle defense, going 3 of 9 from the field for 12 points.

The Storm were able to keep Delle Donne and Prince off-balance from the field without sending them to the line all that much. That was key, as they are exceptional free throw shooters, both better than 90 percent from the line this season.

Home sweet home, huh? While coach Ross is lobbying for all the playoff games to be held at Staples, (tsk, tsk LA Times) the Lynx are wondering “Wha Happen?”

14 NY turnovers lead to 21 Merc points…. and another Phoenix win.

For much of the Mercury’s season, it’s been Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner. Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi.

The talk has been about them off the court. So has the focus on it.

But don’t forget, the Mercury also have Candice Dupree, a three-time All-Star and DeWanna Bonner, who was second in the league in scoring last season.

The two made sure people remembered Tuesday night, scoring 20 points and grabbing seven rebounds apiece, in leading the Mercury to a 94-87 win over the New York Liberty.

A poor shooting Tulsa (even with Liz back) was just what the doctor ordered for Connecticut.

Any inspiration is happily accepted amid a losing streak, a three-week, four-game odyssey for the Connecticut Sun by Tuesday night. Which is why even though Sydney Carter, the little guard who did, posted more impressive numbers, her teammates chose to focus on the “two” under the category of “blocked shots.”

“Two blocked shots for Sydney Carter!” injured Sun guard Renee Montgomery said in the relieved locker room, perusing the post game stat sheet. “Dead serious.”

And, in case you didn’t catch my sarcasm yesterday: From the Day’s Mike DiMauro: ‘Three to See’ is generating interest among WNBA’s fans

A more cynical sort might dismiss Connecticut’s distaste for “three to see” by reasoning that none of the three hail from UConn, thus creating haughty disapproval. Maybe others here who have obtained a more global view could tolerate “three to see” if it didn’t have a flavor-of-the-month feel and if similar effort went into marketing those who came before them (Diana, Maya, Candace, etc.)

No matter our opinion about the “three to see,” though, we here in our state should be the first to admit that any marketing plan that moves the needle, especially outside Connecticut, is good for the game we love.

So now we propose the following question:

What if “three to see” is actually working?

“To wit”, as the All-Star Voting early tallies comes in, look who’s leading: EDD

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and disheartened.

Heartened: The Liberty are pulling out the stops to get people in the stands. I’ve gotten lots of emails. Trader Bill has been pro active in reaching out to the fans with meet-and-greets. He’s a generous, opinionated interview. And I’ve been offered free tickets.

Ya, free. Get over it, folks. You need to put butts in the seat and hook’em with the product on the floor. Of course, if they’re smart, there will be people handing out flyers and “come back with someone else next game and you get in free” coupons.

Heartened: An MSG person sent me this article: Cheryl Ford is back in WNBA, playing for the Liberty.

Wow, what a concept: the NY Liberty making their fans aware of articles about the team. Like, you know, some kind of news collecting service that helps tell editors that folks are interested in reading about the WNBA. Where have I heard that before?

Disheartened: They sent me the ENTIRE article in the email. Do they not understand the concept of copyright laws? Oiy.

Disheartened: The article comes as close to saying “Cheryl will be a game-by-game player” as it can without actually saying that.

In other news:

From the Atlanta Daily News: WNBA Facts at Your Fingertips

The 17th season of the WNBA tipped off Memorial Day Weekend. That’s right, THE 17th SEASON. Despite the ups and downs associated with the start of any American professional sports league and the additional challenge of establishing a women’s sports league, the WNBA is alive and kicking and poised to reach a new level thanks to an exciting infusion of fresh talent and personalities.

Michelle Smith writes: Candice Dupree a smooth operator

A straight line.

That’s how Phoenix Mercury coach Corey Gaines describes his veteran forward Candice Dupree, and he means it as a compliment.

What is more consistent, more sturdy, more sure a thing than a straight line? No jagged edges, no unexpected dips, no changes of direction. Just the shortest distance between starting a game and winning it. That’s Dupree.

Dupree embodies that steadiness, and Gaines and the Phoenix Mercury have come to rely on it.

The Tulsa GTR says: Diggins, Cambage to Spark Shock

From Newsday: Rookies shine during WNBA’s opening weekend

With Griner now having a WNBA game under her belt—albeit a 102-80 loss to the Sky—she and her fellow WNBA rookies must captain another effort that is near and dear to the league’s heart entering its 17th regular season.

That effort is renewing wide-scale interest in the WNBA itself.

So far so good: WNBA Season Off to Strong Ratings Start; Most-Watched Regular-Season Game on ESPN2 in Nine Years

From DC: With many new faces on hand, the Mystics look to turn things around in 2013

From Redeye’s Ernest Wilkins: WNBA demands your respect

The contest went like this: Them vs me. If I could hit more free throws (out of 10), then I would be the champ.

As for the game itself, can I just go ahead and say Sky guard Epiphanny Prince is my new favorite basketball player? Upon being introduced to me, she sized me up like a wolf would look at a rotisserie chicken, then drained like 19 3s in a row.

Speaking of Chicago, I didn’t want to jinx it, but how cool is this? The Q is in the W: Former Blue Demon Allie Quigley Makes Chicago Sky Roster

From Scott Mammoser at the Examiner: WNBA President Laurel Richie eager to watch Brittney Griner and rookies develop

From Ethan Grant at Bleacher Report: Brittney Griner and Fellow Rookies Have Tough Task of Renewing Interest in WNBA

LZ is grumpy: Stop celebrating women’s dunks

Let us hope this ceases to be breaking news so that she can be judged as a basketball player and not written about like some sort of vaudeville act doing parlor tricks.

I guess…. but, what kind of assumptions is LZ making? Why do they celebrate men’s dunks?

Some of the Swish Appeal folks are grumpy:  Is this “3 to See Campaign” just getting too biased and coming at the expense of other WNBA teams and players?


From Mechelle’s chat:

Sofia (Durham, NC): As a team, Phoenix looked poor in their season opener. I know it is early but the defensive schemes were way off & their shots were not falling. Will Gaines be on the hot seat if the team does not show dramatic improvement soon?

Mechelle Voepel: It’s really way too soon to be talking about hot seats. :) [WHB begs to differ! <g>] Obviously, the Mercury got a wake-up call from that game, so let’s see how that impacts the rest of the early part of the season.

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Candice Dupree Undergoes Successful Knee Surgery

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Lemme at ’em!

Over at espnW, Michelle Smith writes: Candice Dupree can’t wait until Sunday

A fresh butterfly bandage covered the spot on her right arm where Candice Dupree received a postgame IV on Thursday. She stood in a Target Center hallway long after the Phoenix Mercury absorbed a 95-67 beatdown from the Minnesota Lynx in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, and it was fair to wonder what affected her more, a shortage of fluids or opportunities.

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Seattle losing. At home. After running out to an 18pt lead. (Oh, and I wasn’t the only one. From Rebkell: 10:53 EST “it’s a wrap for phx…”)

So, yup, thanks to a Candice Dupree last second tw0-point (and almost in spite of Taurasi’s Increasingly Tempestuous Tantrums) “My Storm lost” (said the MA student I know.) Nate writes: Shock and Awe

Normally after a game that exciting – Storm or otherwise – I have no problem typing something beyond the basic recap. If the words don’t come to mind, I’ve developed all kinds of random tricks and mindgames to start typing. If typing doesn’t work, I go old school and pull out a pen and pad of paper. When all else fails, I hope that the numbers might bring some order to my thoughts.

But responding to a game like that is no time for statistics*.

After going through my progressions, I ultimately sat there staring at a sheet of yellow legal paper searching for a reaction – any reaction (Misery? Living Death by ref? The collapse of civilization as Storm fans know it!) – to what I just saw.

Where do you even begin?

In the early game, Catch played with a vengeance (no surprise she and Nicole got double-Ts. That battle was FIERCE) and Cappie continued her struggles in the face of Katie’s defense. End result, Indy gets to face Atlanta in the Conference Finals. (I don’t envy them)

Writes Mechelle of both winning teams: Unbreakable resolve leads Merc, Fever: Phoenix’s Penny Taylor, Indiana’s Katie Douglas lead the way

Thusly, we give kudos to Indiana’s Katie Douglas and Phoenix’s Penny Taylor, generally regarded as the highly respected “SBs” for their teams. But they were highly successful “BSs” in Tuesday’s two WNBA elimination games, from which the Fever and Mercury moved on to their conference finals.

Wait a second … by “SB,” obviously I meant “second banana.” And by “BS,” of course I meant “big star.” What other terms did you think I was referring to with those abbreviations? Huh? What kind of R-rated column do you think this is?


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’cause, honestly, it’s better for the fans and the league.

New York forced a game three as Powell and Pierson (wow, the Times crossed the river!) stepped up. Strong defense helped, but you’ve got to wonder how much Catch (2pts) is still feeling the effect of Nicole’s Game 1 elbow. And Queenie has a comment:

Cory Booker, Newark is not the New York Liberty’s home. I realize that you’re required to say that as part of your job, but this is not your team and this is not our home. This is an exchange program. This is an extended-stay hotel. This is the place we’re staying while home is being renovated. We’ll defend it, but you can’t claim it as yours. Back off.

I think we have a chance in this series. Do I think Tamika Catchings will go 1-7 from the field with 6 turnovers again? No. Do I think Nicole Powell will go off again? No. But I think we have a legitimate shot to make Game 3 competitive, and if we can do that… well, that’s why they play the games, isn’t it?

In the late night game, Phoenix jumped out to a lead and yo-yo’d to a 92-83 win behind Dupree’s “ordinary” (29pts) game (DT: “How did you miss two shots today?“).

“Phoenix played a great game tonight. They were the aggressors from start to finish. I think the points in the paint (58-12, Phx) tells you that right from the observation of the stat sheet. They played like their backs were against the wall and they responded very well,” Storm coach Brian Agler said after the game.

Other oddities from the box: Seattle 59% from three, Phoenix 52% from the field, LJ only 28 minutes.

NEXT! (Minnesota has never won a playoff series. While the Lynx look to end that streak Sunday, the Sun face a must-win in Atlanta. Sun-Dream »Lynx-Silver Stars »)

BTW: The .com has a playoff blog.

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You work your butt off for three quarters, 9 minutes and 30 seconds to keep your team in the game, and then suddenly, TA DA! another player sweeps in and seals the deal.

That’s what happened last night at the Rock when Penny Taylor went off on the Lib for 29pts and then the Star-Ledger’s headline is this: Liberty lose to Diana Taurasi, Mercury, 91-84‎. Oiy.

I mean, sure, Diana’s 30 seconds is what put the in the final nail (along with Carson’s turnovers), but it was Penny who cut down the trees, milled the logs, took the measurements, dove-tailed the corners, inserted the silk cushions in New York’s coffin. Of course, Diana knew it:

“She was great,” Taurasi said of Taylor. “She was the only person really giving us anything offensively. And the way they schemed defensively, it’s hard but she found a way to kind of find her spots and made them pay.”

Speaking of “I’m not dead yet!” the Sparks aren’t, though they sure tried to give the game back to Chicago. Unfortunately for the Sky, their furious fourth quarter rally fell short and LA escaped with at 86-82 win. Chicago’s now two games under .500 and they better keep an eye out for the Dream.

Bird bounced back from a really bad game and the Storm bounced the Shock, 89-72.

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Ben Jones, Indy Star: Shooting stars – Fever dynamic duo of Catchings, Douglas will start for the East

The biggest thing I look forward to is having the opportunity to play with players that you never get a chance to play with,” Catchings said. “It’s always fun to sit in the locker room, talk about different organizations, what goes on everywhere you go.”

From Mike Carmin at JCOnline: Skill, wisdom help Douglas remain WNBA All-Star

Katie Douglas turned 32 in May, but doesn’t feel her age is bringing an end to her WNBA career anytime soon.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

“My body feels like I’m 25 or 26,” the former Purdue women’s basketball standout said.

From Brett LoGiurato at the Star-Ledger: Liberty’s Essence Carson, WNBA All-Star, learned it all at Paterson Eastside High School

When Essence Carson was a high school freshman, Paterson Eastside High School coach Ed Black pulled her aside after one practice to have a conversation. It turned out to be the most important conversation of her budding basketball career.

From the AP’s Paul Weber: WNBA All-Star Game features new faces
With 10 first-time All-Stars, the game will showcase the next generation.

The WNBA will celebrate its 15th anniversary Saturday by honoring the 15 best players in history during halftime of the All-Star game. The game itself, meanwhile, will look distinctly like the WNBA’s future.

In a similar theme (and with profiles) from My San Antonio: Young stars living WNBA’s old motto

In 1997, the WNBA launched its inaugural season with a catchy slogan that proclaimed: “We Got Next.” Fourteen years later, with many of the players who helped the league get off the ground either retired or nearing retirement, the WNBA’s future appears as bright as ever.

Check out the video previews of the game with interviews and such here.

Also, over at SlamOnline, Ben has WNBA All-Star Sights and Sounds: The scoop from San Antonio

…after the Storm beat the Silver Stars in Seattle Thursday night, Swin Cash and Sue Bird didn’t arrive in San Antonio until after ten in the morning on Friday. They got to the hotel, slept for about an hour or so, and then had to catch the bus to the AT&T Center for practice and media availability.

Why am I telling you this? Simple. If I didn’t, maybe you’d never know.

After all, based on the smiles, laughter, eager participation in multiple community events, and selfless interaction with fans there’s no way anyone would think these players were mentally or physically exhausted.

That, is the consummate definition of a professional.

Shaun Powell, NBA.com: WNBA outlives early growing pains, sees bright days ahead

The WNBA is celebrating 15 years, quite an accomplishment if you gave weight to cynics who said the league wouldn’t last 15 minutes. The last decade and a half hasn’t been without some pain, but everyone can agree the league has learned how to get through it.

Some franchises folded, others shifted. In order to generate cash — always a challenge in a male-dominated professional sports market — jerseys now serve as billboards, with “Bing” replacing “Seattle” for one example.

And yet, the league outlasted a rival (ABL) and still serves as a haven for women wishing to play beyond college.

Did you see that the ESPN experts picked the top 15 players of all time

From Eric Bailey, Tulsa World: Shock ready to step up in season’s second half

“Our goal is to set goals immediately and to set those that (can be) reached and (accomplished) … so that we can win,” Edwards said. “We have to clean up the turnovers, we have to become a dominant defensive team …

“I’m looking for maturity. I’m looking for a team that’s willing to do what we have to do to mature into a winning personality as a Tulsa Shock team. As we do that, I really feel like we’re going to end the season with some wins.”

Ellen Horrow, USA Today has: Charles-Fowles WNBA rivalry grows by leaps, rebounds

If a great rivalry can elevate a sport or a league, then the WNBA could be on the verge of a huge leap forward.

All-Star centers Tina Charles, of the Connecticut Sun, and Sylvia Fowles, of the Chicago Sky, are young, fierce and dynamic — and set to challenge each other in the post for years to come.

From Odeen Domingo, Arizona Central: Phoenix Mercury’s Big Three could equal a WNBA championship – Candice Dupree, Diana Taurasi and Penny Taylor leading Mercury to a big year

The three-headed monster, dreaded and envied.

In Greek mythology, there was Cerberus, the three-headed hound that guarded the gates of Hades. Thou shall not pass.

The Mercury have their own three-headed monster: Candice Dupree. Diana Taurasi. Penny Taylor.

From John Altavilla, Hartford Courant: Terrible Tulsa And Other Things About The WNBA
If you want to see what’s different in the WNBA this season check the Western Conference standings where competitive balance has suddenly reappeared.
Last season, the Seattle Storm went 17-0 at home on the way to the league championship and were the only team above .500 to qualify for the postseason in the conference.Parity is now more apparent with the resurgence of San Antonio and Phoenix and the rise of the Minnesota Lynx. Seattle could win it all again, but they will need to work harder for it this season.
As to what else has been interesting in the WNBA prior to Saturday’s All-Star game….
Bob Corwin at Full Court Press (which needs to do something about tagging their work — it NEVER comes to me via my news alerts): San Antonio Silver Stars 2011: Basketball Makeover 101
Hughes takes a cautious approach to where his team stands.  “There is a lot of evidence yet to be played out,” Hughes stated. Still, acknowledging that his team had a better start than many—the Silver Stars went 4-0 to start the regular season and stood atop the West with a 7-1 record at the end of June before dropping three in a row in early July—Hughes expressed his pleasure with his team’s unexpectedly strong performance this season:  “There is a good energy [and] a bench that has not always been part of the Silver Stars,” Hughes stated. 

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The fastest W player to 5000 points celebrated that accomplishment with a win. Behind Candice Dupree’s sweet game, the Merc stayed red-hot, taking down the (yes, I’m going to say it) Myserable Mystics.

Speaking of Myserable, did you check out Mechelle’s chat? Gotta love opinionated journalists:

Judith (Wash DC): Is the Mystics’ front office tone deaf? Following up the off-season debacle, and with the team now at 2-9, they’ve just invited fans to PAY MONEY to attend a pre-game panel with Sheila Johnson, Ted Leonsis, and Laurel Richie. Forty dollars for season ticketholders, 60 bucks in advance for those who aren’t, $70 at the door. The price includes a game ticket and “food & beverage (cash bar).” CASH BAR for those prices? Really? I will gladly pay $70 for your ticket, Mechelle, if you’ll go and ask questions.Seriously though, now the fans have to pay for a little pre-game chat with the owners?

Mechelle Voepel: When I first saw this, I thought, “Every time we think the Mystics have outdone themselves in PR gaffes, they come up with something new to surprise us.” I wouldn’t pay a nickel for this “opportunity,” and neither should anybody else. It’s insulting.

After the Battle of the Replacements, it’s too early to call the coaching change “brilliant.” ‘Cause it depends on how you spin the story. If you’re an LA fan, there’s cause for concern (the Sparks were playing the Shock. And they were 18 down.) But there’s cause for optimism: they did come back for a 79-74 win.

The Lynx notched an impressive win, stopping the Fever’s seven-game win streak IN Indiana.

“The biggest thing for us was that we finally locked down and defended in the second half,” said Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve. “We were disappointed with how well we let the Fever move the basketball, we thought they really had their wheels rolling.”

In New Jersey, an uninspired fourth quarter by the Liberty gave the Sun their second (Only two? Ouch!) road win.

“A lot of the games we don’t give ourselves a chance to finish the game,” Montgomery said. “We’re down so much that we exhaust so much energy trying to come back, that when we come even close to coming back we kind of run out of gas. It was close the whole game and we gave ourselves a chance to win it and we did.”

The victory was coach Thibault’s 167th , tying him with Anne Donovan and Michael Cooper for second place in WNBA history.

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Ten Moments from 2010 (Maybe the new prez can figure out how to tag their articles so it gets picked up by google or yahoo alerts…)

Below is a collection of 10 great moments from the 2010 season, starting with the WNBA Draft and ending with the WNBA Finals, in chronological order.

Since the time frame is centered inside that window, a few notable items were left on the cutting room floor that I felt were still worthy of a mention since they happened in 2010, even if they didn’t happen during the season. For example, the three-team, five-player trade back on March 30th that sent Candice Dupree to Phoenix, Cappie Pondexter to New York and Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld to Chicago was no doubt a significant moment in 2010, especially since it was big enough to turn the Liberty into serious contenders in the East after all was said and done.

To a lesser degree, another one that was left outside that time frame was Marion Jones signing a training camp contract with the Shock back on March 10th. Granted Tulsa struggled in its first season, but it’s hard to argue against the degree of excitement and hype surrounding Jones through camp and into her first game with the Shock.

With that said, here’s to a great season in 2010. Have a safe and happy New Year, and Expect Great in 2011.

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A couple from SlamOnline

From Candice Wiggins: The Graduate – “The completion of my degree feels like a triple overtime victory.”

From Ben: Candice Dupree, no. 14 – The definitive ranking of the WNBA’s best players.

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From USA Basketball: USA Blows By Belarus Early, Takes 107-61 World Championship Victory

Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun) and Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury) earned spots in the starting lineup and did not disappoint. The duo accounted for the USA’s first 10 points as the USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team (5-0) ran out to a 23-6 lead and never looked back en route to beating Belarus (2-3) 107-61 in the second round of the 2010 FIBA World Championship on Tuesday night in Ostrava, Czech Republic


“You always want to get a great start going into games, or at the start of games, and I think the more we’ve been able to play with each other in these games, the more comfortable we’ve gotten and tonight was just proof of that,” said Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), who dished out four of the USA’s 24 assists. “For some of us, we only got here a week ago, so everything is still kind of new. But tonight I think we took a step in the right direction.”

From coach Auriemma during the post-game quotes:

At one point during the game I said, ‘I don’t think we’re as good as we looked during that first quarter, first half, and I don’t think Belarus is as bad as they looked.’ They’re a lot better, and they’ve shown that they’re a lot better during this tournament. We just happened to play really, really well tonight against a good team. I’ve seen them play the other four games that they’ve played here, and they’re a very good team. For us to do what we did tonight, we had to play really, really well and we did.

Check out the game photos.

Also, SPM has a game story and photos.

This game saw the U.S. come strong out of the gate. A little more than two minutes into the opening period, Dupree launched a 17-0 run with a short jumper in the paint, followed by a break-away lay-up off a Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) steal and a feed by Sue Bird (Seattle Storm). By the time Belarus recovered its footing nearly five minutes later, the Americans were already up, 23-6, with three minutes still to go in the opening period.

Next up: The Aussies at 2:15EST. This will give many a chance to take a peek at Liz.  Doug says  Teenage Aussie center Cambage has eye on WNBA

Liz Cambage is an intimidating presence on the basketball court, the Australian center’s 2.00-meter (6-foot-8) frame combining athleticism with strength.

“I can’t remember anyone who has that combination of brawn and athleticism,” Australia coach Carrie Graf said. “There have definitely been players her height in the league before, but never anyone who was as agile.”

But behind that imposing exterior is a sweet and innocent 19-year-old. After dominating with 20 points in Australia’s 93-54 rout of Greece on Monday, Cambage met with the media for the first time. She was giggling while answering questions and apologized if she thought she didn’t offer a good enough response.

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USA Women Down Canada 87-46 In FIBA World Championship

Leading 19-14 after the first quarter, a monster 28-11 advantage in the second period propelled the USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team (4-0) to a 87-46 win over Canada (1-3) in the second round of the 2010 FIBA World Championship on Monday evening in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

The USA’s defense starred in the game, forcing 32 turnovers and collecting 20 steals, which it converted into 38 second-chance points and 31 points off of fast-break opportunities.

From Auriemma in the quotes section:

We have more depth and we’re able to stay fresher throughout the game. We’re able to get in passing lanes, be disruptive on defense and we thought, going into the game, that’s exactly what we had to do because we watched  Australia-Canada and that was a lot closer game than the score indicated, because they do make it difficult to guard them because they stay with their stuff over and over again. You have to be disciplined. You have to be determined not to break down. I thought our guys did a great job today of staying within that and not being impulsive and trying to steal it every time down the floor. Lindsay (Whalen) was just great. She set a tone. She and Candice Dupree were really special today the way they played. Now we’re looking forward to tomorrow.

Check out the USA Bball video interviews.

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A-10 Rivals of Past Meet In USA-Spain Game

Former Temple star Candice Dupree, a 6-foot-2 All-Star forward who plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, entered the game in the final period — she didn’t arrive here until Saturday because of the WNBA playoffs — and scored all 10 of her points, shooting 4-for-4 from the field.

Former George Washington forward Anna Montanana, a 2005 graduate, was a rose to the Spanish Hartford contingent in the crowd, scoring a game-high 21 points and hitting 5-of-7 three pointers.

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Praising ‘ice

It’s Jeff! Jeff Metcalfe! JEFF! Good to read you! Where ya been?

Phoenix Mercury’s Candice Dupree comes up big in WNBA playoff debut

Until last week, Candice Dupree was a three-time WNBA All-Star with zero playoff appearances.

By averaging 25.5 points and 9.5 rebounds – both team highs – in the Mercury’s Western Conference semifinal sweep of San Antonio, the 6-foot-2 forward proved she is postseason-ready and instrumental to the drive for a second consecutive championship.

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From Odeen at AZCentral: Candice Dupree finding stride in Phoenix Mercury’s system

Hope has turned into expectation. For what once was staggered now is seamless.

Forward Candice Dupree no longer is the new Mercury player. And now, she’s more than just a player; she’s an integral part of a Mercury team that is playing like a defending WNBA champion for the first time this season.

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Doing a great job of covering women’s basketball – as always. (And a shout out to the Washington Post for posting it): All Access: USA women’s basketball training camp

For most leagues, the All-Star break is a time for players and fans to relax and have some fun. For the WNBA, the All-Star break included some serious business.

It was the first and only opportunity for all the players in the U.S. national basketball pool to be in camp before the World Championship in the Czech Republic this fall. Over the past decade it has been nearly impossible for the Americans to get all of their players in the same place at the same time with many of them competing overseas in the winter or making the WNBA finals.

Coach Geno Auriemma allowed The Associated Press exclusive access to the team and coaches during its training camp at WNBA All-Star weekend.

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From USA Basketball: Six Olympic Gold Medalists Among 11-Member Team Set To Participate In WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun Game

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