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Posts Tagged ‘Kara Braxton’

she’s not on my team. *sigh*

Yes, perhaps the “Three to See” has become the “Two to View”, but wow, how much fun is it to watch Elena Delle Donne play. (And congrats to her, CAA Scholar Athlete of the Year) Granted, the Lib had no one who could guard her. Katie? Nice try — she gives up inches and years. Plennette? Delightfully physical, which EDD handled, but nowhere quick enough. The kid plays in control, is ACTUALLY a guard in a forward’s body, and has pogo-stick-like elevation skills.

Pokey plays EVERYone, and yesterday, they all seemed able to play. Who knows if it’s chemistry, coaching or basketball IQ, but the team looks so in sync with each other. It’s as if everyone’s field of vision/sense is open to their teammates and they can all “sense” where each other are on the court. There was one moment where the Sky did lose their mind offensively, and if Pokey could have kicked badgers out of her toes, she would have.

Of note:

Big Sly was back on the court and, while she didn’t light up the scoreboard, her quick hands were in every passing lane.
Carolyn Swords: Since when did she become a reliable, nitty-gritty big?
Prince: Always interesting to watch her battle her ego when she goes up against Cappie.
Sloot: Just as I said, “You know, if Courtney ever rediscovers her shot, then….” Eureka, guess what happened?
Blue Hens fans: In da house, courtesy of Amtrak and a convoy of buses.

The best Liberty moment? When they were showing “When they were a baby” photos, and there was golden lab puppy Maddie with a crown on his head…. 

I don’t know what happened during the game, and I don’t have the cast-iron metaphorical cojones to walk up to Katie Smith and ask her these things, but she was hot under the collar like nobody’s business. I thought someone on Chicago said something about her mother or something. Her head was not in the game the rest of the way. She couldn’t find her rhythm shooting, and her defense was below her average. I don’t expect her to be a total game-changer anymore, but we could have used her to keep the game within striking distance. Leilani Mitchell was pesky, but she couldn’t check Vandersloot sufficiently, which meant that defensively she was reduced to doubling down and trying to make things happen with disruption. As you might be able to discern from the score, this was not successful. Avery Warley rebounded well, but I think everyone involved knew that she was out of her depth. Kara Braxton muscled a little bit, but this was not a smart Kara day. This was a very dumb Kara day. If Kelsey can’t get easy shots to fall and Kara’s having a very dumb day, things are not going to end well in the post for the Liberty. Cappie Pondexter showed a spark of life in the second quarter, and she and Kamiko teamed up for one beautiful defensive sequence that resulted in a shot clock violation, but too much of the offense was flowing into her and then stagnating. It was Cappie against the world, just like it was under Whiz, and that’s not a scheme for long-term success. She took a lot of good shots, but she took even more bad shots.

And yes, that was the Lib’s “best” moment. The team is out of sorts, Bill looks like he’s out of options, and NY could easily slide out of the playoffs, ’cause CT can still get healthy.

Meanwhile, in Minny, the on-again, off-again buzz saw that is the Lynx was on again and, as a result, Phoenix was sliced and diced. The “damn it” news is that Augustus left the building on crutches, meaning it’s likely she’s a no-show for the game against the Dream.

The Q is back, and Mike *breathes a sign of relief* T is the winningest. Nice 212-congrats.

No, Tina didn’t “officially” cost the Sun a win, but her ridiculous melt down/two Ts effectively stopped Connecticut’s momentum and hamstrung their comeback effort against Indiana.

Yah, we thought this is what it was that took Becky down, but we like to delude ourselves sometimes: Frackin’ ACLs.

Doug at the AP recycles the “Expand the Roster” story.

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in the world of sports and being “disrespected” can become a motivating factor for some.

I know that San Antonio has talked about needing to “earn respect,” but I’ve gotta believe their trip to New York may have added fuel to their fire. First, the NY Post called them the “Silver Spurs.” Then, the Liberty, in a classic example of  “attention to detail,” print game day roster cards identifying the day’s opponent as the “San Antonio Storm.”

I kid you not.

Needless to say, the three large SASS fan groups in attendance were not amused. They went home happy, though, as their team put on a lovely display of team basketball and exited the building with a win. What a pleasure it was to watch “Liberty mid-west” in action (Becky, Shameka, VJ).  Defensively, it’s a very opportunistic bunch. On offense, Hammon and Young are so in sync — it’s just a delight to watch. The hidden killer, though, was Jia Perkins. Girl was smokin’ she was so hot. And yes, Adams has range and a nice touch inside, but you have to wonder how long a career she’s going to have if she continues to carry the weight she’s carrying (and missing layups). I’m also guessin’ that SASS is probably the only W team NOT looking forward to the London 2012 pause. They’re on a roll, and who knows what happens to their momentum during the hiatus.

As for the Lib, they certainly played a prettier game than the one I witnessed against the (real) Storm, but they eventually ran out of legs. Literally and figuratively. Vaughn and Pierson are still in civvies, DeMaya’s one leg gave out on her mid-second half and Alex Montgomery sported a post-game knee-ice bag that was a the size of a good loaf of sourdough. And don’t look to Braxton for any help — she’s still so out of shape that she thinks she’s playing hockey — every two minutes she calls to the bench for a sub. It seems rather insulting to every other player that she’s taking up bench and cap space.

Yup, defense done well (and a missing Angel) can do ya in: LA smooshed the Dream.

Echoing the classic Monty Python line, “I got better.” Sue Bird scored 31 as the Seattle Storm stomped the Mercury.

In the most important game of the day, Tulsa took care of business in the second half and Washington looked to secure their fair share of draft ping pong balls: Shock 78, ‘stics 62.

Speaking of injuries, (Big) Becky’s strained calf means Wojta gets a week’s worth of work.

Two cranky coaches: one in D.C. and one in Chicago. I wonder if they’ll write each other a letter…

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Kara and Jacki: Two Missed Opportunities; Two Shakes of the Head – Two sad stories… but for markedly different reasons.

Women’s basketball doesn’t have enough superstars, and losing one like Gemelos to injury, and one like Braxton to stupidity, are both cruel blows. Both left a game that needs every ounce of star power it can muster with unfulfilled promise, and a sadness that can’t be erased with just a shake of the head.

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for me: Hey kids, they’re not all like this, I promise

After seven games alternating wins and losses, this was a clear chance for the Liberty to finally string two victories together after they fought off Atlanta on Tuesday night. The Sky have been poor lately, and only have two road wins for the season (and those were in Tulsa and Washington). New York did Chicago a favour with that win over the Dream, keeping the Sky just barely in the fourth and final playoff spot in the East. At some point, Chicago are going to have to win some games themselves to cling on to that position.

This. Was. Ugly. Not even going to try to gloss this one up. If you want to be decidedly generous, you could give credit to the defenses. Both teams play good defense in general, but both teams were helping each other out with some pedestrian offense this afternoon.

He’s also got: Grading the Trade: Braxton moving again

For the second year in a row, Kara Braxton has found herself packing her bags just before the WNBA trade deadline. Less than 12 months ago she was brought in by Phoenix in the hope that she’d be the necessary final piece to win another championship, at the expense of a first-round draft pick. This time, they’ve given her away for the very last player on the end of the New York Liberty bench. What a difference a year makes.

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First, the sucky: Shalee Lehning Injury To Sideline Atlanta Dream Guard For Remainder Of Season

Then a little Quick Analysis: Phoenix Mercury Trade Kara Braxton to the New York Liberty For Sidney Spencer

After getting suspended for a game by the Phoenix Mercury for “mouthing off”, center Kara Braxton has been traded to the New York Liberty in exchange for Sidney Spencer.

As Seth Pollack described at SBN Arizona, this move might be considered “addition by subtraction” for them. But for the Liberty, trading a limited contributor for Braxton is a low-risk, high reward proposition.

Add a little 2011 WNBA Mid-Season Awards:Top 5 Most Improved Player Candidates

The WNBA Most Improved Player award is one of the toughest to figure out because true improvement is hard to define.

Ideally, you’d want some way to determine and compare whether players’ basketball ability had improved rather than just reading their basic stat line and picking the one with the biggest differential; points, rebounds, assists, etc. can improve due to increased minutes or a trade to a new team that better suits them without the player actually improving at all. Similarly, per 40 stats can improve, but there’s no way to know if a player will match those numbers if given 40 minutes (and in most cases they wouldn’t over the course of a season.

Yet unfortunately, we also can’t stick every player in the league in one big gym every year with a panel of judges to figure out who has actually gotten better in a year’s time.

And finally, a little WNBA Mid-Season Point Guard Rankings (Part 2): A Very Tentative Top Five

Consistent with what made Whalen’s performance in San Antonio so outstanding this past Sunday, at the core of these “point guard” rankings is a focus on the quality of their decisions rather than any conception of positional “purity”. There are situations that demand a pass-first mindset and situations for which a scorer’s mentality is most appropriate.

Either way, the best point guards are able to do what’s best for their team in the moment and do so efficiently.

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Wow.

Not sure if there are any winners here: Liberty Acquire All-Star Kara Braxton

The ‘kellians discuss.

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Ooops

Phoenix Mercury Forward Kara Braxton Suspended One Game

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