“Back to work” day for the pros

First of all, Sylvia Fowles and Lauren Jackson were named Eastern and Western Conference players of the week, respectively. It’s Fowles second such honor this season, and Jackson’s fourth. Jackson didn’t play in the Storm’s noon game today against the Liberty, which they won, 78-70, thanks to a fourth quarter surge. She’s still being evaluated for a concussion.

The new MVP rankings are out today, and right now it’s:

1. Lauren Jackson
2. Tina Charles
3. Cappie Pondexter
4. Diana Taurasi
5. Angel McCoughtry
6. Crystal Langhorne
7. Sylvia Fowles
8. Tamika Catchings
9. Sancho Lyttle
10. Monique Currie

The WNBA-USA Basketball teams were announced today:

WNBA

Player Team

Jayne Appel San Antonio Silver Stars
Rebekkah Brunson Minnesota Lynx
Becky Hammon San Antonio Silver Stars
Iziane Castro Marques Atlanta Dream
Katie Douglas Indiana Fever
Lauren Jackson Seattle Storm
Crystal Langhorne Washington Mystics
Sancho Lyttle Atlanta Dream
Michelle Snow San Antonio Silver Stars
Penny Taylor Phoenix Mercury
Sophia Young San Antonio Silver Stars

USA BASKETBALL

Player Team

Sue Bird Seattle Storm
Swin Cash Seattle Storm
Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever
Tina Charles Connecticut Sun
Candice Dupree Phoenix Mercury
Sylvia Fowles Chicago Sky
Angel McCoughtry Atlanta Dream
Maya Moore University of Connecticut
Renee Montgomery Connecticut Sun
Cappie Pondexter New York Liberty
Diana Taurasi Phoenix Mercury

The Mercury beat the Sparks tonight (I didn’t go). Maybe the LA Times’ piece this morning on rookie guard Andrea Riley helped, because the youngin played over 12 minutes and put up nine points. Very nice.

San Antonio actually won a game, beating Connecticut 79-66.

3 COMMENTS

  1. "The Mercury beat the Sparks tonight (I didn't go)."

    I went. The suites are awesome. You GOTTA be there when the dessert cart rolls around.

    As for the game, well…

    You've used the word "punkish" for the Sparks' loss to the Liberty last week, which was the perfect word, and it describes how the Sparks started yesterday's game, too. I mean, going down 20 points, at home, in the first quarter, to a sub-.500 team? That's punkish. All the negatives we've seen all season were still there: settling for low-percentage jumpers off the dribble. No penetration. No post play. Lots of one-on-one stuff around the perimeter. Lots of standing around. No interior defense whatsoever. Giveaway points in transition. Nary an offensive rebound to be found (or even sought after).

    The good news is that, like in the Seattle match, the Sparks slowly, steadily fought back and made a game out of it. That's not nothing. It would've been incredibly easy for the ladies to fold it up after that 1st quarter, but they didn't, and Coach Gillom has gotta get some credit for that. But that said, Coach is losing the benefit of the doubt that I, personally, am inclined to extend to her past this season. I've seen about 6 Sparks games now, and despite Gillom's purported up-tempo philosophy, I can count on two hands the number of times I've seen the Sparks actually push a break to the hoop, as opposed to getting out in transition with numbers only to pull it up at the hash and reset into the half-court. So if Gillom's not getting transition points out of these ladies, and she's not getting any sort of actual halfcourt offense out of these ladies, and lord knows she's not getting defense or rebounding out of them, then what's she getting out of them? Her whole positive, nurturing thing definitely counts for something, but is it really enough for the head coach of the WNBA's premier franchise?

    I know that Kathy Goodman really wants us to make the playoffs, and I assume that missing them would impact her bottom line, but it really seems to me like we're in the Maya Moore sweepstakes, at this point. And the good news is that, imo, we've got some nice, young role-playing pieces that we could put around Candace and a newcomer like Maya. I, for one, really like Kristi Toliver. I like the physicality I've been seeing out of Lindsay the last couple of games (she's basically the only one willing to put a body on someone, or to hit the offensive glass). Andrea Riley may be little but at least she's fearless and she's active defensively and she leaves every single piece of herself out there. Noelle's a nice bench player who's capable of getting hot from outside. Sunshine can't carry a team (like she's being asked to do this season), but as a role-player she's okay. Altogether these may not be championship pieces, but put them around Candace Parker and a Maya Moore and they can definitely win some ballgames, I think.

    As for the rest? Well… Tina Thompson might be a legend and one of the all-timers, but right now (to me) she just looks tired and done. Ticha too. Marie looks lost. Mokango maybe could get things done against college girls, but she's way too weak and skinny to get around in the lane against full-grown women. Ship those ladies and get some bruisers/enforcers for the lane (they don't even gotta score, they just gotta cause physical pain to anyone on the other team who enters the lane) and this team could be okay. With a new coach.

    Go Sparks,

    Patrick Meighan
    Culver City, CA

  2. (cont’d from above)

    I know that Kathy Goodman really wants us to make the playoffs, and I assume that missing them would impact her bottom line, but it really seems to me like we're in the Maya Moore sweepstakes, at this point. And the good news is that, imo, we've got some nice, young role-playing pieces that we could put around Candace and a newcomer like Maya. I, for one, really like Kristi Toliver. I like the physicality I've been seeing out of Lindsay the last couple of games (she's basically the only one willing to put a body on someone, or to hit the offensive glass). Andrea Riley may be little but at least she's fearless and she's active defensively and she leaves every single piece of herself out there. Noelle's a nice bench player who's capable of getting hot from outside. Sunshine can't carry a team (like she's being asked to do this season), but as a role-player she's okay. Altogether these may not be championship pieces, but put them around Candace Parker and a Maya Moore and they can definitely win some ballgames, I think.

    As for the rest? Well… Tina Thompson might be a legend and one of the all-timers, but right now (to me) she just looks tired and done. Ticha too. Marie looks lost. Mokango maybe could get things done against college girls, but she's way too weak and skinny to get around in the lane against full-grown women. Ship those ladies and get some bruisers/enforcers for the lane (they don't even gotta score, they just gotta cause physical pain to anyone on the other team who enters the lane) and this team could be okay. With a new coach.

    Go Sparks,

    Patrick Meighan
    Culver City, CA

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