The WNBA Thread


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Another NBA season has come and gone with the same emphasis on flash and trash and none on the heart of the game: the fundamentals. Year after year I find myself less impressed with high flying dunks and triple digit scores yet still enamored with the sport of basketball. Fortunately, for those of us who understand that the fundamentals are what is really important, there is always the WNBA! This year is proving to be an incredibly exciting one as well with each girl playing her hardest and diving after every rebound.

Let's take a look at the standings this year so far!

In the Western Conference the Minnesota Lynx and San Antonio Silver stars are tied for the top of their division with 7-3 records, followed closely by the Phoenix Mercury at 8-4 who are currently on a 4 Win streak! Truly these are three teams that understand the fundamentals, unlike the Tulsa Shock sitting pretty at a 1-11 record with a losing streak of 5 games. Too much flash, girls. Practice your inbounds a little more!

The Western Conference is much closer than the Eastern Conference where the greatest basketball team in history, the Indianapolis Fever, are running away with the conference title with a record of 9-3, having won their past 6 games. The Connecticut Sun at 6-4 are trying to catch up, but based on the strength of Indianapolis stars like Tameka Catchings, who goes for every rebound and plays with so much heart, and center Tangela Smith with a devastating 1.000 free throw ratio, it's hard to think that any team can match the incredible level of fundamentals that these girls show.

The season is shaping up to be quite exciting with even more fundamental action to come! Use this thread to discuss the WNBA season, your favorite teams and players, and much more!

Go Fever!


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Being a huge fan of the Phoenix Suns I also follow the Phoenix Mercury, and unlike the Suns they have brought me a championship not once, but twice so I tend to follow them more. Candice Dupree is one of my favorite players to watch, she has solid fundamentals and many people call her the WNBA Tim Duncan for that reason (though I would call Tim Duncan the NBA Candice). I think the Mercury can make another run towards the championship this season, though the loss of Tangela Smith to the Fever might be huge down the line, only time will tell. But behind the consistent and solid play of Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor and Candice Dupree there is a definite chance they can make a run in the playoffs and possibly win it all.


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With the All-Star Game quickly approaching on July 23rd, I've been closely following the voting race. Tamika Catchings of the Indianapolis Fever is currently holding the #1 spot with close to 20,000 votes. Cappie Pondexter and Katie Douglas are in a close race for the #2 spot in votes with around 11,800 and 11,200 respectively, but neither has a strong chance of overtaking Tamika for the #1 spot. Tamika is clearly a fan favorite and it's not hard to see why. Her inspiring play on the court is obvious to even a new fan every one of the 32.3 minutes she plays. She dives for every rebound like it will be her last, putting her in the top 10 in rebounds in the league with nearly 8 rebounds per game.

I wish I could make it to the All-Star game this year, but as I don't live close to San Antonio I will be unable to make it to the game for the second straight year. I know it will be a good game with both teams playing hard.


I did my best -- I have no regrets
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The University of Connecticut currently has 10 active duty WNBA players who are also alumni!

ASJHA JONES - Connecticut Sun
TINA CHARLES- Connecticut Sun
KALANA GREEN - Connecticut Sun
RENEE MONTGOMERY - Connecticut Sun
CHARDE HOUSTON - Minnesota Lynx
MAYA MOORE - Minnesota Lynx
DIANA TAURASI - Phoenix Mercury
KETIA SWANIER - Phoenix Mercury
SUE BIRD - Seattle Storm
SWIN CASH - Seattle Storm

The University of Tennessee also has a number of players in the WNBA including superstar Tamika Catchings!
I will be interested to see how Cambage goes. It's nice to see that there are a fair number of Australian Women in the WNBA despite basketball not being a particulary popular sport here.


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The Indianapolis Fever's Katie Douglas, who leads her team in scoring with 16.1 ppg was interviewed recently while the Fever are on a six game winning streak.

Katie Douglas and the Indiana Fever are currently sporting a league-best six-game win streak. While an injury to starting point guard Briann January was cause for concern coming out of a win over the Phoenix Mercury, Douglas is confident the team is prepared to adjust and adapt to the changes around the perimeter. See what she has to say about Indy's hot streak, newcomers Shannon Bobbitt, Erin Phillips and Tangela Smith, and the team's depth as it heads into the midway point of the season. The Fever as a whole is really playing some solid basketball right now, but you yourself are putting up some big numbers too. Would you say you're just finding your groove early here?
Katie Douglas: Yeah, definitely. I feel extremely rested. I feel energized. I just feel engaged and I'm in a good rhythm and I think as a shooter and as a scorer, any time you can find that good rhythm you just try to stay with it. So my teammates definitely do a great job setting me up or getting me open and I've just been able to throw it in this year. It's a good start for me individually and I just hope to keep this pace for the rest of the season. In terms of teammates you have a few familiar faces you're working with, but how quickly did Tangela Smith work her way into the Fever's system?
KD: I think she did it pretty quick. Obviously with us all being back in training camp really helped her adjust. After about a week or a week and a half of going over all of our schemes offensively and defensively she's done a great job of adjusting. You know, she's a veteran and she's a player who's played for a lot of teams and a lot of systems so she's just done a great job adapting herself and really finding herself on our team. Between you, Tamika Catchings and Tangela, there are a number of scorers to defer to on any given night. But then you get a big night from a player like Jessica Davenport who dropped 25 points on Phoenix about two weeks ago. Are you guys just finding the hot shooter early in the game and putting the ball in her hands?
KD: Yeah, we really do. I think this is definitely a team by committee. Whether it's me or Catch or J-Dav or anybody that's able to have a big night, we're going to go with the hot hand and we're going to feed whoever's hot. In this league you need three or four people to have double-figures. You can't really ride on one person and I think that's what makes us a really good team this year. There's all different kinds of threats and we're playing to our strengths and everybody's a threat on the court. We're definitely unselfish and if that person's hot we're going to get them the looks that night. You mention playing to your strengths but you're also playing through a weakness of sorts too. With Briann January going down with a season-ending ACL injury, there seems to be a bit of a question mark around the Fever's perimeter. Is there any concerns with running the offense through Shannon Bobbitt or Erin Phillips?
KD: I don't think about that so much like how outsiders think. I definitely think that there was a little bit of a question and we tried to solve that through practice ever since Briann went down against Phoenix. We fortunately had a week to kind of breathe and then try and figure out what we're going to do, and I think the management did a good job of keeping two point guards on the roster. They weren't getting as many opportunities when Bri was healthy but now they've had several practices to get acclimated and get comfortable and they had the game against probably one of the most dynamic point guards with Sue Bird and actually had a really good test the other night. They passed that test and we continue to work with them and I think they're going to be fine. Each one of them brings different strengths. It's a good compliment. They compliment one another really well and I think that they'll handle a majority of the point guard duties and I think that we'll be fine. We have so many veterans on this team that can help them and also myself, I can play a little bit of the point guard for them, so everybody's just going to have to do a little bit more and I think that that's what we're going with. A lot of responsibility at the point guard position relies on instinct and knowing the players on the court. For both Shannon and Erin, they came on board this past offseason. They may not know those little tendencies for you or Tamika or Tangela.
KD: Well yeah that's something they've been running these past few practices. They just have the ball in their hands more and they're getting more reps than they were getting when Bri was out there with them. I think they're definitely learning where we like the ball. I have my sweet spot and they now kind of know where that is. And like you said, where other people like the ball and just trying to learn how to play to people's strengths. Our team chemistry is at such a high level that they just did well. When I spoke with Briann during the offseason she didn't necessarily concede that she was happy with how the season ended last year, but she did say that it was an opportunity to hit the reset button. Would you agree with that?
KD: The standard every year is championship. So every year we set such high expectations and last year we just weren't playing to any expectations. We were just so inconsistent and it was such a rocky road last year playing wise and results wise. We just couldn't get over the hump and I think a lot of teams found themselves in that predicament like win one, lose one. We could never get on the streak like we're on right now last year. I felt like it was just a long year mentally. I felt extremely tired mentally and physically. A lot of us were coming from overseas and we didn't have a break and we were just a little bit off. We were kind of behind the gun and never able to get in front of it. So I think this year, as Bri was saying, we were able to hit the reset button and came back really fresh and rested and again mentally and physically that's the most important. When you come in with a great mindset like we did this year it definitely helps and it helps us be in the position that we're in right now.


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Great interview. Losing Briann definitely hurts the Fever and puts them in a weaker position, but such a strong core in Tamika, Tangela, and Katie are poised to continue the win-streak. Bobbitt and Phillips proved themselves in the Fever's victory over the Storm the other day and I think with more practice they can only get better and more acclimated as they become more experienced. The Fever are the team to beat this year!
After spending some time in Indianapolis, I must say that their team name is as true as could be. I caught the Fever and am now a die hard fan. If I can recall correctly Tamika Catchings had a monstrous game on Saturday with 6 steals and 3 blocked shots. What a monster! Nonetheless after hearing about her performance I just had to purchase some fangear. I'll post a pic ASAP!


I did my best -- I have no regrets
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The Fever continued their win streak today with their 90-78 win over the Connecticut Sun, bringing their streak to a league best 7. The best thing about the Fever is how they emphasize the team nature of the game with six players scoring in the double digits, including allstar Tamika Catchings. Katie Douglass lead scoring with a powerful 20 points. This shows how much they truly care about the fundamentals of the game with every player playing hard for the team.

The fever have certainly exerted dominance over the entire league, but the Phoenix Mercury are definitely making a push, as well as being the last team to beat the Fever. The Fever's next game against the Minnesota Lynx is pretty big and will definitely be a big game, even though it is still early in the season. It's definitely going to come down to rebounds with Big Bekah Brunson in the paint diving for the boards against the still young Davenport.

BTW, makiri what do you think of Penny Taylor? She's a pretty good combo with Taurasi and Dupree and it certainly shows in her averages of 16 ppg, 5 apg, and 5 rbg. She's quite attractive too!
Can't believe the Fever lost to the Lynx like that. Tamika was a monster in the game with 22 points! Oh well, only a minor speed bump in what is possibly going to be the 1 seed of the East. Looks like the West though is pretty stacked with Minnesota, Phoenix, LA, SA, and Seattle all vying for the top seed with only a 3 game differential between the Mercury and the Sparks!


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I was going to look for something to watch on TV the other day and ended up seeing most of the San Antonio-Seattle game. I really was impressed. Quite a few former Uconn players (which I do like, considering both parents went there), but it's more of a mix than people give it credit for too. It is certainly different than the NBA, with less dunking and flash and more clean fundamentals (though the guys certainly aren't bad at them by any means, they are professionals too), and it was a nice game to watch for sure. Hopefully I can watch some more games soon, though I can't say I know when they're on.

Also side note: They mentioned one player used to play for Columbus in the some now-defunct league, and I had been to one of their games when she played. It was an interesting experience and I remember a surprising amount of people showed up.


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The Mercury put on a show last night with 9 players recording assists vs the Mystics. The Mercury are definitely making a push as the best team in the WNBA, their record stands at 10-4 and they have won 9 of their last 10 and 6 in a row. The Fever may be the trendy pick at this point in the season, but the Mercury are always in the hunt. Who knows we may see a rematch of the 2009 Finals down the road, that would definitely excite me.
I'm glad to see that there is another WNBA fan here on Smogon! And I agree that it's difficult to follow since they do not get too much mainstream coverage.

Minnesota is really impressing me, as are the Mercury. But still, you cannot count the Fever out with 4 time Defensive Player of the Year Tamika Catchings!
Sorry to triple post but I would like to say that the playoffs are about to start! It's going to be a good one with the Fever vs. the Liberty! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FEVER!
Sorry for the Quadruple post, but I just wanted to update Smogon, Congratulations to the Minnesota Lynx on taking out the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA Finals, even though it should have been the Indiana Fever. There's always next year though, hopefully most of the roster can come back and Tamika will stay healthy throughout the playoffs.


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The regular season starts in just a few more weeks. Anyone got any predictions on who they think is going to make a deep run into the playoffs or win this year? Will the Lynx defend their title or will the Fever finally take that next step towards a championship?
I really really hope the Tulsa Shock can perform better this year. Maybe I'm just a big sucker for underdog stories but I think my biggest dream as a WNBA fan is to see Tulsa back at the top of the rankings like in their Detroit Shock days.

Maybe Liz Cambage can put the team on her back and carry it to glory now that she's learned and improved her game, but on the other hand maybe that's a bit unrealistic. Either way though I hope for the best!
lol what a bump

Anyway, this inspired me to look into aussies in the wnba and I was surprised to see Liz Cambage wasn't there, despite being one of two active female basketball players that I can name. Wikipedia tells me she didn't want to play in the wnba because she'd be a franchise player, which is funny because you'd think that'd be a good thing lol. Idk, I find it interesting because to me it seems that there would be a lot of allure to that kind of status, but then I can imagine why you wouldn't do it, kinda. But apparently she's still one of the highest paid female ballers in the world so if that's not an issue then there goes another major appeal to being a franchise player I guess.

Also it's really weird trying to convert heights to approximate positions for women, just not used to it because I don't follow it at all