The WNBA: Thread II

Phil Plantier

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From the ESPN thread:

I have no beef with the WNBA. But the reality is, in this forum where anyone can start a thread about anything and is largely left of center, I found exactly one thread about the WNBA, regarding the 2019 finals. It has 6 posts.
Challenge accepted.*

Would love to talk about the WNBA here, as of now I've relied on Reddit and some mediocre podcasts.

Playoffs start tonight! And they've upgraded the playoff structure. First round is best of 3, with the higher seed having the first two games. It would be a real upset if 3 of the playoff series were competitive, but the 4/5 Washington Mystics/Seattle Storm series should be good. Next round is best of 5.

How would I sell the WNBA to you?
  • It's cheap to attend. For Connecticut Sun games, courtside seats can be had for $100 or $150. You can get lower-bowl seats for Sunday's playoff game for $40. Hint: call the ticket office directly, they're happy to help you avoid the ticketmaster fees.
  • It's on the up. There's a good set of owners now who want to invest in the league. There's talk of expansion. The commissioner has accomplished her mission of lowering costs, now the focus is on expanding the brand.
  • It's ideologically left, if that's your thing. And not token "End Racism" on the baselines, either.
  • It's physical. There's lots more post play, lots more running into screens hard. The NBA has tried to curb the overly physical play, it's still here in the WNBA.
  • Talent. Like the NBA lately, the WNBA has a lot of stars. Even the NY Liberty, the 8th seed in the playoffs, has 2 legit stars on it.
  • Parity. The 6 seed won the championship last year. This year 5 teams have a legit shot (and there's nothing between the top 2 teams, the Aces and defending champion Sky)
  • Gambling! Tbh, this is around 80% of the reason I follow the WNBA. To bet on basketball games over the Summer. With the expansion of sports gambling, I think this will only increase interest in the game.
Again, I'm not sure the playoff games tonight ([Edit: Liberty-Sky Wed at 8, Wings-Sun Thurs at 8], Mercury-Aces at 10) will be competitive, but if you haven't seen a game in a decade or two, I recommend giving it a watch.

* I think this thread goes in the Port Cellar rather than General Sports since the Bruins thread includes all sorts of hockey competitions.
 
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Lose Remerswaal

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Great thread! I have friends in CT who got Sun Season tickets for their daughters to enjoy. The kids are grown and out of the house . . . and the parents still go to the games. Ticket holders are appreciated, at least by the Sun. And the arena and surroundings aren't a bad take, either.
 

Batman Likes The Sox

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I'm a Celtics fan and will watch most of their games each year, and over the past few years I've started the same with the Sun.

I'm not massively articulate about basketball and mostly I follow along with basketball discussion and just enjoy the games. It's definitely my favorite sport as I get older, with baseball fading in interest for me.

I would also recommend the WBNA to any NBA fan... the game has changed a ton from when I watched a bit some years ago, and it's a lot more fun. I found the same sorts of ups and downs in the NBA, and that is probably also attached to how good the local team is.

I don't see the Sun winning it all this year but I'm hoping they get some revenge on the Sky... though that didn't go great in the regular season!
 

BaseballJones

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I’m a women’s hoops fan. My wife works with the Sun and I personally know a bunch of the former UConn women’s players now in the WNBA.

Nice to see this thread.

I fully understand why some people don’t like women’s basketball. It’s not high flying. They take set shots from three. I get it. But I like good basketball of all varieties and this qualifies. I’ll be rooting for the Sun but am not confident that they’ll win it all. They’ve been so close on numerous occasions but have never gotten over the hump. Also… their HC Curt Miller is a cool dude and easy to root for.
 

Zereck

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The playoffs should be great. I think the league could expand, but some of these teams are absolutely loaded. I mainly follow the league via Twitter but plan on watching as many of the postseason games as I can.
 

BaseballJones

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Talent wise, the league needs to expand. But financially it makes no sense as the league continues to lose money as it is. Adding a couple more teams will only hurt the bottom line even more.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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My wife and her mother have been season ticket holders for the Sun since they moved from Orlando (20th season celebration this year). I tag along to a few games every year including on my MIL's birthday game this year. The Sun staff were very accommodating that day with all our decorations etc. even with her stuck in the back row the past few years due to her lack of mobility. And the fan interaction is so much better at these games than in Boston. You get boos and cheers as usual but I've never seen the unruly behavior that can happen at the Garden. And after that birthday game everyone walking up the stairs was giving their best wishes to my MIL.

The quality of play has definitely gone up leaps and bounds since the first game I went to in 2006. Even with the loaded roster the Sun had in the mid 2000s, I think the present incarnation beats that team EASILY.

Plus you're walking out directly into a casino afterwards, if you're into that sort of thing.
 

BaseballJones

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In fact, you can’t access the arena without going through a casino. I personally don’t like that but I can see why lots of people would.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I’m a women’s hoops fan. My wife works with the Sun and I personally know a bunch of the former UConn women’s players now in the WNBA.

Nice to see this thread.

I fully understand why some people don’t like women’s basketball. It’s not high flying. They take set shots from three. I get it. But I like good basketball of all varieties and this qualifies. I’ll be rooting for the Sun but am not confident that they’ll win it all. They’ve been so close on numerous occasions but have never gotten over the hump. Also… their HC Curt Miller is a cool dude and easy to root for.
It's not just women's basketball. I find basketball to be a pretty terrible product outside the NBA and the Olympics/WC. Some International play is ok.

G league is terrible. Summer league is terrible. College basketball is terrible.
 

riboflav

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It's not just women's basketball. I find basketball to be a pretty terrible product outside the NBA and the Olympics/WC. Some International play is ok.

G league is terrible. Summer league is terrible. College basketball is terrible.
Not preferring women's basketball is an opinion or a preference for a different style of play or a different type of game. But, suggesting women's basketball is a terrible product is a value judgment. I think women's basketball at both the collegiate and professional level is a better product for a variety of reasons. It leans more competitive, more physical, more strategic, more advanced in offensive tactics (this one is more so at the collegiate level than the professional level). Having coached both boys and girls at a high level in HS, I find it much more challenging to coach girls because the game is below the rim. You cannot get away with throw the ball up at the rim when all else fails. I think this suggests how much strategy comes into play in the girls... and women's game. Even though the women's (and girl's game) depends on or uses more post play (although the Aces certainly prove it doesn't necessarily need to), you still see the modern game of high PnR, Spain PnR, drag screen action, zipper action, hammer action, pistol action, various horns sets, and so on and so on. You're also starting to see trill position less elite women's players emerge in the W. If anything, men's college basketball coaches could learn something from watching the W.

EDIT: Clearly, the biggest difference between boys play and girls play or mens play and women's play is one is faster and more above the rim. I imagine it's also the difference between mens soccer and women's soccer (speed!!) but I know many but certainly get that most don't feel this way that prefer the pluses of female basketball and female soccer over the other.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Not preferring women's basketball is an opinion or a preference for a different style of play or a different type of game. But, suggesting women's basketball is a terrible product is a value judgment. I think women's basketball at both the collegiate and professional level is a better product for a variety of reasons. It leans more competitive, more physical, more strategic, more advanced in offensive tactics (this one is more so at the collegiate level than the professional level). Having coached both boys and girls at a high level in HS, I find it much more challenging to coach girls because the game is below the rim. You cannot get away with throw the ball up at the rim when all else fails. I think this suggests how much strategy comes into play in the girls... and women's game. Even though the women's (and girl's game) depends on or uses more post play (although the Aces certainly prove it doesn't necessarily need to), you still see the modern game of high PnR, Spain PnR, drag screen action, zipper action, hammer action, pistol action, various horns sets, and so on and so on. You're also starting to see trill position less elite women's players emerge in the W. If anything, men's college basketball coaches could learn something from watching the W.
I said basketball outside of the NBA is terrible. But fair enough. It's not my style of play. It's better than the hero style of play that dominates the G league and Summer league that causes guards to dominate the league.
 

riboflav

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I said basketball outside of the NBA is terrible. But fair enough. It's not my style of play. It's better than the hero style of play that dominates the G league and Summer league that causes guards to dominate the league.
Yeah I just thought you were saying the W and Women's College Basketball were "terrible." No worries. I agree in general that much of the G League and also some NBA teams/games and many Men's College Basketball games come down to hero ball. And the female game is not immune to this as well, obviously (though I do think you see it less).

IDK if this analogy holds. My son who is 10 has gotten into watching hockey, a sport I've never cared for. So I have sat down to watch it with him a number of times and I still can't get into it. But, I get that that's just me because obviously millions of fans love it. I have my moments where I'm like the game has no strategy! But, I also get that that's my own lack of understanding of the game. So, I often caution myself it doesn't mean that hockey sucks or is a terrible product, just that's it's not my jam for whatever reason. I mean I think I can put my finger on several reasons why I prefer other sports. But, none of them amount to hockey sucks. Just my own preference - and probably also that I didn't get into it at a young age. I think we'll also see that play out over time with women's basketball. The ratings for the W are getting better and younger people are watching more than ever. So will that change people's views of the game in 10-20 years, probably. Just like we've seen with men's soccer since I was a young kid in the 80s when liking men's soccer was considered by many weird if not worse.
 

riboflav

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riboflav

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Wow. Just read the ESPN thread in the Media forum and maybe I should have posted there instead.
 

Marceline

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Yeah I just thought you were saying the W and Women's College Basketball were "terrible." No worries. I agree in general that much of the G League and also some NBA teams/games and many Men's College Basketball games come down to hero ball. And the female game is not immune to this as well, obviously (though I do think you see it less).
NBA regular season is pretty much unwatchable a large percentage of the time with teams just coasting or not really giving 100% for various reasons.

This is one thing I love about the WNBA is with the shorter season and fewer teams, you have a much better and more consistent regular season product.
 

riboflav

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NBA regular season is pretty much unwatchable a large percentage of the time with teams just coasting or not really giving 100% for various reasons.

This is one thing I love about the WNBA is with the shorter season and fewer teams, you have a much better and more consistent regular season product.
Yeah as far as a "product" goes was going to say you have less tanking (the draft can vary y2y but unless there's a very special player you don't see it much) and much less load management. As you said because there are fewer RS games.

Best of three in the first round and the lesser seed has game three at home haha. Though I will say it should be more like MLB with all three games at home to the top seed. Just ask Wade tonight.
 

riboflav

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From the ESPN thread:



Challenge accepted.*

Would love to talk about the WNBA here, as of now I've relied on Reddit and some mediocre podcasts.

Playoffs start tonight! And they've upgraded the playoff structure. First round is best of 3, with the higher seed having the first two games. It would be a real upset if 3 of the playoff series were competitive, but the 4/5 Washington Mystics/Seattle Storm series should be good. Next round is best of 5.

How would I sell the WNBA to you?
  • It's cheap to attend. For Connecticut Sun games, courtside seats can be had for $100 or $150. You can get lower-bowl seats for Sunday's playoff game for $40. Hint: call the ticket office directly, they're happy to help you avoid the ticketmaster fees.
  • It's on the up. There's a good set of owners now who want to invest in the league. There's talk of expansion. The commissioner has accomplished her mission of lowering costs, now the focus is on expanding the brand.
  • It's ideologically left, if that's your thing. And not token "End Racism" on the baselines, either.
  • It's physical. There's lots more post play, lots more running into screens hard. The NBA has tried to curb the overly physical play, it's still here in the WNBA.
  • Talent. Like the NBA lately, the WNBA has a lot of stars. Even the NY Liberty, the 8th seed in the playoffs, has 2 legit stars on it.
  • Parity. The 6 seed won the championship last year. This year 5 teams have a legit shot (and there's nothing between the top 2 teams, the Aces and defending champion Sky)
  • Gambling! Tbh, this is around 80% of the reason I follow the WNBA. To bet on basketball games over the Summer. With the expansion of sports gambling, I think this will only increase interest in the game.
Again, I'm not sure the playoff games tonight ([Edit: Liberty-Sky Wed at 8, Wings-Sun Thurs at 8], Mercury-Aces at 10) will be competitive, but if you haven't seen a game in a decade or two, I recommend giving it a watch.

* I think this thread goes in the Port Cellar rather than General Sports since the Bruins thread includes all sorts of hockey competitions.
The thing about the six posts in the 2019 thread: I mean yeah. I don't think I contributed even though I hung on to every possession. There are other sites to discuss everything W that are much better repped by W fans than on SoSH. The demographics of SoSH (white middle-aged male) don't exactly scream W fans. That said, I'd love to see it change here, and maybe this is starting (I've noticed the Women's US Soccer team gets a decent number of posts here), but just because the W isn't hot here does not mean it's not well-received in other spots.
 

BaseballJones

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That Liberty game was amazing. People who hate on the WNBA like to post “highlights” of missed layups and shots off the backboard while showing high flying dunks from the NBA. They tend to ignore Westbrook’s doinks off the side of the backboard and plays like the one highlighted above. These women have incredible skill and it’s fun to watch.

It does get silly when players like Griner seriously suggest that she’d beat Demarcus Cousins one on one but that doesn’t take away from the quality in the WNBA. I enjoy it immensely.
 

Ale Xander

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It's not just women's basketball. I find basketball to be a pretty terrible product outside the NBA and the Olympics/WC. Some International play is ok.

G league is terrible. Summer league is terrible. College basketball is terrible.
I find (non-rooting interest) regular season college basketball to be more entertaining than (non-Celtics) regular season NBA. Agree on the G and Summer.

LIke, I'd rather watch UCLA Arizona in January than Clippers Suns. Or Nova Georgetown over Sixers Wizards. Etc.

I'd rather Hatewatch Duke rather than Lakers, too.
 
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Awesome Fossum

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I'm thinking about starting to follow the Mystics, at least some, I've got a four year old girl, they're a local team where I have no conflicting loyalty, they're generally pretty good, and tickets are cheap.
Pulling this out of the media thread -- pretty surreal to see this (accurate) assessment of the Mystics generally being pretty good after their first two decades. They've come so far from hanging Attendance Champion banners.
 

Smokey Joe

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I find (non-rooting interest) regular season college basketball to be more entertaining than (non-Celtics) regular season NBA. Agree on the G and Summer.

LIke, I'd rather watch UCLA Arizona in January than Clippers Suns. Or Nova Georgetown over Sixers Wizards. Etc.

I'd rather Hatewatch Duke rather than Lakers, too.
Well kiss those UCLA Arizona games goodbye because UCLA is moving to the Big 10.
 

strek1

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It's not just women's basketball. I find basketball to be a pretty terrible product outside the NBA and the Olympics/WC. Some International play is ok.

G league is terrible. Summer league is terrible. College basketball is terrible.
I feel the opposite. IMO the NBA is the worst basketball product. It wasn't always but it is now. I would rather watch both Men & Women's College hoops.
 

Phil Plantier

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Game 2 of Liberty-Sky at noon today on ABC ESPN. Sky totally ran out of gas at the end of Game 1. Is that a sign that the younger Liberty can outlast them? Or are the Sky going to completely dominate after their wake-up call?

Mercury-Aces Game 2 at 9pm. Mercury have been a mess all year: two players have straight-up left the team (I think they should've gotten some sort of special dispensation for Brittney Griner). I don't see much hope for this one.
 
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ElUno20

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Sky and Aces laid the hammer down today.

Mystics/Sun might be a close game tomorrow
 

riboflav

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Vicky Johnson currently committing coaching malpractice. (But, finally takes a timeout). 22-2 run for the Sun. They're still down 11.
 

riboflav

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And local legend, Burton, buries the Sun for good. Deciding game in Dallas, the lower seed.
 

BaseballJones

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I am a Sun fan but they cannot ever seem to get it done. They’ve had the best team in the league numerous times in their history (this is not one of them) but have never won it all. Always find ways to lose. Today they got gobsmacked by the #6 seed at home and now, due to this weird arrangement, go on the road for deciding game 3. Wouldn’t shock me at ALL if they come up short again.
 

riboflav

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Storm with an impressive performance today. It’ll be tough v Vegas but they’re very very good, 1-8.
 

riboflav

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It's nuts that we have two game threes (the deciding games in the QFs) at lower seeds. Like I get that because the (W)NBA will not spend more on travel - the W has no chartered flights until the Finals - and so this is the solution they came up with. And on the one hand, of course, the higher seeds could have taken care of business at home in games one and two like Seattle and Vegas did. But, we have this short season of just 36 games which makes the RS so impactful and yet now we have the teams who had the better success during the RS getting punished for having to play the deciding game on the road. I'm not sure what the alternative could have been if they weren't going to spend more on travel. Play game one at the lower seed? But then you give the lower seed an advantage to take control over the series from the get go.
 

BaseballJones

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This isn’t “fair” either but you could have the higher seed in round one just get all the games at home. Tough sledding for the lower seed and seems even more unfair to the 5 seed that may only be separated from the 4 by a game, but it at least eliminates this current nonsense.

I mean the Sun just got slammed at home in a clinching game. They played like crap and the Wings played great. CT couldn’t take care of business. Their fault.
 

Batman Likes The Sox

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Storm trying to make a story out of this retirement year with a (just barely hanging on) game 1 win over the Aces... meanwhile we're at halftime with a tie in the Sun game vs. the Sky for 2021 playoff revenge.

Hope this is going to be a great semifinals. Four fun teams.
 

ElUno20

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Great play call by Hammon but my beef is the possession before going for the 3 with 34 seconds left.
 

Batman Likes The Sox

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I’m liking this physicality and ball movement from the Sun. I do think this Sky lineup is better but if the Sun play with this focus and intensity they’ll be tough to beat.
 

Batman Likes The Sox

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This win with a great Parker performance is a statement from the Sun. Gotta love that last quarter from the double technical floor wrestle for the ball and onward.
 

Phil Plantier

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Both semifinal series are 1-1, with 4 of the best games of the season. I like this scheduling where the series take place on the same day.

Splurged on a courtside ticket for Sky-Sun today. The last time I had such good seats for a basketball game I was riding the CYO bench in 7th grade.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Both semifinal series are 1-1, with 4 of the best games of the season. I like this scheduling where the series take place on the same day.

Splurged on a courtside ticket for Sky-Sun today. The last time I had such good seats for a basketball game I was riding the CYO bench in 7th grade.
Nice. This is my wife's first missed playoff game ever, due to prior commitments today. Looks like a tight one!
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I see the same stupid fucking frame by frame analysis that NBA replay uses, where they overturn a ball knocked out of someone's hands because it stayed on the other player's fingertip for a hundredth of a second after the deflection.