The WNBA: Thread II

HomeRunBaker

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I paid $50+fees for upper level seats behind the basket on Friday. It's been years since I've spent that much to watch the Wizards, and I think I've paid less for playoff tickets.

FWIW the Sky are back in DC next Friday playing at the ESA (4k venue) and the game is sold out with the cheapest resale tickets at $175. Yeah Clark is an unprecedented draw, but there's an incredible amount of interest in Angel Reese too.
So your counter to Clark selling out a 20k seat arena in 30 minutes is that Reese sold out a 4k arena a week after playing in a 35-45% full arena that Clark just sold out? C'mon. I can't even believe this is a discussion the numbers are so lopsided.
 

amh03

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To your point @blueline -

Fans hoping to catch rookie stars Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso make their WNBA preseason debuts Friday night were dismayed to find the game unavailable through the WNBA League Pass, but fans from around the country found a quirky alternative way to watch: through a fan’s livestream on X filmed on her cellphone...The result was a two-hour video that totaled over 2 million views come Saturday, numbers which left her “flabbergasted.”
Link
 

blueline

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So your counter to Clark selling out a 20k seat arena in 30 minutes is that Reese sold out a 4k arena a week after playing in a 35-45% full arena that Clark just sold out? C'mon. I can't even believe this is a discussion the numbers are so lopsided.
I'm not countering anything. My point was that the interest in Caitlin Clark is unprecedented, but Angel Reese is still a pretty big draw.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I'm not countering anything. My point was that the interest in Caitlin Clark is unprecedented, but Angel Reese is still a pretty big draw.
Meh.

Caitlin Clark is famous because of Caitlin Clark.

Angel Reese is famous because of Caitlin Clark.

Any additional viewership for Reese is runover from her beef with Clark. Her using Clarks gravity for her own gains is fine, but let's not pretend she's a better player or bigger draw then any of the top rookies they've had the last handful of seasons.

She's definitely part of the story here - and deserves to be recognized as such - but it needs to he viewed through the right lense. Something like: Reese is to Clark what Sharapova is to Williams. Very good players, but Tennis viewership at the time wasn't expanding because of Sharapova. And Williams was the significantly better player (20-2 edge against Sharapova). I like this example because it also highlights the looming issue the league has.

At some point over the next few seasons, this league is going to need a real rival to her gravity if they hope to grow the sport. As good as Sharapova was, it was a Williams v. Williams battle that sparked interest for years. Without a Michelson to her Woods, interest will wane quickly. The last 30 years of women sports tells us that one popular player isnt going to unlock the vault to longterm viewership.
 

BaseballJones

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At Mohegan tonight for Fever vs the Sun. First in person look at Clark. Looking forward to it.

Anyone else in SOSH here tonight?
 
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OCST

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So how was the beat-down?

The Sun’s movement off the ball and passing were awesome.

The Fever…. not so much.
 

amh03

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Dijonai Carrington is really fun to watch. And both teams were fast…
 

smokin joe wood

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The Fever…. not so much.
Christie Sides is not long for that job. Clark and Mitchell sat in the fourth. Crowd was chanting "We want Caitlin" in a 25-point game.

Sides ended the night by saying "we can't coach effort"... Walls are closing in on the Fever head coach.
 

BaseballJones

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So how was the beat-down?

The Sun’s movement off the ball and passing were awesome.

The Fever…. not so much.
Just got back. This was a bludgeoning. CT could have won by 40 if they kept their starters in. Weird thing was that Clark played very little in the second half and not at all in the last like 13 minutes or so. No idea why. All the people in the arena wearing Clark 22 jerseys were not happy.
 

Eastchop

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At Mohegan tonight for Fever vs the Sun. First in person look at Clark. Looking forward to it.

Anyone else in SOSH here tonight?
I took my 6 yr old who is a huge Clark fan. CT looked good. My daughter had on a Clark shirt but was pretty amped watching Carrington play, she looked fantastic

Fever looked awful. Boston had a decent game but just seems out of it this season. Clark was 3-4 fouls deep early second half which was a drag for the crowd.

edit: should have finished reading the thread before writing— agree, have to think Sides will be shown the door soon. Need to get more from this group
 
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god loves the sox

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At Mohegan tonight for Fever vs the Sun. First in person look at Clark. Looking forward to it.

Anyone else in SOSH here tonight?
We were in the house as well. Amazing support for Clark in CT last night as she had a rough go at it and her team just stinks. Boston seems a step slow in the W and I wonder if she will ever really make a major impact in the league. Clark will improve with time and needs a better supporting cast....and likely a new head coach in the not too distance future. CT looked good.....they hustle, pass well and work together. Fun night all around.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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We were in the house as well. Amazing support for Clark in CT last night as she had a rough go at it and her team just stinks. Boston seems a step slow in the W and I wonder if she will ever really make a major impact in the league. Clark will improve with time and needs a better supporting cast....and likely a new head coach in the not too distance future. CT looked good.....they hustle, pass well and work together. Fun night all around.
Boston was RoY last year. Lots of chatter that she’s dealing with a physical or mental health issue to explain the drop off.
 

BaseballJones

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We were in the house as well. Amazing support for Clark in CT last night as she had a rough go at it and her team just stinks. Boston seems a step slow in the W and I wonder if she will ever really make a major impact in the league. Clark will improve with time and needs a better supporting cast....and likely a new head coach in the not too distance future. CT looked good.....they hustle, pass well and work together. Fun night all around.
Boston hasn't been as good this year as she was last year, but last night she was fine. 14 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and did a nice job defensively on Bri Jones of CT.

Between Boston and Nalyssa Smith, they should have one of the most dynamic young front courts in the W.

One thing to look at with Indiana is their FGA distribution.

2023 - 68.3 FGA per game
Mitchell - 13.9 (20.4%) at 44.1% make, 18.2 points, 1.312 eff
Smith - 12.7 (18.6%) at 47.7% make, 15.5 points, 1.216 eff
Boston - 10.1 (14.8%) at 57.8% make, 14.5 points, 1.434 eff
Wheeler - 9.2 (13.5%) at 39.8% make, 9.9 points, 1.074 eff

2024 - 67.2 FGA per game
Mitchell - 13.6 (20.2%) at 38.4% make, 14.7 points, 1.079 eff
Smith - 8.9 (13.2%) at 50.0% make, 11.0 points, 1.233 eff
Boston - 10.1 (15.0%) at 42.0% make, 10.6 points, 1.053 eff
Clark - 12.8 (19.0%) at 37.3% make, 16.3 points, 1.277 eff

So as Clark has come on board, she's taken the second most shots on the team behind Mitchell. Meanwhile, their best scorer last year, Smith, has lost 5 shots a game, even though she's shooting *better* than last year.

So Mitchell's efficiency has gone down. Boston's efficiency has gone down. Smith's has gone up, but she's taking 5 fewer shots per game. Clark is eating into their production, all three of them.

Which isn't surprising, and Clark's efficiency has been good (because of her threes) but it's creating some weird dynamics with the rest of the offense. Other talented players are seeing their production go down.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Boston hasn't been as good this year as she was last year, but last night she was fine. 14 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and did a nice job defensively on Bri Jones of CT.

Between Boston and Nalyssa Smith, they should have one of the most dynamic young front courts in the W.

One thing to look at with Indiana is their FGA distribution.

2023 - 68.3 FGA per game
Mitchell - 13.9 (20.4%) at 44.1% make, 18.2 points, 1.312 eff
Smith - 12.7 (18.6%) at 47.7% make, 15.5 points, 1.216 eff
Boston - 10.1 (14.8%) at 57.8% make, 14.5 points, 1.434 eff
Wheeler - 9.2 (13.5%) at 39.8% make, 9.9 points, 1.074 eff

2024 - 67.2 FGA per game
Mitchell - 13.6 (20.2%) at 38.4% make, 14.7 points, 1.079 eff
Smith - 8.9 (13.2%) at 50.0% make, 11.0 points, 1.233 eff
Boston - 10.1 (15.0%) at 42.0% make, 10.6 points, 1.053 eff
Clark - 12.8 (19.0%) at 37.3% make, 16.3 points, 1.277 eff

So as Clark has come on board, she's taken the second most shots on the team behind Mitchell. Meanwhile, their best scorer last year, Smith, has lost 5 shots a game, even though she's shooting *better* than last year.

So Mitchell's efficiency has gone down. Boston's efficiency has gone down. Smith's has gone up, but she's taking 5 fewer shots per game. Clark is eating into their production, all three of them.

Which isn't surprising, and Clark's efficiency has been good (because of her threes) but it's creating some weird dynamics with the rest of the offense. Other talented players are seeing their production go down.
That’s a coaching problem.

To be fair, the short training camp + brutal schedule means that the Fever have had very few opportunities just to practice and put in an offense. They’re figuring it out in games, not very well.

Still doubt that this is the coach for this team long term.
 

reggiecleveland

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Sorry I get 3.8 fewer shots, not 5 fewer. Maybe you mean 5% fewer shots.
I have watched half the games and Boston is missing easy shots. Every color announcer is saying the Fever need to involve her, she is being ignored but she is taking the same number of shots as last year.
 

amh03

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Good news for the league…a few excerpts from an article looking back at May’s attendance -

The WNBA enjoyed generation-high attendance in May, the league said Monday, clicking turnstiles at an unprecedented rate that's linked to — but not exclusively the work of — rookie sensation Caitlin Clark.

This May marked the highest ticket sales for the WNBA's opening month in 26 years, up 156% from 2023, according to a league statement.

The addition of Clark, the former University of Iowa star and all-time leading scorer in college basketball history, has clearly been the catalyst of this spike.

The Fever's presence in any arena has led to explosive ticket sales. The New York Liberty, for example, recorded monster gates of 17,735 when Indiana dropped by Barclays Center on May 18 and 17,401 in Clark's next visit to Brooklyn on June 2.
In addition to Clark, the league has also benefited from at least two other high-profile rookies in this class, Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky and Cameron Brink of the Los Angeles Sparks.

Both the Sky, which hasn't played host to a Fever game yet this season, and the Sparks have seen significant attendance boosts so far in 2024.

Through five home dates, the Sky have drawn an average of 8,364 compared to 6,411 at the same point in 2023.
Nicolette Aduama, senior associate director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, said the WNBA's success this season is more than just one player.

"I think it’s definitely both the talent of Caitlin and Angel," she said. "That created a groundswell that is creating more interest in the talent and energy of women’s basketball and sports."
WNBA Attendance is Skyrocketing
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Fever up big on Atlanta snd looking great on both ends of the floor. Boston with 17 and 10 midway through third Q.
 

amh03

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Fever up big on Atlanta snd looking great on both ends of the floor. Boston with 17 and 10 midway through third Q.
Boston definitely had a good night - 27 points and 13 rebounds. Nice for the Fever to notch another win.
 

BaseballJones

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Clark tonight: 35 min, 3-11 (27.3%), 1-6 (16.7%) from three, 7 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 7 turnovers
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Clark is 17th in scoring at 15.6 ppg. A'ja Wilson is #1 with an eye-popping 28.3.

Clark is 6th in 3PM at 2.6/gm, but she's 4th in 3PA at 8.2. The resulting % doesn't make the league top 50.

She's 4th in assists, with 6/gm, but #1 with a bullet on TO's, at 5.5.

Angel Reese #1 in the league for OREB, 4.7/gm. That's damn good - at least one second chance per quarter and then some. Reese is #6 overall in both rebounds and steals - impressive versatility.
 

tims4wins

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Fever won again. Clark with a super efficient 23 points on 7-11 shooting, plus 8 boards and 9 assists. Still 5 turnovers. The Fever have won 4 of 6 and are 5-10 after starting 2-8. Good for them.
 

BigSoxFan

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Fever won again. Clark with a super efficient 23 points on 7-11 shooting, plus 8 boards and 9 assists. Still 5 turnovers. The Fever have won 4 of 6 and are 5-10 after starting 2-8. Good for them.
Yup. They’re figuring things out.
 

BaseballJones

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And she had the nerve to complain afterward about the call. It was as flagrant and easy a call as it gets. Zero chance for a block, swing her arm and bashed Clark across the head.
 

BigSoxFan

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And she had the nerve to complain afterward about the call. It was as flagrant and easy a call as it gets. Zero chance for a block, swing her arm and bashed Clark across the head.
Yup. She then doubles down after the game calling it a “basketball move”. Sure thing, Draymond.
 

Auger34

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Yup. She then doubles down after the game calling it a “basketball move”. Sure thing, Draymond.
honestly, it’s typical Angel Reese. Loved the stare down of Clark when she is as on the ground after getting clubbed in the head too.

she’s a villain who wants sympathy while completely playing the villain. It’s a joke
 

BigSoxFan

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honestly, it’s typical Angel Reese. Loved the stare down of Clark when she is as on the ground after getting clubbed in the head too.

she’s a villain who wants sympathy while completely playing the villain. It’s a joke
She’s Draymond. She’s probably the 2nd most talked about WNBA player so her marketing strategy is definitely working.
 

amh03

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Fever looked really good in today’s game…some days off and practices are certainly helping them figure out who’s going to handle what. Reese’s foul was a flagrant 1, not a 2…I don’t recall anyone referring to Alyssa Thomas as Draymond after her pulling Reese down.

BTW - anyone watch the Aces/Liberty game yesterday? How was that knockdown by Laney-Hamilton of Plum not called a foul?
 

lars10

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Fever looked really good in today’s game…some days off and practices are certainly helping them figure out who’s going to handle what. Reese’s foul was a flagrant 1, not a 2…I don’t recall anyone referring to Alyssa Thomas as Draymond after her pulling Reese down.

BTW - anyone watch the Aces/Liberty game yesterday? How was that knockdown by Laney-Hamilton of Plum not called a foul?
Let’s be honest.. who cares if it was called a 1 or a 2.. and who cares if it’s Clark? It was a horseshit play by a player who had zero remorse afterwards.. she made no attempt at the ball but made it look like she was going for a block so she could take a free swing at an opponent’s head. That’s Draymond to a T. She also blamed everyone else for trying to keep her and her team down.
 

riboflav

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The doubling down after the game was the problem in that Reese denied or was in denial that the foul was a flagrant. That’s the Draymond stuff. AT did not do that when she committed her flagrant v Reese.
 

reggiecleveland

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Reese should have played it as tough forward. "Look when you come in the key you'll get hit. That justhappens." (shrug)

Also still nobody from the Fever stood up for her.
 

riboflav

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Reese should have played it as tough forward. "Look when you come in the key you'll get hit. That justhappens." (shrug)

Also still nobody from the Fever stood up for her.
That would be more respectable at least.

I didn't see the game, only the highlight. So are you saying no Fever teammates picked her up or no Fever teammates got up in Reese's face or responded later in the game with a hard foul of their own... or all three?
 

riboflav

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FWIW, on YT right now, the flagrant foul has over 200,000 views but just Clark's personal highlights from this afternoon's game have almost 400,000 views. That's better than NBA numbers for a regular season game as far as I know.
 
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reggiecleveland

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That would be more respectable at least.

I didn't see the game, only the highlight. So are you saying no Fever teammates picked her up or no Fever teammates got up in Reese's face or responded later in the game with a hard foul of their own... or all three?
Nobody got Angel's face after the foul.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Boston was a beast at both ends of the floor. 19 points on 9/14 shooting, 14 boards, 5 blocks.

Clark is starting to develop a nice little game with Boston.

Movement of the other Fever players off the ball noticeably more energetic.
 

riboflav

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Boston was a beast at both ends of the floor. 19 points on 9/14 shooting, 14 boards, 5 blocks.

Clark is starting to develop a nice little game with Boston.

Movement of the other Fever players off the ball noticeably more energetic.
Only watched the highlights but as a guy who thinks Boston is a bottom half center it was clear that when she runs the floor and gets into PnR with Clark she can be effective.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Only watched the highlights but as a guy who thinks Boston is a bottom half center it was clear that when she runs the floor and gets into PnR with Clark she can be effective.
I get you but she was strong in the paint too. 5 blocks and a couple of them were Dikembe quality GTFOH. Sky are a good rebounding team- Reese leads the league in OREB- and Boston was the best on the floor.
 

DJnVa

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FWIW, on YT right now, the flagrant foul has over 200,000 views but just Clark's personal highlights from this afternoon's game have almost 400,000 views. That's better than NBA numbers for a regular season game as far as I know.
That's nice, but you can't compare YT views to TV ratings. There's a random Kings/Suns game highlights that has nearly 500,000 views on YT. It's something, but it's not apples to apples I don't think.
 

Bleedred

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Angel Reese #1 in the league for OREB, 4.7/gm. That's damn good - at least one second chance per quarter and then some. Reese is #6 overall in both rebounds and steals - impressive versatility.
Counterpoint:

Angel Reese shoots 41.1% within 5 feet and 23.1% between 5-9 feet making her one of the worst shooting forwards in the WNBA who plays as many minutes as she does. Many of her offensive rebounds consist of rebounding her own missed shots. That's not to say she's not a valuable player, as she has a fantastic rebounding knack.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Counterpoint:

Angel Reese shoots 41.1% within 5 feet and 23.1% between 5-9 feet making her one of the worst shooting forwards in the WNBA who plays as many minutes as she does. Many of her offensive rebounds consist of rebounding her own missed shots. That's not to say she's not a valuable player, as she has a fantastic rebounding knack.
Very interesting and consistent with the eye test.
 

Jimbodandy

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She’s Draymond. She’s probably the 2nd most talked about WNBA player so her marketing strategy is definitely working.
Exactly. Her remarks after the Carter hard foul on Clark were basically "why is everyone talking about Clark? Why aren't they talking about me?" That's an easy enough thing to remedy--commit the hard foul yourself next time...which she did. This is not something that going away any time soon.
 

BigSoxFan

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Exactly. Her remarks after the Carter hard foul on Clark were basically "why is everyone talking about Clark? Why aren't they talking about me?" That's an easy enough thing to remedy--commit the hard foul yourself next time...which she did. This is not something that going away any time soon.
Yup. She has positioned herself as the face of the Clark counter movement and that’s going to be lucrative. She’s also a good player who has staying power and should have a 10 year career aside from any of these antics.

Ironically, every time I watch Clark get pummeled with zero reaction from teammates, I think to myself, “man, she needs an Angel Reese on HER team”. Wonder if there is a comparable player coming up this year.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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FWIW I don’t know if it’s anti Clark bias I just don’t know if any Fever player sticks up for any of their teammates like that. It’s a passive team. Boston seems to be regaining form and was plenty physical during play but wasn’t getting involved in extracurriculars.
 

Jimbodandy

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Yup. She has positioned herself as the face of the Clark counter movement and that’s going to be lucrative. She’s also a good player who has staying power and should have a 10 year career aside from any of these antics.

Ironically, every time I watch Clark get pummeled with zero reaction from teammates, I think to myself, “man, she needs an Angel Reese on HER team”. Wonder if there is a comparable player coming up this year.
Yeah Angel's a damn good player and a lot of us generally appreciate folks who bring mad intensity to their game. It was one of the things that I loved about Marcus even before we drafted him.

As far as Clark's teammates not fighting back, I feel underqualified to comment having not watched enough WNBA to understand the culture. But if I were Clark, I'd be looking to engage back physically if this kept happening to me. Not even sure if that's the right move of not, but I'm pretty sure that I'd be doing it.
 
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InstaFace

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Boston was a beast at both ends of the floor. 19 points on 9/14 shooting, 14 boards, 5 blocks.

Clark is starting to develop a nice little game with Boston.

Movement of the other Fever players off the ball noticeably more energetic.
Amazing how a little rest and team practices can shift perceptions of a team's "talent level".

The Fever aren't a top team, but I think it was easy to underrate them based on the first 10 games, too. They were exhausted, and at a rest disadvantage against nearly every opponent.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Yeah Angel's a damn good player and a lot of us generally appreciate folks who bring mad intensity to their game. It was one of the things that I loved about Marcus even before we drafted him.

As far as Clark's teammates not fighting back, I feel underqualified to comment having not watched enough WNBA to understand the culture. But if I were Clark, I'd be looking to engage back physically if this kept happening to me. Not even sure if that's the right move of not, but I'm pretty sure that I'd be doing it.
There were two or three times where Clark was the last defender on a break and let the Sky player lay it up without risking the foul. I said to my daughter that on at least one of those I'd have pulled a McHale/Rambis to send a message, if I were Clark.