The WNBA: Thread II

Phil Plantier

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I gotta say, courtside seats are really, really nice. Even when the Sun had 17 turnovers, couldn't make a layup, and benched Jonquel Jones, reigning MVP, for most of the 4th quarter.

Thinking about going to Game 4. Got a 20% off offer
 

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I couldn't stay up for the west coast game but what a career for Sue Bird. Was wishing for a game 5 as well.

The Sun really dominated last night. They are reminiscent of last year's Celtics in some ways during these playoffs -- when they're executing their game plan and moving the ball well (and actually putting the layups in) they are very difficult to beat. Other games, they seem like they're beating themselves. Can't wait for the final game of the series.
 

BaseballJones

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I couldn't stay up for the west coast game but what a career for Sue Bird. Was wishing for a game 5 as well.

The Sun really dominated last night. They are reminiscent of last year's Celtics in some ways during these playoffs -- when they're executing their game plan and moving the ball well (and actually putting the layups in) they are very difficult to beat. Other games, they seem like they're beating themselves. Can't wait for the final game of the series.
That's exactly what the Sun are. On their game, they're the best in the league, for real. But way too often they beat themselves. So watch Courtney Williams in game 5 tomorrow. She had a great game last night but she often follows up a good performance with a game where she tries to be the Alpha, but shoots like 3-12 or something like that and takes them completely out of the game. She lives and dies with the mid-range jumper.

Also, Jonquel needs to show up big time. She CAN be a dominating player but lately she's picked up too many dumb fouls early in games and it's taken her out of her rhythm. She disappears for FAR too long in key moments. So frustrating.

But game 5 should be great.
 

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That's exactly what the Sun are. On their game, they're the best in the league, for real. But way too often they beat themselves. So watch Courtney Williams in game 5 tomorrow. She had a great game last night but she often follows up a good performance with a game where she tries to be the Alpha, but shoots like 3-12 or something like that and takes them completely out of the game. She lives and dies with the mid-range jumper.

Also, Jonquel needs to show up big time. She CAN be a dominating player but lately she's picked up too many dumb fouls early in games and it's taken her out of her rhythm. She disappears for FAR too long in key moments. So frustrating.

But game 5 should be great.
A key teaching moment for game 5 was when Jonquel had a double team closing in towards her catch at the FT line, and she found Courtney Williams (I believe) on a back cut by executing the bounce pass right between the closing defenders. The Sun have gotten into trouble when stubbornly pounding the ball inside via dribble with so many contested and missed 0-5 footers. Like the Celtics this past playoffs, they seem to work better starting with hitting outside shots and loosening up the inside to then get cuts and easy layups.
 

BaseballJones

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Good point. Yet on another play, she had a defender buried on the low block, just a few feet from the hoop. She only had to drop step for an easy layup (the defender was shading Jonquel over her left shoulder, so a drop step would have given her an easy lefty layup) but instead she tried to bounce pass it to Williams or Carrington for a contested layup against the trees. Resulted in a turnover. That's when Jonquel needed to just be the dominator down low.
 

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Geez Jonquel playing like dogshit again tonight on the offensive end, but they had her and Brianna Jones on the bench at the same time and Sky got offensive boards galore.
 

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An unreal game. 18-0 Sun run to end it. What an UGLY win overall but we'll take it!!

The Sky outdoes the terrible Sun 3rd quarter with a 5 POINT fourth quarter. WOW. That crowd was stunned.

What a run. Bring on Vegas!
 

riboflav

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BJ was correct in that when the Sun have the right combinations on the floor, which sometimes can take experimentation game to game, and they're sharing the ball they can be the best team in the W. I don't have a particular team that I root for year to year though I do like the Seattle (Stew plus Sue), but got the Sun at plus-550 a month ago to win it all and riding them now. The Aces I think were plus-100 at the time. Anyways, yet another bite at the apple for the Sun!
 

riboflav

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I continue to be miffed that so many W games, and now in the playoffs, go up against big games in other sports like tonight with the NFL kicking off and then again on Sunday with game one of the Finals at 3pm right in the heart of the first NFL Sun.

EDIT: I feel like MLB has generally figured out how to avoid many of these conflicts.
 

BaseballJones

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It's rough scheduling to pit the WNBA finals against the NFL. I mean.... Have the games be Friday/Monday (yes I know you're still competing with the NFL on Monday but it's better than competing against MULTIPLE NFL games. Friday/Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Tuesday. That should get the most sets of eyeballs on the W. But nope.
 

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Does the NFL TV package still do "game of week" Sundays at 4:30pm? I would think that is the best start time if you need to counter-program a Sunday game, as there is a better chance of having only 2-3 available football games be clunkers. Whether it even affects viewership you have to remember for the broadcast that Sunday is baseball night on ESPN and Monday is certainly out as well due to ESPN not wanting to put a Finals game against their MNF property. Thus the Sunday afternoon slotting, not so much for viewership splitting as for maximizing ad revenue most likely. Maybe "Breakfast at the Finals"(?) but with a west time zone team involved it would be harsh to have a noontime EST start to try and offset the early NFL games.

The dumb decision this week is setting start time at 3pm when people are not tuning in until at least the end of the early football games. For a game 4 (if necessary) next Sunday, the start time has been set for 4pm which is good timing for my usual habit of watching the early Pats game then getting other stuff done until around 6:30 when I'll catch the last hour of the late football games.

I continue to be miffed that so many W games, and now in the playoffs, go up against big games in other sports like tonight with the NFL kicking off and then again on Sunday with game one of the Finals at 3pm right in the heart of the first NFL Sun.

EDIT: I feel like MLB has generally figured out how to avoid many of these conflicts.
The benefit for MLB is their broadcast partner for the LCS and World Series is Fox, who only really has to worry about other major sports league conflicts but does not have a glut of their own sports broadcast rights to work around like ESPN. Their college and NFL football games are mainly in the afternoon.
 

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I didn’t get to watch game 1 until this morning but I thought it was a gritty and well-fought game. Exactly what the Sun must have been hoping for minus the final score. They’ll have to hope to keep containing the Aces to have a shot in this series. Really entertaining start to the finals.
 

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Game 4 today. Anybody at it?

Wish I was but I’ll be watching on tv after the kids finish their 34 soccer games this weekend, which I guess is fun too.
 

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Those last few shots made by LVA were ice cold.

Tough for both my teams to make the b-ball finals this year and lose, but I'll be looking for two trophies in 2023.
 

Phil Plantier

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I was there - Aces were clearly better. Even so, it was tied with 3 minutes to go. Becky Hammon looked 20 years younger the minute they won the title.

I don't know what the Sun will be next year. It's possible they blow it up.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Does the WNBA mention Zhang Ziyu at all? It seems like she could be pretty huge for the game of women's basketball. 15 years old and 7'5. I'd probably tune in out of curiosity.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Does the WNBA mention Zhang Ziyu at all? It seems like she could be pretty huge for the game of women's basketball. 15 years old and 7'5. I'd probably tune in out of curiosity.
Wow being that height so young screams potential injury concerns to me. Not even due to basketball, but in general those who have gigantism disorder (if that is the case here) can develop spinal, leg, foot problems at a relatively young age. I notice Ziyu didn't run with any type of speed in that short clip, which may actually be a good thing to protect her growing bones. OTOH, as a species humans are getting taller and heavier and medical advances mean you don't necessarily have a poor standard of life at a great heeeeeiiiiiiiight [/Thom Yorke]

I believe the tallest player in WNBA history to this point was Margo Dydek at 7'2", a Polish expat. She stayed relatively healthy at that height through her career, and was actually a better mid-range player with a high percentage 10-15 footer than a banger down low. Saw Dydek at Mohegan Sun when she played with Connecticut in 2007. Unfortunately Dydek passed soon after retiring at the young age of 37 due to cardiac arrest giving birth to her third child.
 

Zereck

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Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, and Sabrina Ionesco all on the NY Liberty?

Should anyone else even bother showing up to games in 2023?
The Aces adding Candace Parker to A’Ja Wilson, Chelsea Grey, and Kelsey Plum seems even more formidable to me.
 

BaseballJones

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Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, and Sabrina Ionesco all on the NY Liberty?

Should anyone else even bother showing up to games in 2023?
Yes. It doesn't always work out. But that team IS a juggernaut, make no mistake. All three players, though, are used to being alphas, so it'll be interesting to see how they work together. It isn't always as easy as it looks like it should be.
 

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Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, and Sabrina Ionesco all on the NY Liberty?

Should anyone else even bother showing up to games in 2023?
With Breanna's comment about potential charter flights playing a big part in joining the Liberty it definitely reinforces the team my wife has season tickets to, the Connecticut Sun, is a decidedly small market team in this new era despite the rabid fanbase. There is no Joe Tsai in the owner's box (who paid a $500,000 fine to put his team on charter flights against WNBA rules), nevermind an airport within shouting distance to even make the car commute TO a chartered flight convenient.

This is definitely going to be a transition period, when the league will start to relax the governors keeping costs down while trying to build the fanbase. I could see the Sun having difficulty as a franchise that is definitely an outlier in terms of nearby population and non-salary amenities. Mohegan Sun is not only one of two "games in town" for New England anymore as it had been for 15-20 years, so their appetite can't be large for spending far beyond player salaries.
 

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https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/35616965/source-wnba-investigating-salary-cap-claims-aces

This story makes me angry after the Las Vegas Aces just defeated the Sun in last year's finals. Alleged "under the table" payments to circumvent the salary cap. I'm sure it was merely a coincidence that all their recent players seem to take pay cuts to play there. I would love it if Hamby, who it sounds like was wronged while pregnant, was the whistle blower.
https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/35573178/dearica-hamby-details-wave-emotions-trade-aces

Note the second sentence of her instagram post from this report: 'I was promised things to entice me to sign my contract extension that were not followed through on.'
 

Smokey Joe

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https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/35616965/source-wnba-investigating-salary-cap-claims-aces

This story makes me angry after the Las Vegas Aces just defeated the Sun in last year's finals. Alleged "under the table" payments to circumvent the salary cap. I'm sure it was merely a coincidence that all their recent players seem to take pay cuts to play there. I would love it if Hamby, who it sounds like was wronged while pregnant, was the whistle blower.
https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/35573178/dearica-hamby-details-wave-emotions-trade-aces

Note the second sentence of her instagram post from this report: 'I was promised things to entice me to sign my contract extension that were not followed through on.'
Corruption in a Las Vegas based sports franchise? Who would have thought?
 

Phil Plantier

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At the 1/4 point of the current season. Aces are clearly the best team, Liberty are still learning how to play together, Sun are chugging along, Phoenix might need a new coach.