The WNBA: Thread II

InstaFace

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Front-and-center story on ESPN isn't an NBA Game 7 or NHL Game 7 or even auto racing or tennis or something. Nope, it's the WNBA.

Screenshot 2024-05-18 at 1.37.08 PM.png

Also, spoiler alert, the NY Liberty are really good.
 

tims4wins

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Mixed bag for Clark today.

Positive: 9-17 (4-10 from 3), 22 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds
Negative: 8 turnovers, 0 FTA
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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The Fever are just not good, and the Liberty are very very good.

Clark looked like the real deal today.

We need to talk about Aliyah. She just got used and abused by Jones and then other Liberty bigs. Time and again she got stonewalled or forced away from the rim. Did not assert herself at either end of the floor. She was second best all game long.

The Liberty shot an insane % from 3. Don’t know where they finished but they were 12/17 at the half iirc and were in the 70% range well into the third quarter. For most of the game the Fever performed decently well but if the other team is going to hit threes at such a clip you’re screwed.
 

Batman Likes The Sox

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Meanwhile, every Aces player is being given $100,000 as a sponsorship from the Las Vegas Tourism Board.

https://www.nytimes.com/athletic/5502336/2024/05/17/las-vegas-aces-sponsorship/

No player on the team is earning more than two times that amount in salary this year (Plum and Wilson are each at $200,000) so this is a big amount for those who don't have other sponsorships or external income. For about half the team this effectively doubles (or more) their salary.

One day later, news is breaking that the league is investigating whether the sponsorships are allowed:
https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/las-vegas-tourism-authority-sponsoring-aces-player-100k-110365630

Fascinating to watch this play out in a league where players are paid so little and caps are so small while popularity is booming.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Was it? I‘m assuming there was someone in the corner and Clark had to decide between stopping the ball or giving up a wide open 3 in transition because the Liberty had numbers, no? Not that embarrassing if that was the case, IMO.
Nick Van Exel said the same thing in the comments to that tweet.

But live, it did come across as Ionescu one-upping Clark. Clark had just missed a long (25?) three a few seconds before so it felt very much like, fuck you, kid.
 

Cellar-Door

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Watched two WNBA games today, my takeaways...
1. Clark is gonna be fine, she's already adjusting to how it's harder to get open shots, and she's getting a ridiculous amount of attention and physical play.
2. IND is a bad team and several of "Clark's" turnovers are balls that hit her teammates right in the hands and bounced off. Not sure what's going on with Boston who was pretty good last year, but she was TERRIBLE.
3. Cam Brink is going to be a star, she's a force already on defense even getting the "you're a rookie" whistle.
4. WNBA refs are way worse than NBA refs, just absolutely terrible in both games. Foul calls have no consistency, they miss travels way too much, etc.
 

pantsparty

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Yeah despite a rough shooting afternoon Cam Brink is going to be awesome.

Also thrilled for Kate Martin, who went from not sure she would be drafted to looking good in big minutes for the Aces today.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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As someone who has been a big WNBA fan since the beginning, I just want to say how pleased I am that the league is being discussed this much here at SOSH and around the country.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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From playing zone most of her time at Iowa.
I wonder if they will move her off the ball a bit more until she stops turning the ball over so much.
well, as others have said IND is just not a good team. Our seats were in the corner in the 200 ring - a good tactical view. My daughter is starting to dig into the finer points of the game, we talked about what the teams were trying to do. NY’s movement on offense was so much better it was like they were playing different sports. Fever were static, dull, boring. Didn’t give her much to work with.
 

NomarsFool

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Meanwhile, every Aces player is being given $100,000 as a sponsorship from the Las Vegas Tourism Board.

https://www.nytimes.com/athletic/5502336/2024/05/17/las-vegas-aces-sponsorship/

No player on the team is earning more than two times that amount in salary this year (Plum and Wilson are each at $200,000) so this is a big amount for those who don't have other sponsorships or external income. For about half the team this effectively doubles (or more) their salary.

One day later, news is breaking that the league is investigating whether the sponsorships are allowed:
https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/las-vegas-tourism-authority-sponsoring-aces-player-100k-110365630

Fascinating to watch this play out in a league where players are paid so little and caps are so small while popularity is booming.
The Las Vegas tourism board has no business relationship with the team, I assume? If so, it wouldn’t seem to be any sort of way to get around the salary cap rules. Certainly, it gives LV an advantage because players can (are earning) more money playing for that team than others. But, that is the case for other cities as well when it comes to sponsorship opportunities. I’d certainly think there’s more opportunities to earn sponsorship money in SF than there is in Milwaukee.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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A sign of the times: the morning after a heavyweight unification bout- and a fantastic fight from the sounds of it- the very first thing mentioned on sports center this morning was women’s basketball
 

Vandalman

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The Liberty shot an insane % from 3. Don’t know where they finished but they were 12/17 at the half iirc and were in the 70% range well into the third quarter. For most of the game the Fever performed decently well but if the other team is going to hit threes at such a clip you’re screwed.
They finished 15 of 32.
 

Bunt4aTriple

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I’m at a conference in Indianapolis and the only good thing coming out of it is I’ve got tickets to a fever – soI’m at a conference in Indianapolis and the only good thing coming out of it is I’ve got tickets to a fever – sun game tomorrow night.

now I just have to pray my demo in front of 350 people tomorrow doesn’t shit the bed.
 

Phil Plantier

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And a bad crunchtime foul capped with a technical.

More good: passing looks a lot better, hit a 33' 3 pointer.

This is a nice bit of perspective on WNBA rookies in general and this crop in particular. Summary: rookie guards struggle, rookie bigs tend to do better out of the gate.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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That was a great game. Tons of energy. It's so freaking cool that the place had 17k fans in the building. Raucous. I thought Clark played really well tonight despite the turnovers and fouls. She's going to be a major problem for the league, if she isn't already.

The problem is, she can be exploited on D. She can't really guard....anybody. She can't stay with WNBA quick guards, and when she plays bigger players, they just manhandle her. One time she got switched on Thomas, who saw the mismatch and literally just smiled. Now Thomas is a difficult guard for anyone in the league, but Clark has absolutely no shot whatsoever there. She has no shot against a lot of WNBA players.

But man, she's electric. Nasty ankle injury and came back from that. She showed real toughness. Indiana is going to be very good down the road and Clark will be an enormous part of that.

Good times for the WNBA.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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The +/- jumped out at me. The eye test says she played well- she seems much more assured on the ball, and the Fever are moving better.

But BJones is right about her D. Like the Liberty at the game I went to, CT were lighting it up from 3 - Clark is partly responsible for getting out onto those shooters and she’s not doing it.

But this was a close game. Starting with CT-NY-NY-CT in eight days has been brutal for IND but the reps against good teams have improved them- 1000% better than the season opener.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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My early WNBA power rankings:

1. Las Vegas - defending champs, loaded, 2-0 so far, look extremely strong again.
2. New York - 4-0, so in first in the league standings, and are also totally loaded, but until Vegas loses, I'm keeping them at #1.
3. Connecticut - 3-0, but two wins were against Indiana. You can only play your schedule, but they haven't exactly had a murderer's row of opponents yet.
4. Minnesota - 2-0, and looking good in the process.
5. Phoenix - 1-1. I think they're the best of the middle tier teams.
6. Chicago - 1-1. I really am looking forward to seeing Reese and Cardoso - whenever it is she makes it onto the court.
7. Dallas - 1-1.
8. Atlanta - 1-1.
9. Los Angeles - 0-2, but I think will be better than this. I think Brink is going to be a superstar.
10. Seattle - 1-3. They should be better than this.
11. Washington - 0-3.
12. Indiana - 0-4, but they'll get it going as their young'uns learn on the fly.
 

Cellar-Door

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Indiana almost won, came charging back when they sat Boston, got to a tie, then the coach sat down Clark and they went down 7. Clark had a late turnover with a chance to tie and they lose by 2.

Boston was -18 in 15 minutes tonight. The reigning ROTY is just broken. Seen speculation about mental stuff, that she's not in shape, etc. But just wild that she is the worst player on the worst team in the league after her debut season.
 

riboflav

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Boston is a pretty one dimensional player in the W and that was fine last year when Indiana was bad and she could be very one dimensional and achieve good stats with rebounding and put backs and clogging the paint enough for a bad team. Now, she's being asked to be not just a rebounder and a clog the paint defender but be a finisher and sometimes a shot creator because you have a dynamic future hall of famer give you the ball in spots to make plays and she can't do it. At least, not yet. The play toward the end of the Sun game on Monday encapsulated this where Clark made a perfect pocket pass between two defenders and Boston wasn't athletic enough to go and finish it.]


EDIT: Her Hoops Stats had Boston at number 5 in the W. Like LOL. They had Copper 17. People who write about women's basketball have virtually no clue about the game.\

ESPN had her #14 ahead of Ogunbowale, Bonner, and there it is, Copper again.
 
Last edited:

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Boston is a pretty one dimensional player in the W and that was fine last year when Indiana was bad and she could be very one dimensional and achieve good stats with rebounding and put backs and clogging the paint enough for a bad team. Now, she's being asked to be not just a rebounder and a clog the paint defender but be a finisher and sometimes a shot creator because you have a dynamic future hall of famer give you the ball in spots to make plays and she can't do it. At least, not yet. The play toward the end of the Sun game on Monday encapsulated this where Clark made a perfect pocket pass between two defenders and Boston wasn't athletic enough to go and finish it.]


EDIT: Her Hoops Stats had Boston at number 5 in the W. Like LOL. They had Copper 17. People who write about women's basketball have virtually no clue about the game.\

ESPN had her #14 ahead of Ogunbowale, Bonner, and there it is, Copper again.
Started to read your post and thought of the exact play you mentioned, before you got to it.

granted they’ve played a brutal schedule, 4 games in 8 days against 2 of the best teams in the league, but she’s been dominated by the opposing bigs.
 

Batman Likes The Sox

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The Sun - Lynx overtime very helpfully mostly lined up with the halftime of Celtics - Pacers.

Nice finish for Connecticut, only undefeated team left. They're fighting for it this year.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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I just got back home from Mohegan Sun. Great game. CT benefitted at the very end from a terrible call on Collier that allowed Bonner to make the game winning free throws. But there was a questionable call at the end of regulation that benefitted Collier as well so it evened out? Who knows. Fun game, place had tons of energy. Even without Caitlin Clark in the building!
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I just got back home from Mohegan Sun. Great game. CT benefitted at the very end from a terrible call on Collier that allowed Bonner to make the game winning free throws. But there was a questionable call at the end of regulation that benefitted Collier as well so it evened out? Who knows. Fun game, place had tons of energy. Even without Caitlin Clark in the building!
How big was the crowd? I feared the Celts playoff game might keep fans home.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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How big was the crowd? I feared the Celts playoff game might keep fans home.
I don't know the actual attendance but I've been going to Sun games for 20 years and it was pretty full I thought. Definitely not sold out but there were quite a few people in the upper level, which has been bare the past few seasons.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Watched the Sky beat the Liberty pretty convincingly. CHI had played only twice vs 4 games for NY which showed, Liberty were heavy-legged, second to every loose ball. Sky look strong 1 through 5.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Boston has 17 points on 8-12 shooting as the Fever come back from an 11 point halftime deficit. She looks great tonight.
 

riboflav

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Brink is going to be a great W player. Not sure I would have been so confident saying that a few months ago. But she brings a different dynamic with her quickness and long wingspan and now is starting to add three-point shooting.

Clark had a meh-bad game until the home stretch when she hit two of her ridiculous logo threes and dropped a dime pocket pass.

Kelsey saved them as she was on a heater in most of the fourth quarter. They have missed her output and tonight she looked like herself. It will take time to figure out how to have them play together. Do they go to g2g actions and screens or go the Brown-Tatum route and not play much together but balance the floor and the production between them.
 

riboflav

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This schedule because of the Olympics break is insane. They had very few preseason practices and now virtually no practice. This really favors veteran teams and teams whose cores have been together for a couple seasons.
 

HomeRunBaker

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How big was the crowd? I feared the Celts playoff game might keep fans home.
I used to go with my Dad pre-Covid and the fanbase at Sun games does not resemble those of the Celtics at all so probably not going to keep many away. The arena was some combination of UConn women’s fans getting their offseason fix (and the team usually has a couple ex-Huskies on the roster) and older fans/casino slot player types who’d get complimentary tickets that used to be offered to everyone that had a Mohegan Sun players card.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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This schedule because of the Olympics break is insane. They had very few preseason practices and now virtually no practice. This really favors veteran teams and teams whose cores have been together for a couple seasons.
This is one reason why the Sun look good at the start. Yes they’re good anyway but this helps them maybe more than most other teams. I do not expect CT to hold the top spot in the league the whole season.
 

scottyno

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Minimum $50 to get into Michelob Arena to see the Fever vs the Aces tonight, more than last year's finals games
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Liberty got blown out by the Lynx today. They’ve played every other day for the 6th game in a row and looked like shit. Schedule is wack.
 

riboflav

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Fever will be playing their 7th game already and on the road on the second night of a b2b while the defending champs host them in only their 4th game. They are pros, all of them, but some teams are getting really bad luck with the schedule. Indiana in particular could have used more early season practice.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Fever will be playing their 7th game already and on the road on the second night of a b2b while the defending champs host them in only their 4th game. They are pros, all of them, but some teams are getting really bad luck with the schedule. Indiana in particular could have used more early season practice.
No luck about it. The high profile teams have been put on display to catch the upturn in interest.
 

scottyno

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Aces threw a double at Clark basically every time she tried to use a pick on ball and she really struggled to ever get open or make good passes out of the double. Fun moment when Clark hit a 3 in the 1st quarter in Plum's face and gave her the "you can't see me" hand, and then Plum came right back down the very next possession and nailed a 3 in Clark's face and gave it right back to her. Didn't look like ESPN really caught it on camera though.
 

amh03

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I’m a newbie watching the WNBA…was that foul on Reese by Thomas a standard or common defensive move? Seemed overly harsh to me but I’m not familiar with what’s typically done.

Haven’t seen any comments by Thomas but Reese seemed to handle it well.
 

riboflav

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I’m a newbie watching the WNBA…was that foul on Reese by Thomas a standard or common defensive move? Seemed overly harsh to me but I’m not familiar with what’s typically done.

Haven’t seen any comments by Thomas but Reese seemed to handle it well.
I think at first AT had Reese accidentally at the neck. Like she's competing for a loose ball and trying to ward Reese off. Where it gets spicy is at the very end. She didn't pull her hand away she followed through and almost threw Reese to the floor. Very unlike AT. She's normally a very fiery player but I've never seen anything dirty by her. I didn't watch the game so IDK if something happened before that between the two. AT reacted to the foul like she meant to do some harm.

Fake Edit: Just watched the several possessions leading to the foul and there were already physical exchanges between the two. So, yeah, AT did it intentionally and deserved the ejection.

Disclaimer: AT is a former teammate of one of my former assistants and she would come and speak to the girls at our camp and was amazing and selfless and humble and all of that.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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I’m a newbie watching the WNBA…was that foul on Reese by Thomas a standard or common defensive move? Seemed overly harsh to me but I’m not familiar with what’s typically done.

Haven’t seen any comments by Thomas but Reese seemed to handle it well.
Neither standard nor common. League is very physical but that’s a deserved ejection in any basketball competition on the planet.