San Antonio Stars Preview of the 2014 WNBA Season

The San Antonio Silver Stars are heading into their 2014 season with better hopes of making the playoffs now that both stars Becky Hammon and Sophia Young-Malcolm are both healthy. They also received a future WNBA star Kayla McBride in the WNBA Draft. Things are looking up for the season unlike last season in which Sophia Young-Malcolm went down with an ACL injury. Then Becky Hammon went down with an ACL injury. It was not a pretty season at all for the Silver Stars who saw season lows in scoring at multiple points (48 points several times), some blowouts and saw another player Riquana Willams of the Tulsa Shock score 50 points on them. In the end, no matter how gritty the played some games, it was not enough to secure a playoff spot. They finished the season with a 15-19 record. One of the bright spots of the Stars 2013 season was Jayne Appel. She was able to increase both her points per game as well as rebounds per game. She played well enough that she signed a new multi year contract with the Stars.

The San Antonio Stars will have expectations of making the playoffs but all of this hinges on three key areas in which they struggled with last season. Their ability to score, their ability to defend and their ability to rebound. They will have no problem with scoring this season with their top players back. They will need to defend and they will need all of their players to do just that if they want to win games against good Western Conference teams. Rebounding has been a sore area for this team for a while and they will need more from other players excluding Jayne Appel who was one of the league’s top rebounders last season.

While Becky Hammon is healthy, she is at a point in her career where she is looking towards retirement and so the impact of Kayla McBride will be sorely needed. Kayla McBride will most surely struggle as all rookies do but she is an important piece to the Stars future and more will be expected from her next season onwards. Last season, Sophia Young-Malcolm made comments that were hurtful to 50% of the league’s fan base and it will be interesting to see how she is treated from other opposing fans as well as Star fans. On the court, Sophia Young-Malcolm will need to have an MVP type season in order to keep the Stars moving towards the playoffs otherwise they will be headed into the lottery. Danielle Robinson and Danielle Adams will need to continue their development as they enter their 4th seasons in the league. Both players are important and both players are capable of being WNBA All Stars. If both do not play well, it will not bode well this season for the San Antonio Stars. The veterans, Jia Perkins and Shameka Christon must contribute off the bench as there will be times where they will be sorely needed. Shameka Christon has been struggling for a while now, so if she is not able to contribute, I think it’s safe to say she will not back in 2015. Shenise Johnson will be entering her 3rd year and she like Danielle Robinson and Danielle Adams, will have more expected of her. Her play will also determine whether or not the Stars make the playoffs.

The San Antonio Stars have a good lineup of stars, veterans and young players. If they can all stay healthy, play well together and win close games, they will make the playoffs. Star fans should be excited as this season closely resembles 2012, when the Stars played well in the regular season, even though they lost in the first round of the playoffs. If the cards play out right, this can be a fun season for the San Antonio Stars. The Stars start their season on May 16th when they take on the Atlanta Dream.

San Antonio Silver Stars WNBA Offseason – Week 4 Overseas Update

The Silver Stars playing overseas continue to be busy as several players are either playing in Euroleague, EuroCup or in both of their domestic leagues. Here is the latest update from the week.

Danielle Adams – Danielle is playing in the Isreali league for Maccabi Ashdod. Her team is 3rd overall with a 3-2 record. On Nov. 20th, Maccabi played Elitzur Ramla a game in which they lost by a final score of 78-52. Danielle had 15 points and 6 rebounds. Maccabi Ashdod bounced back on Nov. 25th with a win against Ramat Hasharon 66 to 59. Danielle had a double double (17 points/11 rebounds). Overall, Danielle Adams is averaging nearly 20 points a game (19.8), 10.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in the domestic league. Her team’s next game is on Nov. 28th against Elitzur Neta.

Kayla Alexander – Kayla is playing in the Russian league for Energy Ivanovo. Her team is 5th overall with a 2-3 record. Kayla’s team has not played in any recent game. Her team’s next game is on Nov. 30th against Nadezha Orenburg. Overall, Kayla Alexander is averaging 15.5 points and 6.8 rebounds a game in the Russian league.

Jayne Appel – Jayne is playing in the Chinese league for Liaoning Hengye. Her team is 7th with an overall record of 1-2. On Nov. 19th, Liaoning lost their first game of the Chinese league against Heilongjiang by a final score of 73 to 69. Jayne had 12 points and 5 rebounds. On Nov. 23rd, Liaoning lost their second game to Shanxi in a close game 76 – 71. Jayne had an impressive double double with 24 points and 20 rebounds. On Nov. 26th, Liaoning won their first game against Shenyang 93 to 72. Unfortunately, the site has not been updated yet to see Jayne Appel’s stats for that game just yet. Her team’s next game is on Nov. 30th against Shandong.

Shameka Christon – Shameka is playing in the French league for Lattes Montpellier. Her team is 2nd overall with an 8-1 record. In the Euroleague, Lattes Montepellier has a record of 2-2. On Nov. 20th against Euroleague opponent Rivas Ecopolis of Spain, Lattes won a close game 58 to 53. Shameka had 15 points.On Nov. 23rd, Lattes Montpellier won against Charlesville 66 to 52. Shameka had 8 points. In another Euroleague game on Nov. 27th, Lattes Montpellier lost against IMOS Brno of Czech Republic in a close game 67 to 64. Shameka had 7 points and 8 rebounds. Overall, Shameka Christon is averaging 11.2 points a game in the French league and 14.3 points and 4 rebounds a game in the Euroleague. Her team’s next game is on Nov. 30th against Arras in the French league.

Chelsea Hopkins – Chelsea is playing in the Isreali league for Bnot Hertzeliya. Her team is 6th overall with a 2-2 record. On Nov. 25th against H.R Le Zion, Bnot Hertzeliya lost 80-72. Chelsea had 15 points and 8 rebounds. Overall, Chelsea is averaging 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game in the Isreali league. Her team’s next game is on Nov. 28th against Hap Petah Ti.

Shenise Johnson – Shenise is playing in the Turkish league for Istanbul University. Her team is 4th overall with a 6-2 record. In the EuroCup season Istanbul University is 3-0 and on Nov. 21st against Olimpia of Belarus they won 78-49. Shenise had 20 points and 6 assists. In the Turkish league on Nov. 24th against Orduspor they won 79 to 67. Shenise had 16 points and 4 rebounds. Overall in the Turkish league, Shenise is averaging 14 points and 5 rebounds a game. In the Eurocup season, Shenise is averaging nearly 16 points a game (15.7), Her team’s next game is against another EuroCup opponent Spartak N of Russia on Nov. 28th.

Cathrine Kraayeveld – Cathrine is playing in the Polish league for Artego Byd. Her team is 5th overall with a 6-5 record. On Nov. 24th against Riviera Gydn Artego Byd lost in a close game 62-59. Cathrine had 6 points and 7 rebounds. Overall, Cathrine is averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds a game in the Polish league. Her team’s next game is on Nov. 30th against MKS Konin.

Chelsea Poppens – Chelsea Poppens is playing in the Australian league for Bulleen Boomers. Her team is 2nd overall with a 7-2 record. On Nov 23rd, Bulleen Boomers lost to Sydney UF 81-73. Chelsea Poppens had 23 points and 16 rebounds. Overall, Chelsea P is averaging nearly 16 points a game (15.8) and 7.3 rebounds per game in the Australian league. Her team’s next game is on Nov. 30th against Dandenong Rangers. 

Silver Stars Off season – Week 1 Overseas Updates

The San Antonio Silver Stars have been finished since the WNBA playoffs began and some of them have headed overseas to play in their respective leagues. Here is the round up on some of the Silver Stars overseas season.

Danielle Adams –  Danielle Adams is playing in Isreal for Maccabi Ashdod. She has currently played one game and had 15 points and 4 assists. Their next game is on Nov. 4th against H.R. Le-Zion.

Kayla AlexanderKayla Alexander is playing in Russia for Energy Ivanovo. She has played two games and is averaging 15.5 points and 6 rebounds. Their next game is on Nov. 3rd against Dynamo GUVD

Jayne Appel – Jayne Appel is headed to China where they haven’t began their season yet. She will most likely play for Henan which is the team she played for last season.

Shameka Christon – Shameka Christon is in France playing for Lattes Montpellier. She has played one game and had 16 points and 3 rebounds. Their next game is on Nov. 2 against Union Hainaut

Becky Hammon – If you watched the WNBA at all this season, even for just a quick glance, you would know that Becky Hammon is recovering from a torn ACL and will not play overseas this season.

Chelsea Hopkins – Chelsea Hopkins, like Danielle Adams is playing in Isreal. Unlike Danielle, Chelsea is playing for Bnot Hertzeliya. She has played one game and had 11 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Their next game is on Nov. 4th against Maccabi R. Hen.

Shenise Johnson – Shenise Johnson is playing in Turkey for Istanbul University. She has played three games and is averaging 19 points and nearly 5 rebounds a game. Their next game is on Nov. 3rd against Canik Blvd.

Catherine Kraayeveld – Catherine Kraayeveld is playing in Poland for Artego Bydgoszcz. She has played three games and and is averaging 15.3 points and nearly 5 rebounds a game. Their next game is on Oct. 30th against Gorzow.

Chelsea Poppens – Chelsea Poppens is playing in Austrailia for Bulleen Boomers. She has played 5 games and is averaging 12 points and 6 rebounds. Their next game is on Nov. 1st against West Coast.

As of right now, Jia Perkins, Danielle Robinson, Davellyn Whyte and Sophia Young are not playing overseas and might either go over in January or just stay in the United States.

Game #34 – Atlanta Dream vs San Antonio Silver Stars Game Recap – The Final Game of the Season

Danielle Adams drives to the basket against Atlanta. Danielle Adams had 39 points to lead San Antonio to victory 98-67 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. Photo courtesy of Daniel Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images

The final game of the Silver Stars was historic for both the Silver Stars and their franchise as Danielle Adams had 39 points and the Stars were out of the playoffs for the first time since 2006. The final game recap is brief and is listed below.

GAME RECAP

San Antonio

September 15, 2013

The San Antonio Silver Stars put on a show over the helpless and road weary Atlanta Dream. The Stars cruised to a 98-67 win over the playoff bound Atlanta Dream and evened the series at 1 game apiece. The Silver Stars finished the 2013 season with a record of 12-22 and 7-9 at home. The Stars were led by Danielle Adams who scored a franchise high 39 points.  Shameka Christon finished with a season high 24 points, Shenise Johnson had 20 and Jia Perkins added 10.  The Silver Stars shot 49% and dominated from the second period on to win the game.  It was one of the rare Silver Stars games this season in which the Stars were able to play well all in all four quarters of the game. In a disappointing season for the Silver Stars, it was a nice way to reward their fans and give them hope for a better season next year.

NOTES + OBSERVATIONS

  • Nice way to close out the season. A blowout win with one of the players breaking a record? That’s awesome and good for San Antonio going forward.
  • Not one of the biggest attendance figures this season, but still respectable for a team that was struggling all season long
  • Jayne Appel didn’t attempt a shot. That is incredibly weird. I guess because San Antonio was playing so well of the other players, they forgot about Jayne or something. I did not anticipate that happening. Not at all.
  • The Silver Stars will now either head overseas or stay in the US and prepare for the off season while the coaching staff will prepare to scout for the college season as well as the international season as they look to add to their roster for next season
  • Just because the Silver Stars season is over doesn’t mean that the WNBA season is over. The WNBA Playoffs tip off soon and there are some intriguing matchups so make sure you tune into ESPN2 and NBA TV!

Game #33 San Antonio Silver Stars vs Phoenix Mercury Game Recap

Diana Taurasi shoots over Jayne Appel. Taurasi had 20 points and 10 assists as the Mercury won against the Silver Stars 81-62 at US Airways Arena in Phoenix. Photo courtesy of Barrie Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images

The San Antonio Silver Stars suffered their second straight loss in Phoenix and drop their 4th game in a row. The Stars finsh 4-13 on the road this season and are currently 11-22 on the season.The Mercury win the season series 3-2 against the Silver Stars. Danielle Adams and Shenise Johnson each had 11 points each and Jayne Appel had 10 rebounds. Diana Taurasi had 20 points and 10 assists to led the Mercury.

There’s just not that much to say about this game because the Silver Stars didn’t have anything to play for and the Mercury were just using this game to get better for their playoff run beginning next week. The Phoenix  Mercury started off hot and led 18-8 at one point before the Silver Stars rallied and made it a game 40-31 at half time. In the third quarter, both teams were able to stay close to one another and the Mercury lead by 7 going into the 4th Q. Momentum shifted when the Mercury got hot from 3 and were able to score 15 points easily thanks in large part of the play of Diana Taurasi and Penny Taylor who played in her first game against San Antonio this season. Both players were able to feed off from one another and the Silver Stars failed to score a single point in which the Mercury won the game thanks to a 21-0 run in the fourth quarter.  San Antonio now comes home and faces the Atlanta Dream who will be desperate in winning the game so even though the Stars haven’t played well recently, they can end this rough season at home with a win.

The Silver Stars play their last regular season game against the Atlanta Dream tomorrow at home. It’s also Fan Appreciation night, so if you live in San Antonio, come out and enjoy the game!

Game #32 – Tulsa Shock vs San Antonio Silver Stars Game Preview + Recap

Riquna Williams of the WNBA's Tulsa Shock
Riquna Williams had a historical game with a WNBA record of 51 points as the Shock defeated the Silver Stars 98-65 in San Antonio at the AT&T Center. Photo courtesy of Elaine Thompson/AP

It’s been nearly a week since they last played, but as I have stated in my previous post, I just didn’t have time this week to write the preview or recap. Heck, I didn’t watch this game as I was out doing some errands on my Sunday afternoon. This is also known as a historical game in terms of context because Riquana Williams had 51 points for the Shock! 51!  51 points is pretty ridiculous and it’s been difficult to do since Lauren Jackson last had 47 points back in 2007.  In terms of this game however, both teams weren’t in the playoffs so they weren’t playing for much unless you count lottery odds for the 2014 draft. I didn’t write a preview for this game, so I have combined my preview, along with my recap + notes and observations.

 PREVIEW

The Stars need a win badly as they host the Tulsa Shock who face similar problems as the Silver Stars. The Stars have now dropped their 2nd game in a row as well as the playoffs and a win would avoid being the worst team in the Western Conference. The Stars are 7-8 at home and have a 2-1 lead in the 4 game series with the Shock. The Shock are also without Liz Cambage who has left the team for Australia as she suffered a knee injury in the game against Phoenix.

THREE KEYS TO THE GAME

1.  Be balanced offensively – The Stars had 3 players in double figures and 2 players near to double digits. They will need to do more of the same if they want to win this game.

2. Defend – Defend against one of the most unpredictable offenses in the WNBA. One night, the Shock look like playoff ready, the next night they look like a rebuilding team, etc. It will be a challenge and the San Antonio Silver Stars have to be ready to handle whatever Shock offense shows up.

3. No X Factor – Make sure no one from the Shock who doesn’t play well, does. Make sure that the Shock’s only player that plays well is Glory Johnson. The Stars have to make sure that they are able to rebound, and defend against any of the Shock’s non All Star players.

The game will tip off at 3:30 pm local time, 4:30 pm EST and 1:30 pm PST. The game will be on LiveAccess.  Now, that my preview is done, my game recap is written below, along with video of Riquna Williams historical 51 point game.

GAME RECAP

The Silver Stars are on the wrong side of history as second year guard Riquana Williams goes off for 51 points and the Stars lose to become the worst team in the Western Conference. They also lose their third straight game and the Shock even the season series 2-2. The Stars also fell to 7-9 at home this season.

As you can tell, from the video, she was ON FIRE. There was absolutely nothing the Silver Stars could do, although the last 14 points came in garbage time as Tulsa had effectively won the game at that point. 16 of her points came in the first half and 20 points in the third quarter.

NOTES + OBSERVATIONS

The WNBA finally has a 50+ point performance in the WNBA. This will go a long way as the players get better and better every year. It took 7 seasons before it happened, so it’s a rare sight to see. She also did this without OT, which is pretty impressive. It’s always great to see players achieving milestones that haven’t been done before. It’s also great that it happened in San Antonio because the San Antonio announcer (Andrew Monaco) has had a pretty extensive play by play career for  both the Stars and the Spurs of the NBA. The Stars also have a better LiveAccess feed as they fixed their technical problems that they had earlier in the season. It was also nice that it was in San Antonio because the crowd were genuine and really wanted for her to get to the 50 point milestone. San Antonio fans who were there were really classy because it’s rare when you see the opposing team fans cheering for you.

On the flip side, San Antonio just couldn’t defend well enough and it turned into a game in which San Antonio was leading for the most part and up until the 3rd quarter had a game. But then the Shock went a run and the Stars could not respond. This season it seems that San Antonio always has a bad quarter which leads to them losing the game.

Game #31 San Antonio Silver Stars vs Phoenix Mercury Game Recap

Diana Taurasi heads to the basket against Jayne Appel and Danielle Adams. The Mercury came out on top 83-80 in Phoenix at the US Airways Arena. Photo courtesy of Barrie Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images

 

I know this game happened more than a week ago, but I just haven’t had time to write the recap all week, so after this recap, I have 2 more recaps to write. The Stars headed into this game with a 2-1 series lead against the Mercury and at that time, still had a shot of making the playoffs.  Unfortunately, they came up just short and the Mercury prevailed and were the last team in the West to clinch the playoffs. The Stars failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Danielle Adams led the way with 26 points for San Antonio while Diana Taurasi had 21 for Phoenix. The Stars and the Mercury also tied the season series at 2 apiece and the Stars fell to 4-12 on the road. My game recap is below, along with notes + observations from the game.

 

Sept 6, 2013

PHOENIX

The San Antonio Silver Stars knew heading into this game that if they didn’t win this game, they would be out of the playoffs for this year. They knew it’d be difficult to stop a dangerous Phoenix team that was on a roll and they knew it would be hard to stop Diana Taurasi who averages 20 points and 6 assists a game. But, that didn’t stop them from trying. The Silver Stars fought and competed but came up short by a final score of 83-80 which ended the Stars streak of 6 consecutive seasons of going to the playoffs. Danielle Adams had 26 points for San Antonio and Jayne Appel had 17 rebounds. The Stars started off slowly but didn’t let the Mercury get ahead and the Mercury led at half time 42-32.  In the third quarter, both teams were able to stay close to an another but the Mercury were ahead after 3 quarters. In the fourth quarter, the Silver Stars battled back and made it a close game thanks to their defense as well as their offense. Danielle Adams  as well as Shenise Johnson who had 14 points. Jayne Appel also played well with 9 points and 17 rebounds. The Stars had a 27-16 run in the final quarter and had a chance to tie the game, but Danielle Adams lost the ball which cost them the game and the playoffs. The Stars lost their second game in a row and fell to 4-12 on the road this season. In a very rough and injury plagued season for the Stars, luck was just not on their side for the 2013 playoffs.

NOTES + OBSERVATIONS

  • This was looking like a Mercury win that they were going to cruise to the finish line but the Stars battled and for that, I have to give them credit. They could have folded and let the Mercury win, but they didn’t and competed with a shot to win the game.
  • I hate West Coast games. I live in the East Coast, so it means that I have to stay up at 10 pm to watch and finish the game around 12 am(in the morning). After a grueling long day, the last thing I want to do is stay up even later. But, I’m glad I did for this one. The Stars made it interesting, even with the announcing crew that was commentating for the Phoenix Mercury.
  • The Stars got solid performances from Danielle Adams, Jayne Appel, Shenise Johnson and Jia Perkins and still lost. I do think that if Danielle Robinson played in this game, it would’ve made a difference as the Mercury don’t have anyone on their roster who can stop Danielle Robinson’s ability to get into the paint.
  • I still want to see Brittney Griner dunk! Even though she probably won’t considering she’s had knee injuries this season.