The 2018 WNBA Season at the first quarter point.

A'ja Wilson

The 2018 WNBA season has now reached the quarter point of the season as a large majority of teams have played 10 or 11 games now. Only Phoenix has played up to 13 games (the most in the WNBA, currently). A month of WNBA games has flown by in this condensed schedule, which has meant craziness around the league. Let’s break it down in terms of what teams have stood out, what players have excelled and those that have not yet so far. There’s still a lot of season left to be played, but at this point, we are starting to see what potential playoff and championship contenders could be.

Team(s) that have stood out:

The Connecticut Sun stood out in the very early part of the season before the schedule as well as injuries caught up to them. They were in first place for the start of the season but now have lost three straight and sit in fourth place overall. The Los Angeles Sparks have been the steadying force and as a result of other teams slipping up, they are now in first place. They’ve been solid and playing to their expectation level as many thought they would still be a top team. The Seattle Storm have been excellent as well and they have played really well under new coach Dan Hughes. Last but not least, is the Phoenix Mercury. Many had the Mercury making the playoffs and possibly a top 4 team, but no one expected this hot start from them. They have won eight straight games, they have the best road record and Diana Taurasi is playing excellent basketball along side Brittney Griner. Diana Taurasi may have a serious case for the WNBA MVP award if the Mercury keep this up.

Players that have stood out:

As mentioned above, Diana Taurasi has stood out early one quarter in the WNBA season, but Natasha Howard has been an excellent addition to the Seattle Storm. She has played well beside Breanna Stewart which has allowed her offensive game to flourish. She’s on track to being a WNBA All Star next month. Chiney Ogwumike has also stood out from the Sun simply because she was injured last season and has performed well so far. If not for her injuries, she would have already been in star form. She’s just that good. Elizabeth Cambage from Dallas also stands out because, despite not playing in the WNBA for many years, she’s become the second best player for the Wings and she’s performed really well for that team.

Team(s) that have not performed well so far

The two teams that have not played well so far are the defending WNBA champion the Minnesota Lynx and the New York Liberty. Prior to the season starting, many thought the Lynx would be the #1 team to beat but so far they have not been that team. As for the New York Liberty, they were thought of being a playoff contender but so far, they have struggled. Even with a healthy lineup, they have not been consistent so far and would miss the playoffs as they sit in ninth place overall.  Both the Liberty and the Lynx can be better than they are right now and they still have three quarters of the WNBA season to prove it.

The 2018 WNBA Rookie Class

ROOKIES!! These WNBA rookies came to play this season. Led by A’ja Wilson, the #1 overall WNBA draft pick, Kelsey Mitchell, Kia Nurse, Ariel Atkins, Victoria Vivians, Myisha Hines Allen, Azura Stevens, Diamond DeShields, Gabby Williams have ALL shown flashes or have had games in which they have stood out so far. These rookies are different from previous recent classes because they have played well or have contributed to their teams in some kind of capacity. The WNBA is in good hands with these rookies as some of them have shown superstar or WNBA All Star potential. Some have shown they can be future great defenders or great starters.

SCHEDULE

The WNBA schedule is a talking point because let’s face it, these condensed schedule is nuts. We are already in Week 5, some teams have been on crazy road trips out West, some teams have played 4 games in 7 days, etc. Also there have been some really bad back to back game schedules. Each team will experience it or already have experienced it. Teams are now starting to lose players due to it which does not help teams in terms of making the playoffs. Thanks a lot, FIBA. It’s all your fault. (On the other hand, it does increase the amount of WNBA games on the schedule, which is a bonus for us, personally speaking)

STAT LEADERS

Point guard / Shooting guard Skylar Diggins-Smith currently leads the WNBA in scoring with 21.9 points per game followed by Breanna Stewart and Tina Charles.

Center Sylvia Fowles leads the way in rebounding with 11.8 rebounds per game followed by Elizabeth Williams and Alyssa Thomas.

Point guard Sue Bird leads the way in assists with 5.9 assists per game followed by Chelsea Gray and Skylar Diggins- Smith

There’s many more categories, but I chose the main three statistics.


 

That wraps up the 2018 WNBA season at the quarter point. There’s still so much to be decided, and we will have much more to discuss when the WNBA reaches at it’s halfway point, so stay tuned for that blog post. (The halfway point — believe it or not, is in two weeks!)

Game #28 Seattle Storm vs San Antonio Silver Stars Game Day Recap

Silver Stars team
The Silver Stars lost a tough playoff like game against the Seattle Storm by a final score of 72-71 at the AT&T Center. Shenise Johnson led SA with 16 points. Photo courtesy of Daniel Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images

I FINALLY got the chance to write the game recap, sorry it’s a couple of days late. I wanted to re watch the game and see what actually happened when they’re were only 1.7 seconds left on the clock. It was the most bizarre loss ever, followed by that narrow 2 point loss to the Chicago Sky this season when Elena Delle Donne was fouled and made two game winning free throws. The Silver Stars lost their oppurtunity to gain ground in the playoff race and for the first time since 2007, the Silver Stars are in danger of missing the playoffs. The Silver Stars are now 10-18 with only 6 games left to play. They play back to back Friday and Saturday games before getting a bit of a break. I have the game recap of the game, along with my notes and observations below.

GAME RECAP

SAN ANTONIO – AUGUST 27TH 2013

The San Antonio Silver Stars came into this game ready and willing to fight for a playoff spot against the Seattle Storm.  They were just about able to do just that, as Seattle won a hair 72-71. The Silver Stars and the Storm were neck and neck throughout the night with several lead changes and ties. Tina Thompson who was playing in her last season, played her final game in Texas and was remarkable with an astounding 27 points and 13 rebounds. Most of Tina’s points came in the first half in which she was too much for Danielle Adams and Jayne Appel to handle. The Stars were tied with Seattle 31 at half. In the third quarter, Seattle started to pull away, but the Silver Stars managed to keep it close and Seattle was only ahead by one after 3 50-49. In the fourth quarter, both teams were able to match each other point by point and the game had a playoff like intensity feel to it. Seattle was able to take control of the game with about 40 secs left when Seattle’s point guard Temeka Johnson drove by Davellyn Whyte and the help defender Jayne Appel to the basket and was able to score. The score was 69-64 and Seattle had a potential game winner. However, after two free throws by Tina Thompson which extended the lead to 7 72-65, Shenise Johnson was able to counter with a 3 which cut Seattle’s lead to 4. With 7.5 seconds left, Seattle thought they had the game won. However, Shenise Johnson had other plans. She was able to steal the ball away from Tina Thompson and quickly gave the ball up to Jia Perkins who cut the Storm lead down to 1 72-71 with 1.7 seconds left. With Seattle only left to inbound the ball and make winning free throws, they were careless and Jia Perkins was able to steal the ball and throw up an awkward looking shot which never hit the rim and Tina Thompson was able to grab the loose ball. San Antonio was elated, and thought that they would get another shot at trying to win the game.  The referees decided because the game clock didn’t start, that the game was essentially over and just like that, Seattle’s playoff chances improved dramatically. It was a tough loss for the Silver Stars who had played well through the whole game but just came up short. With just only 6 games left to play in the regular season, all the Silver Stars can do now is play well and look forward to what next year will bring. The Stars are now 10-18 on the season with  7-7 record at home. The Stars now head out to Tulsa on Friday and come back Saturday to face the Sparks at home.

GAME NOTES + OBSERVATIONS

  • First of all, that was a GAME! That was a playoff like game. Seriously, it was so much fun to watch and comment both on Twitter and on SwishAppeal. The Stars should applaud themselves. They didn’t play like a team that’s lost their 3 best players, but rather a team that was focused and determined on winning the game.
  • Second, Tina Thompson is my pick for MVP. No, seriously she is. Her numbers might not be as great as the other candidates but every time the Storm win, her numbers been consistently high and the reason why the Storm win. It was a great way for her to go out like that in Texas where she played for Houston and the state in which she won 4 WNBA Championships. She’s truly a living legend. I’m definitely going to miss her play next season and I wish Tina all the best towards all her future ventures in life.
  • Third, that was a brutal loss. I’m sorry, but that was. How can you you just end the game like that? Why not play the final 1.7 secs on center court? How can you declare the game over? Too many questions and not enough answers.  I wasn’t even playing the game and I’m still seething over the result.
  • Fourth,  that crowd at the AT&T Center looked awfully low for a Tuesday night. Really bad. I don’t remember it being that low ever. Too bad more fans weren’t there at the arena. They would’ve loved this game.
  • Fifth, I wonder when Danielle Robinson can play again. She’s a really fun player to watch and SASS isn’t the same without her.
  • Sixth…I can’t believe the season is almost over. WOW! 4 months have flown by.
  • Seventh. The Stars face the Shock in Tulsa next and then face LA. Not a fun B2B, that’s for sure.

Game #28 Seattle Storm vs San Antonio Silver Stars Game Day Preview

The Stars are finishing a 5 game series against the Seattle Storm tonight at the AT&T Center. Both teams are 2-2 and the team that wins tonight will get the advantage of making the playoffs over the other. This is also the 2nd game of a home and home stand. The Silver Stars are 7-6 at home this season. They only have 4 home games left to play in the regular season including tonight. It will also be the last time Tina Thompson plays in San Antonio as she is retiring after this season. There’s still no update on Danielle Robinson, but as I have stated before, she’s most likely day to day and a game time decision.

Probable Starting Lineup for the Seattle Storm

PG – Temeka Johnson

SG – Tanisha Wright

G/F – Shekinna Stricklen

F – Camille Little

F – Tina Thompson

Probable Starting Lineups for the San Antonio Silver Stars

PG – Davellyn Whyte

SG – Jia Perkins

SF – Shenise Johnson

F/C – Danielle Adams

C – Jayne Appel

There will be no three keys to this game in this preview, since it is game 2 of the home and home stand. The three keys shall return against the next Silver Stars opponent!

The game will be on LiveAccess and wilL tip off at 7 pm local time, 8 pm EST and 5 pm PST.

Game #27 Seattle Storm vs San Antonio Silver Stars Game Day Preview

The Silver Stars have had a busy August and it continues this afternoon when they host the Seattle Storm in a home and home stand. The Silver Stars have lost 2 games on the road and will aim to play better in front of their home crowd. The Seattle Storm have played much better recently and are on a roll. They’ve won 3 in a row and are now 13-13 in which they were below .500 for much of the season. The Storm are also 6-7 on the road this season. The Stars are 1-2 against the Storm this season. The playoffs seem distant for the Stars but that doesn’t mean that the Silver Stars should give up. They have a shot of being playoff spoilers to other teams and trying to end the season on a strong note. 

Probable Starting Lineups for the Seattle Storm

PG – Temeka Johnson

SG – Tanisha Wright

F/G – Shekinna Stricklen

PF – Camille Little

F- Tina Thompson

Probable Starting Lineups for the San Antonio Silver Stars

PG – Davellyn Whyte or Danielle Robinson if she plays

SG – Jia Perkins

SF – Shenise Johnson

F/C – Danielle Adams

C – Jayne Appel

THE KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Defend Tina Thompson – Tina Thompson is having one of her best seasons in a while as the Storm’s first option. Despite her age, she’s having an MVP season and she should be one of the MVP candidates alongside her coach Brian Agler for Coach of the Year Award. Tina’s play has been vital for the Storm so the Silver Stars have to make sure that they double team and make sure that they cover her so that she won’t be as effective. Danielle Adams will have her hands full as well so she will require help from the other Star players.

2. No X Factor – Every time the Storm plays against the Stars, someone steps up other than their starters. The Stars will have to make it difficult for other players to step up. It’s as simple as that.

3. 4 FULL quarters – I had this as one of my keys last game and it hurt them as they couldn’t play 4 full quarters which cost them the game against Tulsa. I will continue having this as one of my keys to the game until the Stars deliver a full 40 minute performance.

The game will be on LiveAccess and will tip off at 3:30 pm local time, 4:30 pm EST and 1:30 pm PST. 

 

Game #23 San Antonio Silver Stars vs Seattle Storm Game Day Recap

News Photo: Temeka Johnson of the Seattle Storm goes to…
Temeka Johnson drives to the basket against Jayne Appel. The Storm won 69-63 at Key Arena in Seattle

The San Antonio Silver Stars lose to the Seattle Storm and are now 2 games back from Seattle for fourth place in the Western Conference. The Silver Stars drop to 8-15 while Seattle improves to 10-12. Seattle is now .500 at home while the Silver Stars are 3-9 on the road.  Jia Perkins had 19 points for San Antonio. My game recap is below along with notes and observations from watching the game on Live Access.

GAME RECAP

SEATTLE – August 11th 2013

San Antonio had just won convincingly against the Seattle Storm on Friday and were looking to do the same on Sunday evening. However, Seattle had other plans.  From the beginning, Seattle was the aggressor and fought for rebounds and found ways to score in their transition game. Seattle was also able to get the ball to its main scorer in Tina Thompson and Camille Little were able to find ways to score and be effective in the first half. Tanisha Wright also got involved as well. Seattle led 41-26 at half time. In the third quarter, San Antonio started to pick up their defense and forced turnovers and missed shots by Seattle. They were never able to get close as Seattle was able to keep them at bay and led by 11 going into the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, Seattle started to get away from what worked for them in the first 3 quarters and San Antonio picked up the pace defensively and offensively. Jia Perkins was able to knock down some shots and Kayla Alexander had a great 5 minute stretch in the fourth quarter in which she had 5 points and 4 rebounds. She was able to keep the Stars within distance but Tina Thompson was able to score every single time the Storm needed a basket. Jia Perkins was able to bring the Stars to within 4, but Seattle scored again thanks to Tina Thompson who led Seattle with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Tanisha Wright finished with 16 points.  Seattle is now 2-1 in the series and 1-1 on this home stand with San Antonio. Seattle will play San Antonio soon and will be on another home and home stand but this time it will be in San Antonio. The Stars don’t play again until Aug 17th when Phoenix comes into town.

NOTES + OBSERVATIONS

  • – That was a scrappy game. Neither team was able to establish themselves offensively and Seattle was able to win because of timely baskets from Tina Thompson who is the Storm’s MVP for this season. 
  • Danielle Adams struggled in this series. It might be because of the match ups and it’s pretty rare to see her struggle like she did. I do suspect that she’ll be back and ready to go when SASS plays Phoenix next.
  • Tina Thompson is awesome. No, really she’s awesome. Every single time Seattle needed her, she was there. In fact, in games that Seattle has won, Tina has been or usually near the high scorer for that game. I would nominate her for Storm’s MVP and one of the leaders in the MVP race. She’s also 8 rebounds shy from 3000 rebounds which is remarkable. I mean, 7000 + points and 3000 rebounds? Pretty special player and very remarkable.
  • Jayne Appel had her best game as a pro. This is the game in which Stars fans were expecting when Dan Hughes drafted her 5th in the 2010 draft class. She had 11 points, 16 rebounds, SIX blocked shots, 3 assists and defensively as usually was great. She’s getting better and better every year and San Antonio finally has their center to play alongside Sophia Young. She’s also in my most improved player candidates along with Karima Christmas of Indiana and Jantel Lavender of Los Angeles.
  • Neither team shot well but Seattle won in FT’s and rebounds. 
  • Danielle Adams now is 3 points shy of 1000 points while Cathrine Kraayeveld is 3 rebounds shy from 1000 rebounds.
  • Jia Perkins had 5 steals and is one of the top 5 leaders in steals this season while Danielle Robinson had 6 assists despite poor shooting from SASS. Danielle still leads the league with 7 assists.

 

Game #23 San Antonio Silver Stars vs Seattle Storm Game Day Preview

Guess whose back?  Yup I’m back after spending two lovely days celebrating family as well as Eid. I’m one lucky girl 🙂 In my absence, the Silver Stars have won their first game in Seattle quite easily which was surprising considering they haven’t won in Seattle for a while now. The second game starts tonight and the third game in the series is going to be pivotal for the Silver Stars if they want a shot of making the playoffs. It’s hard to believe that with a 8-14 record that the Stars are within a couple of games of making the playoffs. It goes to show how weak the West really is after LA and Minnesota.  The Silver Stars will try to win just its 3rd road game and it’s second game over Seattle. The Stars are 3-8 on the road this season while Seattle is 4-5 at home.

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS FOR THE SAN ANTONIO SILVER STARS

PG – Danielle Robinson

SG – Jia Perkins

SF – Shenise Johnson

F/C – Danielle Adams

C – Jayne Appel

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS FOR THE SEATTLE STORM

PG – Temeka Johnson

SG – Tanisha Wright

F/G – Shekinna Stricklen

F – Camille Little

F – Tina Thompson

Records/Milestones

Catherine Kraayeveld needs 4 rebounds to reach the 1000 rebound mark. She would be the 69th player in league history to reach the milestone.

Danielle Adams needs 15 points tonight to reach the 1000 point mark. She would be the 158th player in league history to reach the milestone

THREE KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Defend Tina Thompson – Tina Thompson is having a renaissance year this season with the Storm. Despite this being her last year Tina is playing well and is the Storm’s best offensive option. If the Stars can control Tina’s output like they did last game they will win their second game in Seattle.

2. NO X Factor – Eliminate another option – The Silver Stars need to make sure that no one from the bench has a great game or is able to play well. If the Stars do that they win the game.

3. Repeat, Repeat – Do the same thing that happened on Friday – The Silver Stars have to do everything they did on Friday and use it for tonight’s match up. It’s not going to be as easy as it was on Friday so they need to make sure they control the boards, defend the three and get to the FT line. Seattle will be desperate to play well so the Stars will need to match their intensity.

The game will be at 6 pm local time, 7 pm San Antonio time, and 9 pm Eastern time. The game will be on LiveAccess

Game #7 – Seattle Storm vs San Antonio Silver Stars Game Recap

Danielle Adams tries to score over Camille Little`s outstretched hands.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Clark Evans (NBAE & Getty Images)

The San Antonio Silver Stars lost again for the fourth time this season. This time it was against the visiting Seattle Storm. Jayne Appel was out for the second straight game and is listed day to day. 

The official game day recap with highlights, post game video and photos. Check it out.

GAME STORY

San Antonio

June 21, 2013

The San Antonio Silver Stars came back from their road trip win less and were looking to do a complete turn around at home. After only failing to score 48 points in their last game, the Stars looked to make a change in their starting lineup. Shameka Christon who was struggling shooting from the field in the first six games came off the bench in favour of Shenise Johnson who was off to a hot start in her second season in the league. It worked in this game as Shameka Christon finished the game with a season high 19 points. The first quarter saw San Antonio trying to adjust to their new lineup and struggled while doing so which lead to Seattle having the lead. In the second quarter, the Silver Stars were able to adjust and kept the game close with Seattle having a 3 point lead at half time. In the third quarter, the Silver Stars got off to a hot start, and the Storm were able to match the Stars. It was see saw basketball until the late 4th quarter when the Storm were able to take a lead and held on to win the game 91-86. Tina Thompson, for the second straight game had 21 points and was 4-6 from long distance. Camille Little, who the San Antonio Silver Stars had no answer for was able to break free from defenders and finished with a game high 23 points and 10 rebounds. 

Tidbits from the game

– Jayne Appel`s defense was sorely missed as Camille Little was able to get into the paint and finish with layups and three point plays.

– Shameka Christon FINALLY broke through tonight with 19 points. She looked more aggressive and was 4-9 from three.

– Danielle Robinson was also efficient as she struggled in the last two games. Seattle couldn`t defend her and she finished with 20 points on 9-12 shooting

– After out rebounding Seattle in the first half, Seattle out rebounded the Stars in the second half 30 – 28.

– Two key reasons why the Silver Stars did not win the game. I listed Tina Thompson as one of the players to defend and the Silver Stars failed to do it which led to her scoring 21 points. Another reason why the Silver Stars did not win the game was the three point line. Seattle shot 67% from three (6-9) which was one of the big reasons why they won the game.

– The Silver Stars last grasp of possibly extending the game didn`t come as the Stars looked to cut the deficit down to 2. Trailing 88-84 late in the game, Shameka Christon was clearly fouled by Temeka Johnson on what was  a clear path foul. The referees didn`t notice and therefore the Storm were able to win the game.

– The Silver Stars are now 2-5 on the season (2-2 at home and 0-3 on the road) and their next game is on Sunday where they go on the road to face the New York Liberty.

– There was a good crowd at the AT&T Center. The arena looked pretty full and it was nice to see the Silver Stars get support from San Antonio