Monday, June 23, 2008

Storm make a trade...

I love getting something for nothing. That is essentially what Seattle has done with their recent trade of next year's second round pick for Atlanta's Camille Little. Seattle has not done well with their second round picks under any coach/GM, but Little has proven that she can be a valuable contributor off the bench for San Antonio last season and Atlanta this season.

She seems to be fairly solid at putting some points on the board and grabbing a few rebounds. When she gets around 20 minutes of playing time she has averaged 7.5 points per game and 4.5 rebounds this season.

The Storm waived seldom used, and mostly ineffective forward, Florina Pascalau to make room on the roster for Little.

Kevin Pelton raves about Little's ability to defend both forward spots in his blog.

She has not rebounded exceedingly well, but is averaging around 7 rebounds for every 40 minutes played.

Little does fit Agler's model of having flexible players who can play the wing and the post at both ends of the floor. Little is shooting 40% from long range this season having made more three pointers at this point than she did all of last season. The Storm could use a little scoring punch from the bench, and Little may add some of that.

On a side note. Sue Bird is scoring more points per game this season than she has since 2005. How is she managing that while shooting her absolute worst career percentages (36.8% and 27.1% from three)? She has made more free throws so far this season than she attempted all of last season. It is great to see Sue's aggressive play return. She is on pace to take more free throws this season than she has in any season since her rookie year where she was 102-112 (91%). She has averaged 63 free throws per season since 2003 with only 26 taken last season. She is shooting 32-39 (82.1%) in the first 14 games this year. Her all around shooting numbers are way down.


If she can raise her percentages closer to her career numbers and continue her aggressive play, she can exceed her career high average of 14.4 points per game set as a rookie 2001.

Minnesota has come back down to earth of late and is merely the .500 team we expected. Phoenix is struggling even more than I expected, but LA and San Antonio are rolling.

Candace Parker became the second woman to dunk in a WNBA game against Indiana last night.

New York looked spectacular last night as they brutalized the reigning champion Phoenix Mercury last night in High Defintion on NBA TV. They were raining threes and nothing was falling for anyone in purple unless their jersey had Taurasi printed on it. Maybe the whole team should change their names. Loree Moore was great in her first game back in the starting lineup with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and only 3 turnovers in almost 20 minutes of playing time. I was very glad that I got the chance to record this game.


Anonymous said...

A better backup PG who could handle more minutes would make sense as a follow-up trade this year. Or certainly in off-season.

Patrick said...

Sue is playing her most mpg of her career this season. Beck seems to be qualified to play more minutes than are allotted to her.

Crow said...

Real short minutes but team offense with Beck quite weak this year and team defense among the worst of any player. But I now see she is real new so I'll back off the earlier comment and wait n see.

Ashley Robinson's team numbers even worse on both sides of ball, a big change from last season, though also fairly small sample size. Maybe Little will signal more smaller ball?

Patrick said...

Beck is best used with LJ and Swoopes, not with the whole bench on the floor where she has been mostly playing. Their have been some successful combos...


Crow said...

Since the shot clock changed (just 2 years in the books) all western conference playoff teams have averaged over 73.5 pts / game. Storm well below that so far. San Antonio was the lowest last year at 74.0.

2004 Storm were 3rd fastest paced. Last year 8th. What are they this season? 14th.
Big change. Intentional... but will it prove wise?

Sue Bird said Coach is running "an equal opportunity offense"? Is that a good thing? Is Bird taking shots she didn't last season? Is she missing those more than the "normal ones" or she just missing more on everything?

Crow said...

Only 4 teams get less fastbreak points. Only 2 teams less points in the paint. Ok these aren't pace adjusted but given that they aren't getting a lot of points off 3 pointers doesn't this mean the team is living on mid-range shots more heavily than normal? Which is a bad thing at least in the NBA.

Crow said...

Beck with 2 or 3 of Swoopes / Cash / Jackson makes sense.

Season to date player pair and lineup performance probably would be interesting, even though the samples require caution. I assume they will see what looks best and use second half of season to try to confirm that.

Patrick said...

They are definitely slower paced, based on personnel. Castro, Burse and Lennox were considerably faster on the break than Swoopes, Cash and Griffith.

They are relying more heavily on points in the paint and midrange jumpers. Again this is where there strengths lie given the shooting skills of their players. Defensively they are able to withstand the lack of scoring so far. I would like to see them build stronger cushions. Their offense is way down this year to levels not seen since 2000 before Bird.

Bird is taking more shots and missing a greater percentage of them.

I am going to share the season to date next week after the 17th game.

Crow said...

Bird and Jackson were good from mid-range last season.
Nobody else on quick check was especially strong from there including Cash (from Swanny's file: 26% from 6-10 feet, 32% from 11-15, 37% from 16-20).

Patrick said...

Cash was not the same player last year that she was prior to her injury. She has improved this season.

Crow said...

I went with what was available but you are right that was a down period for her.

Complicated story.

Your mid-season data and assessment will be helpful.