Sunday, I dragged Mrs ATS to San Antonio and attended my first WNBA game. I've got two things to report. The games are fun to watch and Becky Hammon can shoot. I mean, she can really shoot.
It was the final regular season game for the Silver Stars and it proved to be a thriller.
A Great Game
Man, we sure got to see a great game. Down 1 with 15 seconds left, Sophia Young got fouled going to the bucket. She missed the first BADLY and made the second. The Mercury got a foul call driving to the hoop with two and a half seconds left. DeWanna Bonner made both. The Silver Stars then got a 3-point play from Sophia Young, the old fashioned kind, off an inbounds play to get the 83-82 win.
These teams now meet in the first round of the playoffs. However, the Mercury played this game without Diana Taurasi. I don't expect to the Stars to really have much of a chance, but we'll see.
Becky, Becky, Becky
She alone was worth the price of admission. She was just marvelous to watch. She can flat out shoot. She ended with 30 points and that is despite the fact that her teammates went long stretches of the second half playing as if they forgot she was on the team. I'm just saying, when you've got somebody who is your best playmaker and she's on fire from the field, you might want to let her touch the ball occasionally.
And on fire she was. She hit everything. Long 3's. Floaters. Step backs. She even posted another player up in the blocks. She's a flawless shooter and you thought everything she put up had to go in. The ones that didn't were halfway down before the popped back out. She hit big shot after big shot. Additionally, watching her create space for herself and her teammates was a spectacular site. She's like Steve Nash without the bad hair.
The WNBA: It's Watchable Basketball
I really enjoyed the game, but Mrs ATS had the good observation. She said she found it more watchable than the NBA because she could follow the play. Watching the NBA live is difficult for her. Because she isn't used to the general way the game is played, she can have a hard time following what happens when things get chaotic. In the WNBA, the players don't move quite as fast and they aren't as big. It means you get more space on the court and everything looks much less crowded. As soon as she said it, I immediately understood what I liked about it. I could also follow it easier. Except, I was seeing things like slow defensive rotations and good picks. Missed open shooters and bad officiating. I highly recommend it for an opportunity to watch the game a little more critically.
Not to be all critical, but I think Roneeka Hodges has the ugliest shot I have ever seen. Her 31% 3-pt season shooting supports that theory. She was 1-10 from the field with 1-6 of it from distance. If her 10 shots resulted in one full rotation of the ball I'd be surprised. She's got the craziest two-handed knuckleball shot I've ever seen. She really shoots it with a hand on each side of the ball. Very similar to the way you throw the ball in from the sidelines in soccer. She just does it from her forehead instead of behind her head.
The atmosphere in the arena was pretty good. Things were a little different than at a Spurs game. Our seats, which were in the 20th row behind the basket, were $10 each. Each ticket came with a voucher for a hot dog, chips, and a soda. So really good value. There is a Fox instead of a Coyote. But, the Fox is a really good mascot. In fact, it could be the same guy. The volume on the timeouts was ridiculously loud and the contests were almost the same. The biggest difference is that the cheerleaders wear something close to clothes. Shocking, I know.
The Playoffs Start Thursday
Games 1 and 2 of the three game series are on espn2. Game 2 is in San Antonio on Saturday at noon. Check them out if you get the chance.