Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Congratulations To Taj McWilliams Franklin!

     Last night as many of you know, Taj McWilliams-Franklin set the WNBA record for all-time offensive rebounds by one player. It is a great achievement for one of the best people in the WNBA. This accomplishment is just one highlight in a very good career for Taj McWilliams-Franklin. Other acoomplishments throughout her career worth noting are:

  1. At her college, St. Edwards University, she holds the records for points in a single season and a career.
  2. In college she was the NAIA player of the year in 1993, and also made the Kodak NAIA All-American team that year.
  3. Before the WNBA Taj Mcwilliams-Franklin played in the American Basketball League, and in one season led the league in blocks.
  4. In 1998 Taj won the Gold Medal in the World Championship for team USA.
  5. In her overseas career Taj McWilliams-Franklin won the Czech Republic Divison 1 Championship in 2005 and 2010.
  6. In 2010 she made the Euroleague All-star team.
  7. In 2009 Taj McWilliams-Franklin won the Turkish President's Cup.
  8. In her WNBA career Taj McWilliams-Franklin has won two WNBA Titles, in 2008 and 2011.
  9. She played in the WNBA All-Star games in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, and 2005.
  10. Okay this one is not basketball related, but she has three kids, and sometimes there are things that are more important than sports.

     Congratulations to Taj McWilliams-Franklin on a great career so far, and well wishes on adding to the list, especially another championship or two! Congratulations again on becoming the All-Time Leader in Offensive Rebounds.

If you are a Minnesota Twins fan check out this blog

If you are a Minnesota Timberwolves fan check out this blog

The Post Olympics Games Summaries: Game 5

Lynx vs Silver Stars, Tuesday, August 29
     In one of the Lynx tougher games of the year, the Silver Stars took the Lynx to overtime. The game was close for all of regulation, but overtime was a different story. The scores at the end of any the quarters never had a team up by more than two points. In overtime however, the Lynx dominated, out-scoring the Silver Stars 17-5. Rebekkah Burnson had another 20-10 game, her third in a row, but the amazing part about this one is the 20 was rebounds. She also had 17 points. Maya Moore had a tough game shooting, but came up big in the clutch, and still slmost had a double double with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Taj McWilliams-Franklin had a big game with 19 points, and 7 rebounds. Of those 7 rebounds, 5 were offensive, and in the game she became the all-time leader in offensive rebounds in WNBA history.(more on that in the next blog post) Lindsay Whalen added in 15 points and 8 assists, while Seimone Augustus continued to be well rounded adding 19 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. The Lynx did not get a lot of bench production, with Candice Wiggins scoring 5 points an Amber Harris adding seven, which were the only points scored off the bench. Monica Wright had another slow game with not very many minutes, so it will be interesting to see what is happening with her after such a strong start to the season.
If you are a Minnesota Twins fan check out this blog
If you are a Minnesota Timberwolves fan check out this blog

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Post Olympics Game Summaries: Game 3 and Game 4

Lynx @ Storm, Tuesday, August 21st

     The Lynx played an overall very good game, against a team they could see in the first round of the play-offs. The Lynx won every quarter besides the third, and won the first half by 10 points, while wining the second half by 4. The Storm kept it close in the first quarter, but after the second quarter, it never really was a game. The Lynx are starting to look like they did at the end of last year, and are getting ready for the repeat push. The Lynx had three players score 20 or more, Seimone Augustus(22), Maya Moore(20), and Rebakkah Brunson(20). Monica Wright also added 15 points. To go along with their twenty points, Rebakkah Brunson also added 14 rebounds and Maya Moore added 8. Maya Moore also added 7 assists, but Lindsay Whalen led the team with 9.

Lynx @ Dream, Saturday, August 25th

        This game was more in doubt than any others have been since the break, but the Lynx pulled it out with a strong the second half. The Dream won the first quarter by three, but the Lynx responded by winning the second quarter 20-16, taking a one point lead into halftime. The Lynx then opened the game up with a 24-18 third quarter, and finished the game off by winning the fourth quarter by three points. Rebakkah Brunson had her second straight 20-10 game, scoring 21 points and pulling in 13 rebounds. Maya Moore also added a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Lindsay Whalen had 13 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds, while Seimone added 23 points and 6 rebounds. Amber Harris had a good game off the bench, scoring 9 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in only 11 minutes of action. Monica Wright had an off game, and only played seven minutes, so it maybe just an off game, but also she might be injured. Candice Wiggins continued to struggle, and the Lynx need to find a way to get her going.

If you are a Minnesota Twins fan check out this blog
If you are a Minnesota Timberwolves fan check out this blog

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Post Olympic Game Summaries: Game 1 and Game 2

     Sorry the Mystics game blog took so long to get, it was a busy week, and got to the point where it made more sense to make the Mystics and Shock game summaries into one blog post.

Lynx vs Mystics, Friday, August 17th

     In both teams first game back from the Olympic break, the two teams did not show as much rust as would have been expected, especially the Lynx. The Lynx came out with a strong start, winning the first quarter 26-15 and being up by 16 at half. Although the game was already getting out of hand at half-time, the Lynx did not by any means let the Mystics back in the game, coming out of half with a 30 point third quarter. The fourth quarter was actually won by the Mystics, but the Lynx still won the game 29 points, 98-69. Seimone Augustus led the way in scoring with 20 points, while both Monica Wright and Maya Moore added 17 apiece. Monica Wright also added five rebounds. Lindsay Whalen missed a double-double by one assist, finishing with ten points and nine assists. Rebekkah Brunson was also close to a double-double, with eleven points and seven rebounds.

Lynx vs Shock, Sunday, August 19th

     The Lynx did not come out to as hot of a start in the second game back from the break, only winning the first quarter by a point to one of the leauge's worst teams, who have yet to win a road game yet. The Lynx really did not kick it into the level of play they should be at until the fourth quarter, winning the second quarter by only two and third by three. The fourth quarter was a completely different story though, with the Lynx scoring 25 and only allowing 7. A positive to take out of the game besides the fourth quarter is despite only winning the first three quarters by a total of six points to the Shock, the Lynx did win every quarter. Maya Moore was a stud in this game, and this is how we've been waiting for her to play, scoring 22 points and pulling in 10 rebounds. Seimone Augustus also added 14 points on six of eight shooting. LIndsay Whalen contributed 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists.

If you are a Minnesota Twins fan check out this blog
If you are a Minnesota Timberwolves fan check out this blog

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Brief Glimpse At The Lynx's Repeat Obstacles, Part One: The Other Teams

      This and the next blog post will be a two part blog, which will examine the obstacles preventing the Lynx from repeating in their title defense. This post will be about the other teams who could possibly dethrone the Lynx and the next blog post will be about what problems the Lynx themselves could have to prevent their repeat, obviously if they do not repeat it will probably be a combination of both. Now back on track here is the other WNBA teams and where they stand.

The Teams With Pretty Much No Chance



New York

      Tulsa is very unlikely to make the playoffs out of the West, and it is beginning to look like Washington and New York will not make the playoffs from the East, let alone make it all the way to the Finals from the East.

The Dark Horse Team


     The reason they are a dark horse team, and not a team with no chance, despite being five games back in the playoff race is because Diana Taurasi has only played in two games so far. She is expected to be ready to go for the second half and has looked good in the Olympics. If she can bring them back and get them in the playoffs, they could be a very strong four seed.

The Teams With A Chance, But Not Likely



     Chicago has a chance, because as of right now they look like they will make the playoffs from the East, but barring a surprise run through the Eastern Conference, they will probably never get a chance at the Lynx. Seattle right now would be the fourth seed in the Western Conference, and with Sue Bird you can never count them out. The problem with Seattle is they just appear to old and not enough depth to be a serious threat to the Lynx, but bigger upsets have happened before.

Two Teams From The East Who It Is Too Early To Tell If They Pose A Risk Or Not



      Atlanta was the runner-up to the Lynx last year, so you never want to count them out, but this year they have a record under .500 and as of right now don't look like they could pose a threat to the Lynx this year. Indiana is the second team in the East, but if they played in the West they would probably be in the four or five seed range. Both these teams seem to have inflated records due to playing in the East, but in a five game series, maybe either of these teams could put together a run to beat the Lynx.

The Main Threats

Los Angeles 

San Antonio


      Connecticut is the best team in the East so far, having the same record as the Lynx. They look poised to make a run to the WNBA Finals, and have looked as good as any team so far. San Antonio has the second best record in the West besides the Lynx, with Los Angeles having the third best record. Both of these teams provide threats for different reasons. San Antonio's size with the combination on Becky Hamilton could get to the Lynx. Los Angeles has Candace Parker, and with her healthy and the rest of the roster healthy, they are showing what they are capable of.

If you are a Minnesota Twins fan check out this blog
If you are a Minnesota Timberwolves fan check out this blog

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Look At Pre-Olympic Stats

       The Lynx have had some players step up and contribute in a much bigger way this year than last, and a few others have regressed in some areas during this current season. The changes in the girl's play could be for a variety of reasons, including injury, more playing time, and getting older. (whether it is in a good or bad way)

Seimone Augustus
     Seimone Augustus numbers are very close with her career averages besides her scoring being a little down(19.2 career to 16.4 this season), but it is actually higher than last year (16.4 to 16.2 last year) in about about a minute less of playing time. A positive sign for Seimone is her FG% (51.4%) and 3P%(50%) are both higher than her career percentages.

Maya Moore

      Maya Moore has very similar stats to her rookie year, with a slight improvement in each one. Her rebounds per game have increased from 4.6 to 4.9, her scoring has increased from 13.2 to 14.8, and assists per game has increased from 2.6 to 3.1. The most promising sign for Maya Moore is all three of her shooting percentages (field goal, three point, free throw) have increased from her rookie year as well.

Rebekkah Brunson

     Rebekkah Brunson is following the trend set by Maya and Seimone of having numbers very close to her career averages with a lightly better FG% than her career average. One interesting note about Rebekkah Brunson is she has .8 blocks per game compared to her career average of .6.

Lindsay Whalen

      Lindsay Whalen has made a career off of being pretty consistent and showing up big in the clutch moment with whatever her team needs her to do, and this season has been no different. Her assists per game are up by .3, while her scoring is down .9. She has shot the three ball really well this season at 46.7 percent.

Monica Wright

      Monica Wright has increased her role in 2012 after seeing it being decreased from her rookie season to 2011. One reason for the increased role is her increase in shooting percentage. her first two years she shot at 37% and 37.9%, while this year shooting 49.6%. Not only has she increased her shooting she has also increased her assists per game, from 1.5 and 1.1 to 2.4. Monica Wright's emergence into a bigger role as been a nice asset to have coming off the bench.

Taj McWilliams-Franklin

      Taj McWilliams-Franklin's stats maybe down from her career averages, but when comparing her stats from this year to the last they are very similar. Taj is like Seimone, Maya, and Rebekkah, in the fact even though her PPG is similar to last year her field goal percentage is up. Her FG% is actually so higher from last year it is even over her career average by 4%.

Candice Wiggins

     Candice Wiggins watched all her numbers drop in 2011 from her previous seasons, due to a lot less playing time than she had seen in previous years. This year she is playing a little bit more and as expected her PPG, APG, and RPG are itching closer to her career totals even though she is still playing fewer minutes than her first three seasons in the WNBA. Like many other players her FG% has risen and above her career average, along with her 3P%.

Devereaux Peters

      Devereaux Peters is a rookie, so obviously we will not make comparisons to previous seasons. She has been a nice addition to the Lynx, bringing defense while shooting 55.2% and averaging 3.3 rebounds a game in only 12.6 minutes a game.

Jessica Adair

      Jessica Adair only averages about ten minutes a game, and while many of her stats are very similar to last year, a few key ones have dropped. She has gone from .6 blocks per game to .2 blocks per game, which doesn't mean her defense is not good, but it would be nice to see a few more blocks from someone her size. Her rebounds per game and points per game are slightly down also, but not enough for concern.

Amber Harris

     Amber Harris numbers across the board are very similar to her stats from last year. She has two interesting increases from last year though. One is Amber Harris has doubled her assists from .4 to .8 a game. Although .8 still may not seem high, she is only playing 8.6 minutes a game and from someone her size in few minutes it is a pretty good total. Another interesting increase is after not making a three all last year, she is shooting 44.4% on them this year even though it is a small sample size.

Erin Thorn

     Erin Thorn has had a hard time finding much minutes for the Lynx. After shooting almost or over 40% on her threes the last three years, this year she is shooting under 30%. It is hard to make many conclusions on her stats with such small sample sizes.

Julie Wojta

     Julie Wojta has only played one game, so we aren't going to say anything about her stats, and you may wonder why she is even listed, but she has played in one game which in itself is a very big accomplishment and she deserves to be recognized.

If you are a Minnesota Twins fan check out this blog
If you are a Minnesota Timberwolves fan check out this blog

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Los Lynx Olympic Trio

     The Lynx have three players off their team on the USA Olympic team, and we are going to examine how they are used differently and how they are playing in the Olympics.

Maya Moore

     Maya Moore is back with her college coach and appears to be doing good things for her. She is being used more at the four and as a big than she is for the Lynx, and her PPM(points per minute) has increased along with her RPM(rebounds per minute), but not only has her RPM increased, she is getting so many more rebounds she is actually averaging more per game despite playing about ten and half minutes less. The stats maybe a little skewed since the competition is not as good and she is playing with the best players in the world, but she has passed the eye test too. The Lynx should watch film on how the USA team uses Maya Moore and see if they can incorporate it into their offense at all.

Lindsay Whalen

     Lindsay Whalen is a model of consistency and the Olympics have done nothing to disprove it. Lindsay Whalen is fourth in scoring, second in assists, and has still managed to pull in almost four rebounds per game. The most amazing part is she has continually made the big play or stretch of plays when her team has needed it the most. Lindsay has basically been the same player and role as she is for the Lynx besides being a starter.(Which this blog thinks she should be!)

Seimone Augustus

     Seimone Augustus has had an up and down Olympics. She is not the go-to-scorer as much as she is for the Lynx, and it has seemed to affect her at times. Through certain parts of games she seems to be out of rhythm of the offense, but at other times she seems to be the elite scorer she can be. It will be a good learning experience for Seimone and will only make her better for the Lynx.

Final Opinions

     The Olympics should help the Lynx's players in the long run. Lindsay Whalen will keep being Lindsay Whalen. Hopefully the Lynx will be able to use Maya Moore in some of the same ways she is used on the USA team, well still using Seimone Augustus in the same way the Lynx are right now. If Seimone can keep scoring at the rate she is for the Lynx and Maya could score for the Lynx at the rate she does for the USA team, the Lynx's chances at repeating for the WNBA championship are looking good.

If you are a Minnesota Twins fan check out this blog
If you are a Minnesota Timberwolves fan check out this blog