This is going to be one wacky preseason in the WNBA. I’d expect that in the coming weeks there is going to be a lot of player movement as marketable players get waived due to the 11-man roster as well as cap issues.
The Mercury Problem
I’m a Mercury fan, have been since the league started, so I probably fret about this team’s fortunes more than for the other franchises. Since Lauren Jackson has re-signed with Seattle, do the Merc have the pieces necessary to not only make it to the playoffs, but to advance?
Unless they sign a good point guard…no. Honestly, I’m still agog that they traded Kelly Miller. I’m even more amazed that they didn’t include getting either Toliver or Montgomery as part of the deal with Minnesota.
For all her talent, Temeka Johnson showed last season that against the myriad of taller just-as-talented guards, she becomes a liability come crunch time. This means that Cappie and Dee will often have to assume point guard and point forward duties again.
If the Mercury want to make a run, they need to grab a solid point guard, preferably one who can shoot and penetrate. Maybe someone like Kelly Miller.
Searching For a Spark
L.A. is going to have an emotional and up-and-down year. Both Lisa Leslie and Michael Cooper exiting the team after this season, combined with last year’s MVP/ROY Candace Parker being out for at least half the season, and likely only starting to be effective come playoff time…well, that portends an interesting season for the Sparks.
Tina Thompson should be able to more than fill the hole vacated by Parker for much of this season, and will help ease the transition for next. The Sparks still have an all-Olympian frontcourt, and their acquisition of Betty Lennox has added some much-needed experience with the guards.
LJ in Seattle
The Storm having the foundation of Bird and Jackson certainly helps their chances for another playoff run. The off-season moves for the event that LJ didn’t re-sign with the team have fixed a lot of the problems of last season’s flirtation with long-time experience (and aging bodies). The chemistry, especially with Batkovic rejoining her Opals mate, should lift the fortunes of the Storm.
Something that should help is that Agler’s system is now not something new to the returning members of the team, and he has a better idea of what his core can do. I think really the only big question is: does Sue’s nose survive another season intact?
I’m still amazed that GMs around the league finally seemed to realizing that making deals with Bill Laimbeer is often only good for the Shock.
It’ll be interesting to see if Coleman and Langhorne can respark some of the ol’ Terp magic in front of their same ol’ fans.
I’ve found the Sky to be an interesting team since their founding. With their drafting of KT and Fowles’ blossoming during the Olympics…well, I think things got a lot more interesting in the windy city.
I still miss my cable WNBA package where there were up to four games on cable at the same time. Yeah, this was a while ago…think back to when Tully Bevilaqua and Jackie Stiles played for the Portland Fire.