Thought I better start things off by wishing Prowl a happy birthday. Hard to believe you are already 15 years old! Please don’t ever hang a fake spider over Marney Gellner and me while we are doing a broadcast. I really hate spiders and screaming while on air.
TALKING BIGS WITH JIM PETE:
The excitement that surrounded Brittney Griner in the 2013 draft was amazing. It really made you understand the old basketball saying, “You can’t teach height." Every team would love to have a big post player that would block shots on the defensive end and use a variety of post moves to destroy smaller players on the offensive end. On top of those skills, post players are now expected to be able to shoot the 3-ball and handle the ball like a guard. Lisa Leslie, Lauren Jackson, and Yolanda Griffith all come to mind as some of the greatest to play the 4/5 spot. These players were (and are) uniquely talented and gifted in the height department and are rare and highly coveted.
During the game against the Silver Stars on August 6th, I thought a lot about the forward/center position. The Silvers Stars forward/center Danielle Adams is only 6’1 (and yes I say “only” 6’1" but I realize the average height of an American woman is 5’5”). However, she plays much bigger. Adams had 31 points in the tilt and almost willed her team to a victory. Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson was hard to stop on the offensive end with 20 points. F/C Janel McCarville only played 1:26 before she was knocked out of the game. Dev Peters played 27 minutes but had four personal fouls. Amber Harris, a true center with a great build, is searching for her game and had seven points and four rebounds.
Lynx assistant coach Jim Petersen, a big man himself at 6’10”, works with the big players and he threw out four keys in working with the post players.
1. You have to tailor their workout to the player’s skill set.
2. The player needs to have confidence and needs to know it’s ok to miss.
3. Repetition, repetition, repetition!
4. They need to take game shots from game spots at game speed.
As the Lynx move through the season toward the postseason they will need to approach the center position as a committee. Together we have lots of talent at this position, so each big will need to examine what they can bring on a nightly basis.
Maya Moore has been in the MVP chatter since the start of the season. After being Rookie of the Year, her numbers have improved each season. The three players who are leading in this category right now are Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi, and Angel McCoughtry. I believe that Moore gets penalized too much for having other great players on her team. Let's see how it all plays out, but I think she will be a solid candidate right up until the votes are cast. I am also pleased that Whalen is starting to be thrown into the conversation. She has had an amazing season!
WELCOME HOME, TAYLER:
Tayler Hill should have a nice crowd in the stands tonight as she makes her first trip home as a WNBA player. Tayler was selected No. 4 overall in the 2013 draft by the Washington Mystics. Tayler went to Minneapolis South High where she brought the school its first State Championship. The 2009 McDonald’s All-American was Minnesota’s All-time leading scorer. She spent four years at Ohio State University before being drafted by the Mystics. I had the opportunity to follow Tayler through her senior year with a camera and captured what it looks like up close to be an elite student athlete. I am currently fundraising for the documentary. Tayler is an excellent role model and I’m hopeful that the documentary will help other young women find their way in sports.
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