The WNBA Weekly Recap: Week 5

By Josh Cohen

Archives: Today in the WNBA | The WNBA Weekly Recap

On Sunday, the Shock traded former No. 1 overall draft pick LaToya Thomas to the Lynx for second-year reserve Eshaya Murphy. Meanwhile, the Storm added more depth to their roster by acquiring Camille Little from the Dream.
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Parker Amazes Us With A Special Moment

Parker Becomes Second Player to Dunk in WNBA Game: One of the main reasons we watch the game of basketball is to observe unprecedented happenings, breathtaking plays and fearless performances. In the NBA, moreover, dunks are a primary source of eye-popping entertainment. On one hand, although we have come to expect flourishing slams from superstars like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, we still are exhilarated by every jam we see. Well, now the WNBA can invigorate us in the same ways. On Sunday, Candace Parker flushed home a one-handed dunk to join her teammate Lisa Leslie as the only two players in WNBA history to jam in a game. Parker, who had previously won the slam dunk contest when participating against the males in the 2004 McDonald’s Slam Dunk competition, was given a rousing applause after her momentous accomplishment during L.A.’s victory over Indiana. The Rookie of the Year and MVP candidate finished the game with a balanced 10 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

A Deserving Roar for Deanna and her 44: A 40-point individual performance in the WNBA is as breathtaking as an array of flamboyant fireworks on Independence Day. It makes a quiescent spectator go, “Just…Wow!” Deanna Nolan, who is still recovering from an ankle injury she suffered while playing professionally in Russia, was like the grand finale of firecrackers on Friday. The 2006 Finals MVP set a franchise record with 44 points, including 20 in the fourth quarter and nine in the last 33 seconds of regulation, to lead Detroit past Minnesota in overtime. Her mark fell three points shy of the WNBA record shared by Diana Taurasi and Lauren Jackson. The former University of Georgia standout was stuck on automatic as she buried 15-of-22 shots from the field, 4-of-8 from downtown and 10-of-10 from the free throw line. The Shock, moreover, who are aspiring to return to The Finals for the third straight year, are a perfect 5-0 at home this season and are tied for best in the Eastern Conference with a 10-3 overall record.
"I can't remember ever having a game like that where I shot 100 percent."

-- Tiffany Jackson, after shooting a perfect 8-for-8 from the field and finishing with 21 points in New York's colossal triumph over Phoenix on Sunday.

Sue Bird, Storm
Two Games: 13-26 FG, 3-6 3-pt FG, 1-1 FT

Diana Taurasi, Mercury
Three Games: 27-47 FG, 11-22 3-pt, 21-23 FT

Becky Hammon, Silver Stars
Two Games: 12-26 FG, 5-13 3-pt FG, 15-15 FT

Deanna Nolan, Shock
Two Games: 19-34 FG, 5-9 3-pt FG, 10-10 FT

Mwadi Mabika, Comets
Three Games: 4-15 FG, 2-11 3-pt FG, 1-2 FT

Tan White, Fever
Four Games: 6-32, 2-12 3-pt FG

Tamika Whitmore, Sun
Three Games: 9-31 FG, 5-11 3-pt FG

Kristen Mann, Dream
Four Games: 2-11 FG

  • Tues. Shock-Sun, 7 ET (NBA TV)
  • Tues. Comets-Silver Stars, 9 ET (ESPN2)
  • Thurs. Fever-Liberty, 7 ET (ESPN2)
  • Sat. Lynx-Silver Stars, 8 ET (NBA TV)
  • Sun. Dream-Shock, 6 ET (NBA TV)
  • Hammon

    It’s reminiscent of one of my all-time favorite Fresh Prince of Bel Air episodes. On the show, Will Smith joins the basketball team and in his inaugural game dazzles the crowd, his teammates and opponents with offensive flare. He, as a result, scores at ‘will’. It was very similar to the Mercury’s offensive outburst this week. After recording 102 points Wednesday in a rout over Connecticut, Phoenix topped that mark with an astounding WNBA season-best 112 in its overtime triumph against Chicago on Friday. Against the Sky, Diana Taurasi erupted for 33 points and Cappie Pondexter posted 31 to become the first tandem to score 30 or more in the same game twice. The duo previously did it in 2006 and the only other pair to do it at all was Tina Thompson and Sheryl Swoopes also in ’06. New York, meanwhile, gave Phoenix a taste of its own medicine on Sunday when it torched the Mercury with a team-record 105 points in a convincing victory. Tiffany Jackson shot a perfect 8-for-8 from the field and finished with 21 points as the Liberty limited the Mercury to a season-low 30 first-half points.
    In addition to being one of the best coaches in the WNBA, Dan Hughes is by and large a brilliant general manager. Before the 2007 season, the Silver Stars had lost a combined 73 games in 2004, 2005 and 2006. But because of Hughes’ basketball expertise, San Antonio quickly turned around its franchise and qualified for the playoffs last year for the first time since leaving Utah. You know you’ve made outstanding decisions when you draft a player like Sophia Young (2006), acquire All-Stars like Becky Hammon and Ruth Riley and sign a Most Improved award-winning talent like Erin Buescher (2007). This year, likewise, the Silver Stars made another stupendous move when they acquired Ann Wauters from Atlanta back in March. The Belgian sensation and former No. 1 overall draft pick, as a result, has been sensational. She racked up 18 points in a Silver Stars victory over the team that recently traded her, the Dream, on Wednesday and 21 in a win over the Sparks Friday.