Ask Nancy: First Day of Summer Edition
Basketball Hall-of-Famer and ESPN analyst Nancy Lieberman answers your questions and emails throughout the year. Click here to submit a question of your own.
So about a month in now to our season and so much has happened? Who has impressed
you most and what, if anything has surprised you?
-Mikka, St. Paul, MN
A. "I'm very pleased to see how Lisa Leslie is playing thus far. She's back to her MVP form, and she looks like she's relatively healthy. Tamika Catchings is also playing at a very high level. The one who is just doing what she does normally is Lauren Jackson. Lauren looks good and I would say she's fairly healthy. She looks like she's rested and the surgery has been good for her. Nobody can do all the things that she can do. She is kind of like a Dirk Nowitzki-type player."
Nancy, I was wondering why few people are talking about Monique Currie at all.
-De, Columbia, MO
A. "I don't think that so few people are talking about Monique. I think everybody is very impressed with how Monique is playing and she's done everything that anybody could ask of her. She's shown leadership, maturity and she's delivering solid numbers. Unfortunately sometimes you can get a little bit lost in the shadow right now of Seimone Augustus' and Cappie Pondexter's incredible breakout year. But the top four are legit wnba players, they're not coming in as these inexperience kids, they are major impact players."
do you think the Lynx will make the Playoffs now this season?
- Joe, Eden Prairie, MN
A. "The West is really tough. The Lynx are going to have to play tough at home because you must win your home games. Do I know they're going to make the playoffs? No, they still have to go through Sacramento, Seattle, Los Angeles and Houston, who are playing fantastic basketball this season, and their veterans have really stepped up and on a mission. I know Minnesota is going to be better. They already are. Amber Jacobs is playing really well and Seimone is off the charts. They have a nice combination on the inside and are well coached. I think they are going to be a heck of a lot better. They might be a year away, they might not, but someone in front of them is going to have to tumble."
Why are my Silver Stars so good on the road but seem to be struggling when I'm
in the building??!?! What gives?
- Molly, San Antonio, TX
A. "If we knew why they struggled at home, we wouldn't be responding to this email. Who knows, from a coaching perspective it's awesome that they've been able to win on the road, which is always a difficult task. You say why can't a team win at home, and I am sure Dan Hughes is as baffled as anybody. They have to stay focused and come with a better effort at home. They still have enough veterans to understand they have to win at home because you are going to lose on the road somewhere."
Nancy, how long do you think it will take Diana Taurasi to get MVP honors in her
- Pakid103, Mercer, PA
A. "I think Dee will eventually win MVP honors, but more importantly, Dee will have to bring her team to the playoffs. That's going to be certainly a measuring stick of Diana's greatness, and winning and Taurasi are synonymous."
I'm a big fan of the Washington Mystics.
I think they've improved their squad this year with the addition of Nikki Teasley,
as well as their back up point guard, Nikki Blue. What do you think about the
Mystics so far this year?
- Jay Eye, Alexandria, VA
A. "Tremendous! Everybody knew they were loaded with talent. I think Linda Hargrove and Richie Adubato made some major roster changes over the last two years, but the X-factor on that team might be Latasha Byear. She's a specialist, a very talented player, a veteran, and she's really given them a lot of toughness with rebounding and defense. Stars will be stars and Alana Beard is a star, and she's playing the best basketball of her professional career, and now she has a couple years now under her belt of maturity. They're definitely a playoff team, one of the top teams in the East, and they came together a lot quicker than I thought. Richie is an exceptional coach."
First, thank you for the two years of
the Dallas Fury. That was a lot of fun!!!! The other night they gave the stat
that there are 11 men coaches and 3 women coaches in the WNBA. What are the stats
for men and women coaches in the NCAA Division I for women's basketball and what
will it take to get women back into coaching positions in the WNBA?
-Betty, Plano, TX
A. "I think that sometimes the NBA guys come with tremendous experience and relationships. I don't want to call it the boys network, but let's face it, if you know somebody and have comfort ability you're probably going to get the job. Patty Coyle today in New York is a better coach because she had the experience of coaching and learning from Rich Adubato. Jenny Boucek, who coached down in Miami was a very significant contributor to Anne Donovan when they won the title in Seattle because she was sharing a lot of Ronnie's extensive philosophies. We should continue to learn the things we don't know and they're going make us better as coaches, so when we do have that opportunity we can be successful. Suzy McConnell didn't go that route, she went from high school, but she's just a really talented coach and competitor. With that being said, I would love to see more women get opportunities to coach in the WNBA and how that will play out just depends on who the candidates are."
Detroit adds a bench player to a sub
.500 team and now they're the favorites to win it all? As for their post depth,
I believe they had, Ford, Riley, Braxton, and Pierson last year...didn't seem
to matter much against Connecticut. You're right, talent isn't everything, as
it was evident last year. Why should this year be any different. Connecticut is
the obvious favorite.
- E, Mequon, WI
A. "I still say Detroit is the most talented team front and back in the league. They have All-Stars and veterans. Cheryl ford is playing great now that she has worked on her offense. Swin is a perennial All-Star. But I still say the biggest glaring weakness for me is the fact that they don't have a true point guard. Katie Smith is an All-Decade player and shows you the magnitude of her game by actually running the point, but you're taking one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the game and asking her to be an adequate point instead of a great two or three. So I think that if they had a true point guard like Penicheiro, like Bird, they would be so much more cohesive.