cnotes Posts:25645 Followers:33
On 05/16/2014 03:02 PM in NBA

WNBA 2014 SEASON LONG HOOPS THREAD- PICKS, NEWS, STATS !

Three reasons why you should bet the WNBA

The WNBA opens its 18th season to thunderous applause this Friday. Well, maybe not thunderous. And, maybe not applause. More like a slow sarcastic clap.

Most often, the league serves as a better punchline than entertainment but like all sports – popular or not – a little wager can quickly make you a die-hard fan. And as ridiculed as the WNBA is, it has quietly become the secret weapon of sharp bettors each summer.

Due to the lack of exposure and coverage, plenty of WNBA news, trends and tidbits fall on deaf ears, which means those with their head to the women’s hardwood have a distinct advantage over the public and even the sportsbooks.

We asked some of Covers Experts’ sharpest minds – those that actually admit to betting on the WNBA – why they love the “Dub” and what they look for when handicapping lady hoops.

Study pays off

“The sportsbooks delegate their resources to the sports that generate the most betting. WNBA lines are generally softer than you will find in, say, college and NBA basketball,” says a handicapper for Doc’s Sports. “As a result, someone that invests the time and effort into their research can have a strong advantage betting on a sport that is off most people's radar. The bottom line is that the cold, hard cash won betting on the WNBA is worth the same as money won betting on any other sport.”

Lack of depth

“I essentially handicap the games same as I would any other sport, but find that because the public and oddsmakers aren't as up on it, that you can often find very advantageous lines,” says Covers Expert Bryan Power. “One key difference between it and most men's leagues is that there is a real lack of depth as far as talent goes, so the top two and three teams end up being much better than the rest of the field.”

Value on the dogs

“I generally look to go against the public and stick mostly to underdogs and totals -usually unders,” says Covers Expert Sean Murphy. “That's where I've found the most value, particularly in the summer when a lot of recreational bettors and action junkies come out of the woodwork and pound the favorites. The lines certainly aren't as sharp as we're accustomed to seeing in the other major sports, at least in my opinion.”

Here’s a look at the WNBA futures heading into Friday’s season opener:

Minnesota Lynx +130
Los Angeles Sparks +400
Chicago Sky +500
Phoenix Mercury +800
Atlanta Dream +1,200
Seattle Storm +1,600
New York Liberty +1,800
Washington Mystics +1,800
Connecticut Sun +2,000
San Antonio Silver Stars +2,200
Indiana Fever +2,500
Tulsa Shock +5,000

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25645 Followers:33
05/16/2014 03:03 PM

WNBA
Dunkel

Minnesota at Washington
The defending champion Lynx open the WNBA season tonight in Washington and come into the contest with a 7-1 ATS record in their last 8 road games. Minnesota is the pick (-4 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Lynx favored by 9. Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-4 1/2). Here are all of today's picks.

FRIDAY, MAY 16

Game 601-602: New York at Connecticut (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 106.321; Connecticut 106.324
Dunkel Line & Total: Even; 136
Vegas Line & Total: Connecticut by 3; 147
Dunkel Pick: New York (+3); Under

Game 603-604: Minnesota at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 121.914; Washington 112.914
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 9; 161
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 4 1/2; 156
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-4 1/2); Over

Game 605-606: San Antonio at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 102.914; Atlanta 115.790
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 13; 160
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 8; 155
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-8); Over

Game 607-608: Indiana at Chicago (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 112.914; Chicago 117.324
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 4 1/2; 139
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 2; 145
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-2); Under

Game 609-610: Los Angeles at Seattle (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 114.975; Seattle 113.790
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 1; 143
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles by 4 1/2; 150 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+4 1/2); Under




WNBA
Long Sheet

Friday, May 16

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NEW YORK (11 - 23) at CONNECTICUT (10 - 24) - 5/16/2014, 7:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
NEW YORK is 0-6 ATS (-6.6 Units) in May games over the last 3 seasons.
CONNECTICUT is 1-8 ATS (-7.8 Units) on Friday over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
CONNECTICUT is 7-4 against the spread versus NEW YORK over the last 3 seasons
CONNECTICUT is 8-3 straight up against NEW YORK over the last 3 seasons
7 of 10 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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MINNESOTA (33 - 8) at WASHINGTON (18 - 19) - 5/16/2014, 7:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
MINNESOTA is 28-13 ATS (+13.7 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 27-11 ATS (+14.9 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 56-36 ATS (+16.4 Units) in road games against Eastern conference opponents since 1997.
MINNESOTA is 56-36 ATS (+16.4 Units) in road games in non-conference games since 1997.
WASHINGTON is 245-298 ATS (-82.8 Units) in all games since 1997.
WASHINGTON is 154-196 ATS (-61.6 Units) as an underdog since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
WASHINGTON is 3-1 against the spread versus MINNESOTA over the last 3 seasons
WASHINGTON is 2-2 straight up against MINNESOTA over the last 3 seasons
3 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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SAN ANTONIO (12 - 22) at ATLANTA (21 - 21) - 5/16/2014, 7:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
ATLANTA is 13-4 ATS (+8.6 Units) on Friday over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
SAN ANTONIO is 3-1 against the spread versus ATLANTA over the last 3 seasons
ATLANTA is 2-2 straight up against SAN ANTONIO over the last 3 seasons
3 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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INDIANA (18 - 20) at CHICAGO (24 - 12) - 5/16/2014, 8:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
INDIANA is 93-131 ATS (-51.1 Units) as an underdog since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
INDIANA is 9-2 against the spread versus CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
INDIANA is 10-1 straight up against CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
6 of 11 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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LOS ANGELES (25 - 12) at SEATTLE (17 - 19) - 5/16/2014, 10:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
SEATTLE is 141-109 ATS (+21.1 Units) in home games since 1997.
SEATTLE is 100-66 ATS (+27.4 Units) in home games vs. division opponents since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
LOS ANGELES is 5-4 against the spread versus SEATTLE over the last 3 seasons
LOS ANGELES is 7-2 straight up against SEATTLE over the last 3 seasons
7 of 9 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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WNBA

Friday, May 16

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Trend Report
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7:00 PM
MINNESOTA vs. WASHINGTON
Minnesota is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games when playing on the road against Washington
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Minnesota's last 9 games when playing on the road against Washington
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Washington's last 18 games when playing Minnesota
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Washington's last 9 games when playing at home against Minnesota
See more trends!

7:00 PM
NEW YORK vs. CONNECTICUT
New York is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games on the road
New York is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
Connecticut is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games when playing New York
Connecticut is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home
See more trends!

7:30 PM
SAN ANTONIO vs. ATLANTA
San Antonio is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Atlanta
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of San Antonio's last 9 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Atlanta's last 5 games when playing San Antonio
Atlanta is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against San Antonio
See more trends!

8:30 PM
INDIANA vs. CHICAGO
Indiana is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Chicago
Indiana is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games
Chicago is 15-4 SU in its last 19 games at home
Chicago is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Indiana
See more trends!

10:00 PM
LOS ANGELES vs. SEATTLE
Los Angeles is 8-14-1 ATS in its last 23 games when playing on the road against Seattle
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Los Angeles's last 5 games when playing on the road against Seattle
Seattle is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Seattle's last 6 games at home

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25645 Followers:33
05/16/2014 03:06 PM

WNBA Team Previews

May 14, 2014



WESTERN CONFERENCE

MINNESOTA LYNX

2013: 26-8, 1st; beat Seattle 2-0 in conference semifinals; beat Phoenix 2-0 in conference finals; beat Atlanta 3-0 in WNBA Finals.

COACH: Cheryl Reeve, 5th season.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Lindsay Whalen (14.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.8 apg), G Seimone Augustus (16.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.5 apg), F Maya Moore (18.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.0 apg), F Rebekkah Brunson (10.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.5 apg), C Janel McCarville (6.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.9 apg).

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KEY ADDITIONS: None.

KEY LOSSES: None.

OUTLOOK: Minnesota basically didn't make any key roster moves and has had three trips to the finals in the past three seasons - winning two championships. Despite injuries to Brunson, Monica Wright and Devereaux Peters, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Lynx in the finals again. Moore has put up MVP numbers over the past few seasons despite not winning the award.



LOS ANGELES SPARKS

2013: 24-10, 2nd place; lost to Phoenix 2-1 in conference semifinals.

COACH: Carol Ross, 2nd season.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Lindsey Harding (10.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.2 apg), G Kristi Toliver (14.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.4 apg), G Alana Beard (6.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.4 apg), F Nneka Ogwumike (14.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.3 apg), F Candace Parker (17.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.8 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Candice Wiggins (free agent, Shock).

KEY LOSSES: F Marissa Coleman (free agent, Fever).

OUTLOOK: The biggest news coming out of Los Angeles this offseason was a change in ownership. With a group led by Magic Johnson now in charge, the Sparks are looking for a bright future and hope to win their first championship since 2002. The Sparks have the reigning MVP in Parker, who is one of the league's most unique talents. They were a basket away from getting past Phoenix last season in the conference semis.



PHOENIX MERCURY

2013: 19-15, 3rd place; beat Los Angeles 2-1 in conference semifinals; lost to Minnesota 2-0 in conference finals.

COACH: Sandy Brondello, 1st season.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Diana Taurasi (20.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 6.2 apg), G Penny Taylor (8.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.7 apg), F Candice Dupree (15.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.9 apg), F DeWanna Bonner (14.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.4 apg), C Brittney Griner (12.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.0 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Erin Phillips (trade, Fever), F Mistie Bass (free agent, Sun).

KEY LOSSES: F Lynetta Kizer (trade, Fever).

OUTLOOK: One of the most talented starting lineups in the league led by Taurasi when everyone is healthy. Griner and Taylor missed time last year because of injuries. The 6-foot-8 Griner is primed to make a big jump in her second season. The Mercury added depth with Phillips and Bass and will try and find a way to advance out of the Western Conference.



SEATTLE STORM

2013: 17-17, 4th place; lost to Minnesota 2-0 in conference semifinals.

COACH: Brian Agler, 6th season.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Sue Bird (DNP-Injury), G Tanisha Wright (11.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.1 apg), F Shekinna Stricklen (10.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.8 apg), F Crystal Langhorne (12.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.1 apg), F Camille Little (10.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.4 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Crystal Langhorne (trade, Mystics), G Jenna O'Hea (trade, Sparks).

KEY LOSSES: F Tina Thompson (retirement).

OUTLOOK: Seattle surprised many people by making the playoffs last season despite Bird and Lauren Jackson missing the season. Bird's back but Jackson's still out for the year because of an injury and training for the world championship. Agler gets the most out of his talent and making it back to the playoffs again wouldn't be a surprise.



SAN ANTONIO STARS

2013: 12-22, 5th place.

COACH: Dan Hughes, 8th season.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Becky Hammon (2 ppg, 1 rpg, 1 apg), G Danielle Robinson (11.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 6.7 apg), G Kayla McBride (Rookie), F Sophia Young-Malcolm (DNP-Injury), F C Danielle Adams (14.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.2 apg)

KEY ADDITIONS: G McBride (draft, No. 3).

KEY LOSSES: None.

OUTLOOK: The Stars season was derailed early on when both Hammon and Young-Malcolm were lost to injuries for the year. With both players back, as well as the addition of McBride, the Stars are poised to make a run to the playoffs. San Antonio also made news in the offseason changing its nickname to just Stars.



TULSA SHOCK

2013: 11-23, 6th place.

COACH: Fred Williams, 1st season.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Skylar Diggins (8.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.8 apg), G Odyssey Sims (DNP-Rookie), G Riquna Williams (15.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.8 apg), F Glory Johnson (15.0 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.1 apg), C Courtney Paris (3.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.5 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Sims (draft, No. 2), G Jordan Hooper (draft, No. 13).

KEY LOSSES: G Candice Wiggins (free agent, Sparks).

OUTLOOK: Tulsa may have one of the most talented young backcourts in the league with Diggins and Sims. Diggins has dominated the preseason and is poised for a breakout second year. With the improved backcourt and Williams's scoring ability - she had a league-record 51-point game last season - and the Shock will be able to put points on the board. The one area which Tulsa is lacking is up front and with Liz Cambage out for the season training with Australia for the world championship, the Shock will need everyone to contribute on the boards.




EASTERN CONFERENCE

CHICAGO SKY

2013: 24-10, 1st place; lost to Indiana 2-0 in conference semifinals.

COACH: Pokey Chatman, 4th season.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Epiphanny Prince (15.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.0 apg), G Courtney Vandersloot (8.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 5.6 apg), F Elena Delle Donne (18.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.8 apg), F Jessica Breland (5.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.6 apg), C Sylvia Fowles (16.3 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 0.4 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Breland (free agent, Fever), F Sasha Goodlett (free agent, Fever).

KEY LOSSES: F Swin Cash (trade, Dream).

OUTLOOK: Chicago is coming off the most successful season in franchise history with a regular season conference title and a first trip to the playoffs. Delle Donne has added 12 lbs of muscle and looks primed to build on last season's impressive rookie campaign. The only thing that stands in the way of a run at the Eastern Conference title is the health of Fowles, who is out for the early part of the season with a torn labrum. The Sky signed Breland and Goodlett in the offseason to help some of the loss of Fowles.

ATLANTA DREAM

2013: 17-17, 2nd place; beat Washington 2-1 in conference semifinals; beat Atlanta 2-0 in conference finals; lost to Minnesota 3-0 in WNBA finals.



COACH: Michael Cooper, 1st season.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Tiffany Hayes (11.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.7 apg), G Jasmine Thomas (8.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.1 apg), G Shoni Schimmel (DNP), F Angel McCoughtry (21.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.4 apg), F Erika de Souza (12.9 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.3 apg),

KEY ADDITIONS: G Schimmel (draft, No. 8), F Swin Cash (trade, Sky), G Celine Dumerc (free agent)

KEY LOSSES: G Alex Bentley (trade, Sun), F Courtney Clements (trade, Sky).

OUTLOOK: Atlanta has made the WNBA Finals three times in their six years as a franchise, yet still hasn't won a game in the championship round. McCoughtry is one of the top offensive players in the game and the addition of Cash and Schimmel should help the offense. The other key for the Dream this season is how quickly they will be able to adapt to new coach Cooper.



WASHINGTON MYSTICS

2013: 17-17, 3rd place; lost to Atlanta 2-1 in conference semifinals.

COACH: Mike Thibault, 2nd season.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Ivory Latta (13.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.4 apg), G Kara Lawson (10.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.5 apg), F Monique Currie (10.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.5 apg), F Kia Vaughn (6.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.6 apg), C Stefanie Dolson (DNP-Rookie).

KEY ADDITIONS: G Lawson (trade, Sun), G Bria Hartley (trade, Storm), C Dolson (draft, No. 6).

KEY LOSSES: F Crystal Langhorne (trade, Storm), G Matee Ajavon (trade, Dream).

OUTLOOK: Thibault has almost completely overhauled the roster from when he took over and nearly half of the team is made up of rookies and sophomores, including the UConn duo of Dolson and Hartley. The Mystics surprised many by making the playoffs last season and almost upended the Dream in the opening round. Now with some playoff experience under their belt, this young squad could be dangerous.



INDIANA FEVER

2013: 16-18, 4th place; beat Chicago 2-0 in conference semifinals; lost to Atlanta 2-0 in conference finals.

COACH: Lin Dunn, 7th season.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Briann January (9.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.7 apg), G Shavonte Zellous (14.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.7 apg), F Tamika Catchings (17.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.4 apg), F Karima Christmas (8.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.1 apg), F Erlana Larkins (7.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.9 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Natasha Howard (draft, No. 5), F Marissa Coleman (free agent, Sparks).

KEY LOSSES: G Katie Douglas (free agent, Sun), F Jessica Breland (free agent, Sky), F Sasha Goodlett (free agent, Sky).

OUTLOOK: Indiana won its first WNBA championship two seasons ago and the Fever are poised to try and win another led by Catchings. Coach Dunn announced that she will retire after this season and the team would love nothing more than to send her out on top. Catchings has a solid group around her led by Zellous, January, Larkins and Coleman.



NEW YORK LIBERTY

2013: 11-23, 5th place.

COACH: Bill Laimbeer, 2nd season.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Cappie Pondexter (16.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.0 apg), G Essence Carson (14.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.8 apg), F Plenette Pierson (11.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.5 apg), F Kara Braxton (8.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.2 apg), C Tina Charles (18.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.4 apg)

KEY ADDITIONS: C Charles (trade, Sun).

KEY LOSSES: F Kelsey Bone (trade, Sun), G Katie Smith (retirement).

OUTLOOK: New York made a blockbuster trade right before the draft acquiring former MVP Charles giving the Liberty another marquee player to go alongside Pondexter. The Liberty also will see the return of Carson, who was sidelined for most of last season after tearing the ACL in her left knee. Another huge boost for the Liberty will be a return to Madison Square Garden after the franchise spent the last three seasons in New Jersey as the arena was undergoing a $1 billion renovation.



CONNECTICUT SUN

2013: 10-24, 6th place.

COACH: Anne Donovan, 2nd season.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Katie Douglas (15.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.5 apg), G Alex Bentley (8.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 2.8 apg), F Chiney Ogwumike (DNP-Rookie), F Alyssa Thomas (DNP-Rookie), F Kelsey Bone (6.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.7 apg).

KEY ADDITIONS: F Ogwumike (draft, No. 1), F Thomas (trade, Liberty), F Bone (trade, Liberty), G Douglas (free agent, Fever), G Bentley (trade, Dream).

KEY LOSSES: G Kara Lawson (trade, Mystics), C Tina Charles (trade, Liberty), F Mistie Bass (free agent, Mercury)

OUTLOOK: After a sixth place finish last season, the Sun completely remade their roster, starting with the trades of Lawson and Charles. Donovan has a young team now led by Ogwumike and Thomas and she hopes the two college All-Americans can develop quickly at the pro level. The addition of Douglas should help ease the transition if she is totally recovered from last season's back injury.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25645 Followers:33
05/16/2014 03:07 PM

Lynx favored to repeat

May 15, 2014


Odds to win 2014 WNBA Championship

Minnesota Lynx +185
Chicago Sky +400
Los Angeles Sparks +450
Phoenix Mercury +1050
Atlanta Dream +1200
Seattle Storm +1700
Washington Mystics +1800
Connecticut Sun +2100
New York Liberty +2200
San Antonio Silver Stars +2300
Indiana Fever +2300
Tulsa Shock +4000

How to read the Odds:
Ex. Bet $100 on Minnesota to win $185
Ex. Bet $100 on Phoenix to win $1,050
Ex. Bet $100 on Tulsa to win $4,000

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25645 Followers:33
05/16/2014 03:08 PM

GMs pick Lynx to win title, Parker for MVP

May 15, 2014



NEW YORK (AP) - WNBA general managers are predicting the Minnesota Lynx to repeat as champions and Los Angeles' Candace Parker as the top choice to earn the MVP award for a second straight year.

The Lynx, led by Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen, received 58 percent of the vote in the annual WNBA.com GM survey released Thursday. Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve was picked by half the general managers as the best coach in the 12-team league.

Parker, the two-time MVP, earned 50 percent of the vote while Moore was second with 33 percent.

Tulsa's Odyssey Sims edged out No. 1 pick Chiney Ogwumike for Rookie of the Year honors.

The WNBA's 18th season begins Friday with five games.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25645 Followers:33
05/16/2014 03:10 PM

Preview: Liberty (0-0) at Sun (0-0)

Date: May 16, 2014 7:00 PM EDT


Both the New York Liberty and Connecticut Sun have high expectations after they finished at the bottom of the Eastern Conference last season.

Chiney Ogwumike, the top overall pick in this year's draft, will make her WNBA debut Friday when the new-look Sun host the Liberty in the season opener for both teams.

New York (11-23) and league-worst Connecticut (10-24) each failed to reach the playoffs last year, leading to some major changes in the offseason.

After drafting Ogwumike following her stellar career at Stanford, the Sun sent franchise player Tina Charles to the Liberty in exchange for No. 4 pick Alyssa Thomas and second-year forward Kelsey Bone, the fifth overall selection in 2013.

Connecticut, which also obtained a 2015 first-round pick in the deal, later took Duke guard Chelsea Gray at No. 11, giving second-year coach Anne Donovan a young core to build around in the coming seasons.

"I didn't know until they put it up on the board," Thomas said about the trade. "I'm excited to play with Chiney and know that we have a great group here."

Also, fan favorite Kara Lawson was dealt to Washington, while regulars Tan White (Minnesota) and Mistie Bass (Phoenix) signed with new clubs.

The revamped roster now features 11 players with four years or less of WNBA experience, though the Sun do boast a solid veteran presence after signing guard Katie Douglas, who enters her 14th season and returns to the franchise that drafted her.

"We're excited with the group we have," Sun vice president and general manager Chris Sienko said.

Ogwumike's older sister, Nneka, also was a top pick and plays for the Los Angeles Sparks, joining Peyton and Eli Manning as the only pairs of siblings to be drafted No. 1 in American pro sports.

Chiney is coming off a senior season at Stanford in which she averaged 26.2 points and 12.1 boards to finish as the Pac-12's top all-time scorer and rebounder. Her outstanding collegiate numbers made it much easier for the Sun to deal Charles, who starred at UConn and is said to have asked for a trade and change of scenery.

Entering her fifth season, Charles will be a welcome sight in New York, where she was a prep star at Christ the King High School in Queens. The 2012 MVP is one of the league's top frontcourt players, averaging 17.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in her career.

"The opportunity to be in New York is a dream come true," Charles said. "My mom always took me to the Liberty games, I'd see Rebecca Lobo, Becky Hammon, (Teresa) Weatherspoon before games. This is a big dream to play at the Garden."

She joins veterans Cappie Pondexter and Essence Carson to form a strong trio that could lift coach and general manager Bill Laimbeer's club out of the East cellar.

Pondexter will be looking to bounce back after averaging a career-low 16.9 points last season while New York matched the fewest victories in franchise history and missed the postseason for only the third time in 10 years. Carson tore her left ACL after four games last year and was averaging a career-best 14.3 points and 5.5 rebounds before the injury.

Charles' return to the Big Apple will be part of the Liberty's homecoming after they played in Newark, N.J., the last three summers while Madison Square Garden underwent a $1 billion renovation.

"The Garden is the Garden, everyone wants to play on that stage," Pondexter said.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25645 Followers:33
05/16/2014 03:11 PM

Preview: Lynx (0-0) at Mystics (0-0)

Date: May 16, 2014 7:00 PM EDT


With Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen playing at the top of their games, the Minnesota Lynx are on the verge of rivaling some of the greatest dynasties in WNBA history.

The defending champions hope to begin a march to their third title in four years as they visit Kara Lawson and the young, new-look Washington Mystics in the season opener for both teams Friday night.

After winning the draft lottery and selecting Moore in 2011, the Lynx snapped a six-year playoff drought and won their first WNBA crown with a three-game sweep of Atlanta.

Following a four-game loss to Indiana in the 2012 finals, they went 26-8 last season and returned to the top with another sweep of the Dream to cap one of the best three-year stretches in league history.

Minnesota is looking to join the Houston Comets - who won four titles from 1997-2000 - and the Detroit Shock - who won three from 2003-08 - as the only franchises to claim three championships.

'It's really a special time in our franchise's history,' coach Cheryl Reeve said. 'It's fun to be a part of whether you're an assistant coach, a trainer.'

During the 2013 regular season, Moore became the first player in WNBA history to lead the league in 3-pointers made (72) and 3-point shooting percentage (45.3). She also averaged career highs of 18.5 points and 6.2 rebounds to finish second in the MVP voting behind Candace Parker of Los Angeles.

Moore scored 20.0 per game on the way to being named finals MVP in October.

Following an All-Star season in which she averaged 16.3 points, Augustus raised her play with 17.7 per game in the finals. Whalen, who averaged 14.9 points and 5.8 assists - third in the league - gives the club one of the WNBA's best point guards.

"We have the core group, we all know what to expect out of each other, and we all know what to expect from the coaching staff," Augustus told the team's official website. "Now it's just like incorporating a few players."

The Mystics hope to build on their first playoff appearance since 2010 after going 17-17 and falling in three games to Atlanta in the Eastern Conference semifinals. They made some big moves in the offseason, trading All-Star Crystal Langhorne to Seattle, bringing in D.C. native Lawson in a trade with Connecticut and adding UConn rookies Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley.

With more than half of the roster made up of first-and second-year players, they'll look for veteran leadership from Monique Currie, Ivory Latta and Lawson. Latta averaged a team-high 13.9 points last season, while Lawson scored 15.1 per game for the Sun in 2012 before playing in just nine games during an injury-plagued 2013.

'We have a young team,' Lawson said. 'But we have a lot of talent, so it's trying to get used to each other as quickly as possible. The chemistry on the court is going to be really important because we have a short season. We don't have 15, 20 games to figure it out.'

Although Moore (23.0 ppg), Augustus (19.5) and Whalen (14.5) played well in last season's series, Washington accounted for a quarter of the Lynx's losses by winning both meetings.

Latta finished with 24 points and Currie added 23 in an 85-80 home victory June 8, two months before combining to score 44 in a 79-75 win at Minnesota.

Both teams are expected to be without key role players with Washington's Tayler Hill pregnant and Minnesota's Rebekkah Brunson, Monica Wright and Devereaux Peters injured.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25645 Followers:33
05/16/2014 03:13 PM

Preview: Silver Stars (0-0) at Dream (0-0)

Date: May 16, 2014 7:30 PM EDT


The Atlanta Dream have reached three WNBA finals since drafting Angel McCoughtry with the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, but they've been swept out of the championship round each time.

With new coach Michael Cooper in the fold, the defending Eastern Conference champions begin their quest for that elusive title Friday night against the visiting San Antonio Stars.

McCoughtry led the league in scoring for the second straight season in 2013, averaging 21.5 points as the Dream finished 17-17 before falling to Minnesota in three games in the finals.

That defeat led to the firing of coach Fred Williams and the return of Cooper to the WNBA after he coached Southern California the last four seasons. Cooper guided Los Angeles to back-to-back titles in 2001 and '02 and went 167-85 in two stints (2000-04, 2007-09) with the Sparks.

Cooper said he's made it clear to his players that he expects nothing less than a championship. The Dream also went to the finals in 2010 and 2011.

"I'm not going to shy away from that because I need our players to understand the steps you've got to take to become a champion," said Cooper, who won five NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers as a player.

Atlanta will have some new faces to go with McCoughtry, Sancho Lyttle and Erika de Souza. It acquired guard Matee Ajavon from Washington as part of a three-team trade and added point guard Celine Dumerc, who led France to a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics.

The Dream also acquired four-time All-Star Swin Cash from Chicago on May 7 and drafted Shoni Schimmel with the eighth overall pick. Schimmel is Louisville's second all-time leading scorer behind McCoughtry.

"We are thrilled to add an outstanding player like Swin to our roster," general manager Angela Taylor told the team's official website. "She has consistently been an exceptional all-around player who can beat you several different ways. She will be a tremendous asset to our team and gives us another piece to the puzzle as we continue to strive for a WNBA championship."

San Antonio simply is happy to have a healthy roster after losing Becky Hammon and Sophia Young-Malcolm to season-ending knee injuries on its way to finishing fifth in the West at 12-22.

Guard Danielle Robinson also returns after missing the end of last season with a knee problem.

"As excited as we are to have everyone back, it's not the easiest situation to bring people back from injury when they've been away from the game for a period of time," coach Dan Hughes told the team's official website. "We're working really hard on going through the different stages where I think learning takes place, where chemistry takes place, where confidence in your body and your team's system take place."

Danielle Adams, who averaged 14.4 points last season, again will start at center, and No. 3 overall pick Kayla McBride is expected to start in a three-guard lineup after she helped lead Notre Dame to the national title game.

"We got a player who understands how we want to play," Hughes said. "It's been fun watching her. She's soaking it up. I see her looking at the veterans. I see a player who is hungry to get better. She's a good young player."

Adams scored a career-high 39 in a 97-68 victory over Atlanta on Sept. 15 as San Antonio earned a split of the season series.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25645 Followers:33
05/16/2014 03:14 PM

Preview: Fever (0-0) at Sky (0-0)

Date: May 16, 2014 8:30 PM EDT


(AP) - The Chicago Sky had their first winning season in 2013. They may struggle to match it with an unsettled lineup that is temporarily without their top defensive player going into Friday night's opener against the visiting Indiana Fever.

Sylvia Fowles, a 2013 all-WNBA first-team forward/center who averaged 11.5 rebounds, is recovering from arthroscopic hip surgery and may not return until next month.

'She hasn't gotten on the court, she's doing some strengthening exercises,' coach Pokey Chatman said. 'The big thing with Sylvia is making sure she doesn't try to go too fast. (But) I think she should be back in the month of June.'

Two other 2013 starters are out - one permanently.

Personal reasons kept starting guard Epiphanny Prince (15.0 points) out of camp, but she's expected to report within the next two weeks. Forward Swin Cash, also a regular last season, was traded to Atlanta.

Holes in the lineup likely mean a heavier load for forward Elena Delle Donne, the 2013 WNBA rookie of the year and fourth-leading scorer (18.1). But that doesn't necessarily mean more scoring.

'Not necessarily 25 points a game, but I will take that,' Chatman said. 'I think more of a leadership role by Elena is what I'd expect.'

Also back is starting point guard Courtney Vandersloot, who enters her fourth season after averaging 8.8 points and 5.6 assists last year. Returning guard Tamera Young averaged 18.1 minutes and 5.6 points.

The Sky won the Eastern Conference with a 24-10 record, their best in eight seasons. They reached the playoffs for the first time but were swept by Indiana in the first round.

The Fever have beaten the Sky in 11 of the last 12 meetings.

Lin Dunn has high expectations for Indiana this season. The seventh-year coach believes the Fever can win another WNBA title before she retires at the end of the season.

It all comes down to two things: Defense and rebounding.

'Night in and night out, the thing that can remain consistent is your defense and your rebounding,' Dunn said. 'If you continue to, night in and night out, consistently be a good to great defensive and rebounding team, you always have a chance to win. I believe that's the foundation of a championship team.'

The Fever (16-18) were swept by Atlanta in the East finals last year after winning the franchise's first championship in 2012. Dunn doesn't think the Fever were all that far off from making a return to the finals last season.

'Last year, we could have very easily been in the finals against had we not gotten so injured,' Dunn said. 'We got to the final four with no depth. I feel confident that this year, if we can stay healthy, there's no reason why we can't challenge for a championship.'

At one point last year, the Fever had six players benched due to injuries, including Katie Douglas with a back injury and Jessica Davenport, who had season-ending surgery for a left tibia stress fracture.

Dunn isn't the only one talking about retirement. Even Tamika Catchings is giving retirement consideration. The 2012 WNBA MVP is in her 14th season with the Fever.

Dunn spent the offseason making moves to have the personnel to grab big rebounds. The Fever selected 6-foot-3 Natasha Howard in the draft and acquired 6-4 forward Lynetta Kizer in a trade with Phoenix. Both will play alongside Erlana Larkins, who signed a multiyear deal last month. Larkins was No. 8 in the league with 7.8 rebounds per game last season.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25645 Followers:33
05/16/2014 03:15 PM

Preview: Sparks (0-0) at Storm (0-0)

Date: May 16, 2014 10:00 PM EDT


(AP) - There's a new boss of the Los Angeles Sparks, and he answers to Magic.

Former Lakers great Magic Johnson stepped in to buy the Sparks earlier this year, ensuring a future for the WNBA in the nation's second-largest market, and they'll open the 2014 season Friday night with a visit to the Seattle Storm.

By rescuing the team after its previous owners decided to end their involvement, Johnson gave Candace Parker a chance to chase the only major title to elude the reigning league MVP in her career.

She has won two Olympic gold medals, two NCAA championships at Tennessee and a title with her Russian pro team during the offseason. The Sparks last won the WNBA championship in 2002.

In a preseason survey of the league's 12 general managers, Parker was named on 50 percent of the ballots to once again earn the league's MVP award. She won MVP honors at last year's All-Star game. All-Star forward Nneka Ogwumike was chosen as the league's most athletic player with 50 percent of the vote.

Last season, the Sparks were 24-10 and lost to Phoenix in the Western Conference semifinals under coach Carol Ross.

Parker averaged 17.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists to lead the team. She'll be surrounded by experienced starters, including Ogwumike, who averaged 14.6 points and 7.6 rebounds last season.

The Sparks signed free agent Candice Wiggins last month, bolstering them at the guard position. She has averaged double-figure scoring in four of her six seasons and helped Minnesota win the 2011 championship. Wiggins figures to come off the bench, with Lindsey Harding, Kristi Toliver and Alana Beard giving the Sparks a three-guard starting rotation. All-Star Toliver averaged 14.1 points, third-highest on the team last season.

The backups include newcomer Armintie Herrington, a seven-year veteran, Farhiya Abdi of Sweden, Sandrine Gruda of France, and Jantel Lavender.

"We have a lot of different combinations," Wiggins said. "We can go really big, we can go really fast, we're very versatile."

Seattle finished 17-17 last year and lost in the West semis to eventual WNBA champion Minnesota, all with Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson spending the season away due to injuries.

Bird and Jackson were supposed to reunite and begin the next chapter of their careers playing for the Storm, but another injury to Jackson derailed those plans.

Without Jackson, the Storm went out and added Crystal Langhorne to try to boost their front-court presence.

'To be back, to know I'll be able to put this uniform on again and play in front of these fans, I'm really looking forward to it,' Bird said. 'This is a place I'm very comfortable in. Every time I take the court and hear those fans go crazy for us, it's a special feeling, and I haven't felt it in a while.'

The return of Bird and addition of Langhorne should help make up for the absence of Jackson and the retirement of Tina Thompson. Jackson remained in Australia after undergoing surgery on her knee and Achilles tendon in February, continuing a run of injury hardship that has limited her availability since Seattle won its second WNBA title in 2010.

But getting Bird back is a major boost.

'She's really the face of the organization. She's a unique talent-slash-player-slash person,' coach Brian Agler said. 'Like I've told many people: There are 30-plus NBA teams who wish they had a player like Sue Bird on their team. She just brings out the best. She understands the game, she thinks the game unlike anybody else.'

Langhorne averaged 12.0 points last season with Washington. She's also been durable, starting every game she has played in each of the past four seasons.

'I was shocked a little bit. But I was excited about the new opportunity of coming here,' Langhorne said. 'The history this organization has, it's just a fresh new start and I want to help this team win.'

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
  • 07/15/2014 05:51 PM

    Armadillo: Tuesday's six-pack

    -- OK, Marv Albert doing summer league games on TV is weird, like it would be if Lebron James were playing in these games.

    -- Nobody on the Dodgers hooked up Yasiel Puig with a batting practice pitcher? Robinson Cano's dad pitched to him.

    -- SMU's big recruit, PG Emmanuel Mudiay, will skip college and pay pro ball in either Asia or Europe; rumor is he was going to have eligibility issues.

    -- Not sure if this is related, but SMU picked up Ben Emelogu, a Virginia Tech transfer who averaged 10.5 ppg LY and will be eligible in 2015-16.

    -- Troy Tulowitski's dog is named Ripken.

    -- Cleveland Browns' owner Jimmy Haslem's truck-stop company agreed to pay a $92M penalty for cheating customers out of rebates and discounts. Yikes.

    **********

    Armadillo: Tuesday's List of 13: Nobody asked me, but.........

    13) If you see a young pitcher miss a start here or there, could be the pitcher isn’t hurt, teams are trying to find ways to limit their innings for the season, so as to not exceed 20% of their previous year’s (or career high) total.

    Going over 20% of the previous season has been pegged as a cause of arm injuries. Rather than end a pitcher’s season in August, they’re going to try and give extra days here and there in between starts. It’s a tougher decision on how to deal with young pitchers on contending teams.

    12) Los Angeles Lakers don’t have a coach yet; not sure how you go through summer league without a head coach/philosophy in place for the season, but that’s what they’re doing.

    11) I speculated yesterday that Lebron James’ two-year contract had something to do with the Cavaliers’ new coach; apparently it actually has to do with the fact that the NBA’s labor agreement with the players ends in two years, so Lebron’s people want to be open to taking advantages of any new changes in the CBA that would benefit him.

    10) Speaking of NBA coaches, Memphis coach Dave Joerger was on NBAtv during their game Sunday night and he was a chatterbox; they practically had to drag him off the air when they went to a commercial. Interesting guy to listen to.

    9) Sonny Gray has been a classic stopper for the A’s this year; in nine starts after a loss, Gray is 7-1, 1.75. Sunday’s win in Seattle was especially important, keeping the Mariners eight games behind at the break.

    8) AHL is going to a 7:00 OT, with teams going to 3-on-3 on the first whistle after the 3:00-to-play mark. 3-on-3 should create lot of scoring chances.

    7) Creighton rookie Doug McDermott had 31 points for the Bulls in a summer league game; they also have Canisius rookie Billy Baron- both skilled shooters played for their dads in college.

    6) You think about Nolan Ryan getting shoved out of the front office by the Texas Rangers, and then about how the Rangers have floundered this year and you wonder what Ryan is thinking about their plight. Doubt there’s a lot of sympathy there.

    5) Wonder how much having the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas helps UNLV’s recruiting, or if it does at all? Kids watch these games, they see the arena and the city, you’d think it has to help a little bit.

    4) We talked a few days ago about how Bronx Bomber starting pitchers have gotten only 33 outs all season, after the 7th inning. In his 20 starts this season, Johnny Cueto has gotten 35 outs after the 7th inning.

    3) If you care about such things, AL holds a 103-87 edge over the NL in interleague play; that’s how I would decide who gets home field for the World Series, which league won interleague play.

    2) You listen to NBA rookies at summer league and “speed of the game” is the one phrase that is repeated a lot. NBA games are just faster, with bigger, more skilled players than the college game.

    1) The biggest question I have about Home Run Derby is this: Is it more popular than the actual All-Star Game? I don’t think one additional person watches the All-Star Game because it determines home field for the World Series- ratings are down for it. If they went USA against the World every other year, that could jazz the All-Star Game up a little bit.

    Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: