Sunday, July 26, 2009
I generally find All-Star Games (including the ones from MLB, NBA, NFL) to be unsatisfactory entertainment, and very hard to watch. The WNBA's version is no exception.
Why? It's an exhibition game, but unlike the exhibition games at the beginning of the year, there's nothing to fight for. No one's job is at stake and as a result, no one is really putting any effort into this thing. Winning would be nice, but losing wouldn't be a let down. This is true of the All-Star Games of all of the major sports.
During yesterday's WNBA All-Star Game defense was non-existent, and each side was pretty much given the opportunity to shoot at will. Both sides took 3-point shots that no one would have been able to get away with in a real game. I knew this was going to be a downer when I saw Erika de Souza not trying to get the offensive rebound. She had nine rebounds, but could have had more.
However, Erika and Sancho acquitted themselves well, Erika in particular. De Souza went 5-for-5 for shooting, and had 9 rebounds for 12 total points. Sancho scored 6 points on 3-for-6 shooting and 8 rebounds, and Erika and Sancho were the East's leading rebounders.
Swin Cash scored 22 points to set an All-Star scoring record, but that doesn't mean much as both teams broke the All-Star scoring record. The final score was West 130, East 118 - and this is a 40-minute game. If this were a 48-minute game like the NBA, the West would have probably broken 150.
My opinion was that they gave the MVP to Cash based entirely on the scoring record. Myself, I would have given it to Sue Bird, who had 16 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds. But Cash came close to Bird, and giving the MVP to Cash wasn't exactly a grievous insult.
Maybe part of my problem - the West turned the ball over 19 times on the way to their victory. Also: the West went 18-for-39 from 3-point range, with the East going 11-for-34. Those...just aren't real 3-point shooting numbers in a game.
There was a lot of talk among WNBA fans about Sylvia Fowles's "dunk" at the end of the game. It wasn't a real game dunk, because everyone from the West stood aside and gave her a clear path to the lane - and even then, it took her two tries. If people want to see dunks, why don't they have an exhibition with the rim lowered to 9 feet for a "dunk contest"?
Oh yeah, that's right. ABC didn't show any of the pre-game festivities. Thanks, ABC. One thing ABC did get right, however, is miking several of the players. The players at least were having fun, and I found some of their in-game commentary amusing. Thanks to Becky Hammon, I now know what "ups" are.
Also: the East had three players wearing #20. What's up with that?