Saturday, August 1, 2009

19/2009 - Dream 106, Mercury 76: "Free Tamera Young"

Let's look at the statistical postmortem of Thursday's game. It's been a bit busy around here, but maybe remember the great game of two days ago will whet our whistles for the game against the Liberty tonight:

First, let's look at Dean Oliver's Four Factors:

Field goal shooting. The standard box score yields a big gap - 50.9 percent for the Dream against 39.0 percent for the Mercury. But maybe a better way to look at field goal shooting is by "effective field goal percentage". The Dream are known to suffer at 3-point shooting, and effective field goal percentage folds in 3-point accuracy.

Effective field goal percetage = (FG + (1/2)*3P)/FGA

The Dream end up with 53.7 percent; the Mercury end up with 42.8 percent. For once, both teams hit the same number of three pointers. The Dream had shooting dominance early on, and kept it.

Turnovers: The Dream actually had a very low turnover game. They had 13 turnovers compared to 17 from the Mercury.

Turnovers really only mean anything on a "turnovers per possession" basis. However, we have the possession numbers for this game on Swanny's Stats. The Mercury had 91 possessions, and the Dream had 90 possessions.

Offensive Rebounding: On a pure count of offensive rebounding, the Dream had 15 offensive rebounds to just 7 from the Mercury. But what was the Dream's offensive rebounding percentage?

The formula would be OR/(OR + Opp DR), where OR = "offensive rebounds" and DR = "opponent's defensive rebounds".

Dream Offensive Rebound Percentage = 15/(15 + 25) = 37.5 percent
Mercury Offensive Rebound Percentage = 7/(7 + 34) =17.0 percent

In essense, whenever the Dream and the Mercury contested for a rebound on the Dream's side of the court, 37.5 percent of the time - two out of five attempts - the ball ended up in the Dream's hands.

Free throw visits: The Dream were sent to the line 35 times by the Mercury, yet another game where the Dream has a lot of opportunity to make a lot of free throw shots. The Mercury only went 12 times. Granted the Dream had horrible free throw shooting - they only made 20 shots - but it was 10 more points from free throws over their opponents.

(* * *)

Now let's look at how the Mercury did:

Tangela Smith: 15 points and 5 rebounds. 3-of-7 from 3-point range.
Le'coe Willingham: 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 turnovers.
Temeka Johnson: 12 points.
Kelly Mazzante: 9 points, all from 3-pointers.
Diana Taurasi: 11 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists. 0-for-3 from 3-point range.
Cappie Pondexter: 2 points. 1-for-8 in shooting.

And now, we follow that up with a peek at the Dream.....

Sancho Lyttle: Angel McCoughtry was given the Player of the Game award from the Dream organization...but I thought Sancho Lyttle had an amazing game as well. Granted, McCoughtry scored 17 points in 17 minutes, but Lyttle scored 15 points in 22 minutes, and had 12 rebounds to go with it. It was the only double-double of the game. I give Lyttle the Dreamer of the Game award.

Angel McCoughtry: When McCoughtry comes off the bench - and she always does - she astonishes you with how much she can do in so short a time. 17 points for McCoughtry, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 7-for-10 shooting.

Ivory Latta: If Latta is going to have games like this coming off the bench, then I say, "keep her on the bench". 16 points, 4 assists, and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line.

Michelle Snow: I wrote about Snow being possible trade bait, but Marynell Meadors might be having second thoughts about trading Snow if she had first thoughts. After a sluggish start, Snow is suddenly on fire. 13 points and 9 rebounds for Snow.

Iziane Castro Marques: 16 points, 4-for-5 shooting from 3-point range and a +31 in raw plus/minus. Castro Marques once called herself a "star" in the Brazilian press. She certainly lit up the firmament with her shooting on Thursday night.

Erika de Souza: De Souza had 9 points and 14 rebounds, so why didn't we talk about de Souza first? Because de Souza had an abysmal 1-for-6 shooting from the free throw line. Oh well, if there's any night to miss free throws, it's this one.

Chamique Holdsclaw: A decent performance from the Claw, with 10 points on 5-for-10 shooting and 4 assists. However, the Claw also had four turnovers.

Jennifer Lacy: Even if she's supposedly still struggling with back problems, Lacy scored 5 points on 2-for-4 shooting. She picked up a couple of rebounds.

Shalee Lehning: 1 point. 0-for-2 from the field and 1-for-4 from the free throw line. But she did have 5 assists, which is one more than Latta.

Tamera Young: With the game pretty much secured in the third quarter, Marynell Meadors finally released Tamera Young from the bench in the fourth quarter. She had 4 points. More on Tamera Young later.

Coco Miller: 0-for-3 for zero points. But she had one assist and one steal.

Two comments:

1. For the second game in a row, there is no one who is either a Bad Dream or Still Snoozin'. To get those awards, you have to have negative impact on your team's performance, and you really can't point to one player on that squad and say, "okay, you forced us to compensate for your presence". That game was about as well as I've seen this group of players work.

2. Tamera Young. With all due respect to the Dream front office and Marynell Meadors, we have a simple request. If you don't have enough faith in Tamera Young to let her play until the final quarter of game where you were leading at one time by 45 points, you need to let her leave the team. You need to either play her, waive her or trade her, because the Dream basically insulted Young in front of 7,000 people. Chioma Nnamaka got more respect from the Dream.

If Young has talent, you need to let her go and pursue that talent elsewhere. There are a lot of players out there who would love a shot at even carrying water for the Dream as the 11th woman - who would indeed run through hell in a gasoline suit to get the chance. If Young is in some sort of doghouse, it's time to grant a general amnesty, because if it's about proving that the coach is the boss, the point was proven. But keeping Young here isn't helping us (because you won't play her) and it isn't helping Tamera Young (because you won't play her). Give Young her freedom, and we'll fondly remember the days of Pigtail Power.


Anonymous said...

Thanks PT on the write up about Tamera! Only if MM would listen or read it. Not only is she interfering with Young's career in the WNBA also her career overseas!!

Anonymous said...

i her or set her free...this makes no sense...45pt lead and u don't play her and rest a stater? is just wrong...wrong i drafted her #1...played her and then benched her for crying Izzy...give her a chance or let her go where she will get achance...

Anonymous said...

yeah Tam should play more she works hard and has talent. I still dont see why she loves lehning so damn much...nothing personal but gosh what is it about her? her numbers are weak!!!