Monday, August 10, 2009

22/2009 - Sky 82, Dream 80: Balanced

An interesting fact from the Dream/Sky game on Saturday: every player on the Dream got at least 10 minutes of playing time. I don't think this has happened this year, and it's very interesting to see.

The first thought would be that the reason was that Marynell Meadors was emptying out the cupboard in desperation - but at least, there's food in the cupboard. Everyone on the Dream is capable of giving good minutes more often than not. The Dream has some great depth, but it didn't seem to do us much good on Saturday.

Let's look at each of the Four Factors:

Shooting percentage: This was one of the first games in a while where the Dream were simply out-shot. The Sky hit 49.2 percent of their field goal attempts, and their effective field goal percentage was 52.5 percent. It's very hard to beat a team that's shooting that well. The Dream's effective shooting percentage was 43.2 percent.

In particular, it was Erin Thorn that killed us. Thorn has only averaged 4.7 points per game over her 7-year career, but she had 20 against us. Part of the problem was that she was hot from the floor, and there's nothing you can do about it. Part of it was that Iziane Castro Marques and others were supposed to be defending her, and they just didn't.

Turnovers: WNBA teams generally have the same number of possessions. The Sky turned the ball over three more times than the Dream, 19 to 16. The Dream have managed to control the ball better over the last few games.

Offensive rebounds: The Dream had 15 offensive rebounds, and a 41.7 percent offensive rebounding percentage. The Sky had 10 offensive rebounds and a 32.2 percent offensive rebound percentage. Conventional wisdom is that the Dream match up poorly against the Sky, but the Dream maintained their rebounding dominance.

Free throw visits: The Sky went to the line 33 times and the Dream went only 21 times - however, we hit 81 percent of our shots and the Sky hit only 60 percent of theirs. The Sky particularly had problems finding the basket at the end of the game.

So the Dream scored 17 free throw points and the Sky scored 20 free throw points. That's a 3-point difference, suspiciously like the difference in the final score.

Note that the Dream had zero personal fouls in the first quarter. This kept the Dream from visiting the free throw line in the second quarter. I bet that if Chicago had fouled in the first quarter, we might have gotten a couple of points off free throws.

And now, let's take a look at the Sky:

Erin Thorn: 20 points and 3 rebounds. Her 20 points off the bench not only led all scorers, but she helped spark a second-quarter run that put the Sky in control of the game almost till the end. Furthermore, Thorn's 20 points was a season high.
Candice Dupree: A double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Jia Perkins: 14 points and 5 assists, but 5 personal fouls.
Dominique Canty: 10 points and 4 steals.

As for the Dream....

Ivory Latta: We've been waiting for Ivory Latta to WAKE UP! for these last two games, and she does so with a vengeance. She scored 18 points, and hit 3 of 5 3-point attempts. Her raw plus/minus of +13 led all players and she was clearly the Dreamer of the Game.

Erika de Souza: Latta might have been asleep, but Erika de Souza has been a little drowsy during the last few games. De Souza had a great rebounding game with 15 rebounds, most of those coming in the first quarter. She only shot 5-for-15, though.

Coco Miller: 8 points and 3 assists. The three assists tied Ivory Latta in that category. No rebounds, but then again, rebounding isn't expected from Miller.

Michelle Snow: She only played 10 minutes, shot 1-for-4, and she had a -19 plus/minus. However, she picked up four rebounds in 10 minutes.

Tamera Young: Finally, Tamera Young got out of Marynell Meadors's dog house. In just 11 minutes, she scored 5 points, had a couple of assists and a +9 raw plus/minus. In particular, she was on the floor during the Dream's fourth-quarter comeback. If this isn't the best game that Young has played all year, it's close to it.

Sancho Lyttle: Lyttle had 10 points and 11 rebounds. We had two double-doubles on the Dream. So why isn't Sancho Lyttle the Dreamer of the Game? Well, she shot 4-for-12, and had four fouls, three turnovers...and had two of her shots blocked.

Angel McCoughtry: 10 points is about Angel McCoughtry's average. However, she fouled out. Racking up fouls was a problem that McCoughtry had at the beginning of the year; hopefully, The Angel isn't backsliding.

Iziane Castro Marques: Castro Marques only played 13 minutes or so. Six points, with two missed three pointers. And she let Erin Thorn wreak havoc on the court.

Jennifer Lacy: Only 2 points in 15 minutes of play. 1-for-5 shooting. That's a substandard game.

Chamique Holdsclaw: Holdsclaw only scored four points in 20 minutes of play. She was pretty much a non-presence and was not on the court at all in the fourth quarter. Luckily, the Dream was able to put together a comeback without The Claw - but her absence was notable. She has a excuse however...knee pain that she had before the game.

Shalee Lehning: Two quick personal fouls in the first two minutes took Lehning right out of the game. There's no excuse for that. Zero points in 12 minutes. So who's absence hurt us the most, Holdsclaw or Lehning? We'll call this one a draw and give both Holdsclaw and Lehning the Bad Dream award.

Okay. No more nightmares. The Dream Believers will shake it off, get some Pop-Tarts and play hard on Thursday.


Anonymous said...

If we come out lackluster we need to put the spark plugs in the game earlier...getting down 16 points and then counting on them to bring us back will fail most of the time. I still think Latta should start. She may have a couple turnovers but her goods by far outweigh her bads, she brings a certain energy and scoring that we need.She could average 3 or 4 ast if she got the minutes like she did last year. I see a lot of Lehning fans visit this blog and I am looking strictly at production. She is the starter and had 0 pts, 0 ast, 1 reb.She seems like a great person but honestly yall know we need more than that. Tamera Young deserves more playing time also, she plays hard every second and she is handling the situation very well. let Mique get a little more rest for the playoffs which I think we will still make if Marynell looks at production and not Jersey #'s.

Anonymous said...

Lehning just happened to go out quickly with early foul trouble. Starting with Lehning ensures the offense gets off to a good start focused on the other scorers, and Latta can take advantage of often weaker backup guards and breakdowns in second team defense to get warmed up more easily. I think it works out fine, Latta is getting quality minutes. Young has not done anything to deserve more playing time vs the rest, and Mique wants to play the minutes and is invaluable as a leader as well as a scorer on the court...