Sunday, August 23, 2009

25/2009 - Dream 93, Silver Stars 87 - The Fiery Angel

A quick post-mortem of Thursday's Atlanta-San Antonio game because I want to prepare both physically and mentally for today's Atlanta-Los Angeles game.

McCoughtry's 34-point game is at the very least tied for the best game this year played by a Dream player, tied with Erika de Souza's game in that 84-79 loss to Indiana where she had 23 points and 14 rebounds. If McCoughtry's game wasn't the best game by a rookie this year, it was certainly one of the best and has the potential to shake up the Rookie of the Year race against DeWanna Bonner of the Mercury.

Dean Oliver's Four Factors:

1. Field goal shooting: The Silver Stars hit 45.1 percent of their baskets compared to 44.6 percent by the Dream. Comparing effective field goal shooting - where you include 3-pointers - San Antonio still holds the edge, 48.6 percent to 46.0 percent.

Normally, San Antonio and Becky Hammon can shoot the lights out. However, they only went 5-for-22 from 3-point range.

2. Turnovers: It was a great, low-turnover game. The Dream held the edge with 10 total turnovers compared to 13 from the Sparks.

3. Offensive rebounding: The Dream held a decisive edge here, earning 17 offensive rebounds to the Silver Stars's eight. Offensive rebounding percentages were 37.7 percent for the Dream and 23.5 percent for the Silver Stars. Despite having Wauters and Riley, the Dream kept San Antonio away from the Boards.

4. Free throw visits: The Dream went to the line 36 times compared to just 22 times from San Antonio - however, it only figured to be seven more points for Atlanta. The Dream hit only 69.4 percent from the line, compared to 81.8 percent from the Silver Stars. We won the battle in volume, but not in quality.

Let's look at the individual Silver Stars players:

Becky Hammon: 23 points, 5 assists, and the hearts of fans everywhere. Let's not talk about the six turnovers (half the team's TOs!) or four personal fouls or 1-for-8 shooting from 3-point range.
Ann Wauters: 21 points, 7 rebounds. 9-for-14 shooting, and Wauters led the team in raw plus/minus with +7.
Sophia Young: 20 points, 6 rebounds. 8-for-13 shooting.
Vickie Johnson: Played 21 minutes, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists - but only two points, both on free throws.
The San Antonio Bench: 19 total points. 5-for-19 shooting.

And now, a peek at the beloved Dream:

Angel McCoughtry: 34 points on 12-for-18 shooting. She had 7 rebounds and 4 assists. The only detractions were five personal fouls and a 10-for-17 performance at the free throw line - if she had hit just one more free throw, she would have "shot her number" (she wears #35). Her +17 in raw plus/minus led the team. Clearly, Angel McCoughtry is the Dreamer of the Game.

Erika de Souza: Of the two posts who were close to a double-double, de Souza had the better game. 8 points and 11 rebounds, although unimpressive 4-for-11 shooting. De Souza also had a couple of steals.

Sancho Lyttle: 14 points and 8 rebounds. 6-for-14 shooting. She was really working on that midrange jumper on Thursday night.

Shalee Lehning: Lehning might not have been ranked this high after the first three quarters - she shot 0-for-3 during the game. But she went 6-for-8 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter, and she led with 6 assists. We might be winning because of her, or in spite of her, but we're winning nonetheless.

Iziane Castro Marques: Castro Marques's rebounds at the end of the fourth quarter sealed the game. 15 points and 3 assists over 24 minutes of play.

Michelle Snow: She scored 8 points and 6 rebounds in just 13 minutes and she had a raw plus/minus of +13. Not bad at all.

Coco Miller: Now we're dropping to the average-or-below level in player evaluation. She scored 5 points on 2-for-3 shooting in the eight minutes she played.

Armintie Price: 2 assists and 3 rebounds in almost 10 minutes of play. No points though, and she missed both of her free throws.

Ivory Latta: 1-for-4 shooting. But she hit a 3-pointer and had a +4 in plus/minus. Aside from that horrible sequence, was she really that bad?

Jennifer Lacy: One rebound, two personal fouls and a turnover. Zero points. Only played six minutes. She must be providing leadership, I suppose.

Chamique Holdsclaw: The Still Snoozin' award was named aptly in The Claw's case, who started the game 0-for-3 and only had one rebound in the first seven minutes. Marynell Meadors decided to sit The Claw down and let her rest, and when McCoughtry turned on the juice, Holdsclaw simply grabbed her pajamas and a pillow and watched the game from the comfort of the bench. Get your rest, because we're going to need you against Los Angeles.

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