Happy Friday. Enjoy the links.
- Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recapped the Atlanta Dream's 81-65 "demolition" of the Phoenix Mercury, who were playing without star guard Diana Taurasi last night. With the game's outcome hardly in doubt for most of the way, the biggest development for the Dream might have been the impressive play of their bench. Read more >>>
- Kristofer Habbas of SB Nation Arizona reports that the Mercury are aware of their option to sign an emergency replacement player with their injury to Taurasi, but neither expect that player to be a major contributor nor joining the team soon. Read more >>>
- Mike DiMauro of The Day reports that Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault's focus on development with young wings Allison Hightower and Danielle McCray has finally paid off this season. Hightower has become a defensive stopper for the Sun this year, already helping to contain Becky Hammon and Cappie Pondexter. Tonight she will have the tall task of trying to guard the Minnesota Lynx' wings. Read more >>>
- Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Chicago Sky's emphasis on cutting down turnovers in training camp finally paid off against the San Antonio Silver Stars on Wednesday. The Sky host the Washington Mystics and are not taking them lightly after a close loss to the Minnesota Lynx. Read more >>>
- Tina Akouris of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Sky coach Pokey Chatman laughed when she found out about guard Epiphanny Prince setting the franchise's record for steals because she has been trying to get the dynamic guard to focus more on position defense. Against the Mystics' attacking guards, that position defense on the perimeter will be key. Read more >>>
- Tracy Jusay reporting for the Amsterdam News writes that the New York Liberty are hoping their seven days of not playing games will help them find their identity. Chief among their concerns might be trying to figure out how to stop relying so heavily on guard Cappie Pondexter to generate offense. Read more >>>
- Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times shares insight about new Tulsa Shock coach Gary Kloppenburg from Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird, who played for him (and Lin Dunn) during her rookie season in 2002. Her memories include his passion for defense and his participation in the drills with his players. Despite the familiarity with his system, Bird says there really is no adequate way of preparing for the type of pressure Kloppenburg's Shock will bring to KeyArena tonight. Read more >>> See video interview with Bird from StormBasketball.com >>>
- Ross Lewis of The West Australian reports that Australian center Elizabeth Cambage is being challenged to dunk in the 2012 Olympics by Opals coach Carrie Graf. "She has been making me do it before training and after training and with the boys' squad," said Cambage. Read more >>>
- Kevin Pelton of StormBasketball.com gets reaction from Storm center Ann Wauters on Ros Casares withdrawing from EuroLeague and the Spanish Liga Feminina this week. Wauters was their leading rebounder and scorer last year. Read more >>>
Got more links? Leave them in the comments along with your insights, observations, and other TGIF musings.