Friday Links: A Significant Game For Storm & Silver Stars, Last Night's Blowouts, Opals Announce Olympic Team

Last night's basketball games, including the conclusion of the 2012 NBA Finals, were all blowouts, but tonight's WNBA game figures to offer a bit more competitiveness.

  • Tim Leighton of the Pioneer Press reports that while Minnesota Lynx guard Seimone Augustus was the player who kept her team in high gear during a rout of the New York Liberty last night, it was the performance of rookie forward Devereaux Peters that stole the show. Peters finished with a career-high 18 points in 19 minutes and was the highlight of increased aggression team-wide for the Lynx. Read more >>>
  • James Oldham of the Indianapolis Star reports that the Indiana Fever handed the Connecticut Sun the largest loss in team history last night. A major factor in that was the Fever shooting 62.5% from beyond the 3-point arc. Read more >>>
  • Aaron Lommers of the Everett Herald reports that while it might be too much to say that the Seattle Storm are "rolling", they're certainly starting to show signs of being able to compete in the Western Conference. Tonight is a big opportunity for them with the San Antonio Silver Stars coming to town with a two-game lead over the Storm for third place in the conference. Read more >>>
  • Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times put together a nice feature on the development of Polish center Ewelina Kobryn, who is making an impact in the post for the Storm and had among the best Most Improved Player numbers in my post last week. Although she's only playing 11.3 minutes per game, Storm coach Brian Agler is experimenting with playing her with center Ann Wauters, which might help her get on the floor more often. Read more >>>
  • Andrew L. John of the L.A. Times reports that Los Angeles Sparks coach Carol Ross ironically spent Monday's shootaround working on defense after back-to-back losses. While John writes that there are numbers that might suggest defensive improvement, the athleticism and length of rookie forward Nneka Ogwumike paired with superstar Candace Parker is also a major factor in that improvement. Read more >>>
  • Tina Akouris of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that while the Chicago Sky are projecting financial growth this season - perhaps due to their offseason additions and early-season success - they're still looking into a jersey sponsor to help boost revenue. Read more >>>
  • Australia's Courier Mail reported yesterday that the Opals Olympic team was selected yesterday with current WNBA players Liz Cambage (Tulsa Shock), Lauren Jackson (Seattle Storm), and Jenna O'Hea (Los Angeles Sparks) all making the squad. Read more >>>
  • The National Women's Law Center had a Title IX blog carnival yesterday - which we'll revisit in more depth for tomorrow - but for now they have posted a number of posts from their staff as well as other bloggers around the web that are probably worth a read if you get a chance. Read more >>>
  • Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN wrote probably one of the best pieces yet on Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, his critics, the bewildering way in which some fans' interest is more vested in hating on James than appreciation of what he means to the game. In the immediate aftermath of the Heat's big championship-clinching win last night, the question he asked is something that strikes at the heart of not only fandom but also broader - and often more consequential - spheres of life: "...can’t there be appreciation without devotion?" If you read nothing else about the NBA this year, that piece is worthwhile. Read more >>>
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