The second weekend of the WNBA season was a lot like the first for the San Antonio Silver Stars; in terms of results, anyway. After defeating the Phoenix Mercury fairly routinely on Friday night, the Stars got wallopped by the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday afternoon. The two game road trip ended with the Stars holding a 2-2 record overall and 1-2 on the road.
Going into the weekend, I can't say my expectations were particularly high for the Stars. Phoenix and Los Angeles are tough customers this season and with (I thought) Becky Hammon out for the road trip, it didn't seem particularly crazy to think San Antonio would be 1-3 this morning. Of course, Hammon did play -- and reasonably well at that. She scored 16 points on 7-12 shooting with nine assists and three turnovers.
Danielle Robinson stole the show again on Friday night, but was slowed down considerably by the Sparks. Robinson and Hammon sort-of kind-of split point guard duties because they're two of San Antonio's best players and the Stars need them both on the court as often as possible. With Jayne Appel the starting center of choice (and really the only choice) and Sophia Young-Malcolm etched in stone in the starting lineup that only leaves one spot up for grabs in the starting five. So far that spot has been taken by Kayla McBride, who has started all four Stars' games this year.
McBride has not played particularly well to start her WNBA career. This isn't indicative of her future talent so much as it is just kind of a bummer. She's averaging nine points a game in 22 minutes while shooting just 33 percent from the field. Her 3-point shot ought to develop into one of her better tools as she's shooting 36 percent in a very small sample (4-11). It's nice that Dan Hughes is getting the rookie so much playing time, but I can't help but wonder whether or not Danielle Adams would be better served in the starting role.
My assumption (and that's all it is) is that Hughes wants McBride to grow by playing with the Stars best players while counting on Adams to help lift the bench. If that's the case, fair enough -- but going strictly by the numbers, a strong case for Adams to start can be made.
San Antonio currently sits in fourth place in the western conference, a game above one-win Seattle and two above the still winless Tulsa Shock. The Stars needed a late-game comeback to beat the Shock and while their next meeting is at home, expect Tulsa to show up especially hungry to get their first win of 2014. More on that on Wednesday morning, though.
Jia Perkins played very well this weekend. She saved the Stars' bacon on Friday night to get San Antonio their first road win by making what felt like a dozen consecutive 3-pointers. Perkins played well in the losing effort Sunday afternoon, scoring 17 points on 8-15 shooting. The veteran out of Texas Tech can be streaky and inefficient in the shooting department, but off the bench Perkins offers a lot of value to San Antonio.
Sophia Young-Malcolm is playing right around her career averages in just about every category except for shooting percentage and (as a result) points per game. This probably has everything to do with getting comfortable in the WNBA again and the Stars should be a much more dangerous team offensively when she gets her shot back.
The Stars get back in action in San Antonio against the Tulsa Shock on Wednesday night and then they play a home-and-home series against the defending champion Minnesota Lynx. It would behoove the Stars to get the week started right with a win against the Shock.