Archive for June 2008

The WNBA: Expect Overtime.

June 27, 2008

I watched the NBA draft last night. So did you. You’ll find no Draft Night Scorecard’s here. No discussion of length. No Jay Bilas. This blog has no motor.

That said, I did learn three things from last night:
1. About 30 kids who can’t legally drink just made more money in one night than I will ever earn in my lifetime.
2. We really won’t be able to judge the depth of this draft for 5-6 years because that’s when most of the players who make up this supposed depth will be entering their prime.
3. The WNBA can sneak up on you.

Let me explain the third one. I watched last night’s draft with my soccer-crazy room mate and he insisted we switch to the ESPN2 coverage of FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo. I was fine with this until I realized the lead-in to the MLS game was what would become a 3 OT game between the New York Liberty and the Indiana Fever (No, they didn’t once play the Flint Tropics). This is possibly the worst “the-game-before-the-game-you-wanted-to-watch-is-in-overtime” option in American sports; the ironic thing is that MLS qualifies for the top 5 in this category too.

From what I’ve seen, most WNBA games tend to follow one of two paths: a 20 point blowout or a one-point score differential with 2 minutes on the clock that ends without either team scoring despite both teams getting at least two offensive possessions each and the coaches taking a cumulative 7 timeouts. Everyone moves at 3/4 speed until there is 7 seconds left on the shot clock in a mode that makes me wonder if there was some misunderstanding of the “7 Seconds or Less” concept. This is when we either get the dribble drive for a missed lay-up or a kick-out to the perimeter for a deep three. Just how they drew it up, right? Good thing we can tell for sure.

While the NBA broadcasts halftime pep talks or a coach arguing a bad call with the ref, the WNBA actually wires the coaches in the huddle and broadcasts their in-huddle play-calling live. Of course, the majority of these broadcasts is “Janel? You’re here. Essense? You’re here. Ebony? Ebony? You’re here. Now Shemeka, you need to prevent the inbounds pass. Okay. Teamwork on three. One. Two. Three. Teamwork!” I imagine Phil Jackson’s huddles sound similar. I also believe in 9/11 conspiracies and think Jimmy Fallon really is as funny as he thinks he is.

ANYWAY, every time we flipped from the draft to ESPN2 with the expectation that the game would be over, there they were, glacially pushing the ball up the floor and looking for their double-covered teammate for the hasty jumper. The highlight came in the third overtime when the Liberty made a deep three and seemingly ended the streak of identical even-numbered points accumulated by each team during the first two overtimes. This was immediately followed by a foul and 1-2 from the line and we’re back in business.

Watching this made me wonder how far off we are from a WNBA game going into 12+ overtimes with neither team scoring for successive periods. Could you imagine that? Europeans would love it. Just like Kosta Koufos.