Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Case for Betty

LAS VEGAS - I'm sitting outside a Sonics practice at the Athletes' Performance facility in Las Vegas, listening to the online webcast of the Storm's game against the Los Angeles Sparks. Isn't the Internet grand?

Somewhere in Seattle, Sue Bird is also tuned in via storm.wnba.com, as she blogged about in the latest installment of the Bird and Dee Blog at WNBA.com:

So far since I have been away, I have been IMing, texting, calling and emailing
my teammates and coaches as much as I can. I am so used to being a part of a
team, and then to not be there, I have FOMS. Fear of missing something. It's a
serious case. I want to be a part of everything. Tanisha Wright has been doing a
great job of recapping everything. Unfortunately we haven't been on NBA TV so I
had to listen on the internet via radio webcast (which is awesome, by the way).
Thanks to Adia Barnes and Alan Horton. It's interesting to listen and be a fan.
I'm living and dying on every possession. I'm just glad I can follow it. It's
like what you had to do during your time off ... of course, neither of these
times have been our choice.
The Storm closes out the first half of the 2007 season with tomorrow's Kids Day against Connecticut. I hope you've got your tickets for that one. Regretfully, I won't be there. It's the first Storm game at KeyArena I've missed since July 2004 and only the second since I first started following the Storm in 2002. The good thing is the Storm only plays that one home game while I'm in Vegas, and the rest of our coverage should be uninterrupted.

My real point in posting today, however, is to discuss All-Star reserves, which were announced yesterday. Janell Burse did not make it at center, with coaches opting to reward the veteran experience of six-time All-Star Taj McWilliams-Franklin.

For the most part, it looks like the coaches did a good job. The names getting thrown out as "snubs" - a word I hate because it is so overused - don't look like terrible mistakes to me.

The All-Star roster is not yet complete. WNBA President Donna Orender will name a replacement for Bird, who will miss the game after her knee surgery. I'll humbly submit my contention that replacement should be Bird's backcourt-mate, Betty Lennox.

If you look at PER numbers for the WNBA, the top players not to be selected for the All-Star Game were:

1. Cheryl Ford, 22.9 (thanks pilight ... of course she was a starter)
1. Erin Buescher, 21.8
2. Betty Lennox, 20.4
3. Nicole Powell, 19.8
4. Sophia Young, 19.8
5. Monique Currie, 19.8

Amongst the West guards who have not been selected, Lennox is the leader in scoring (12.5 ppg), third in rebounding (4.5 rpg) and fourth in assists. She's even second in True Shooting Percentage despite her reputation as an inefficient scorer. Part of that is Lennox is shooting a cool 93.5% from the free-throw line, good for third in the WNBA.

Even when she has not shot the ball well this season, Lennox has contributed with her rebounding, her passing and her ability to get to the charity stripe. Though this is not her most spectacular season since joining the Storm, I think it's been her best (so far). Lennox always seems to be on the cusp of making the All-Star team. This is the year she deserves to make it.

UPDATE: My argument fell on deaf ears at the league office. Sacramento's Kara Lawson has been selected to replace Bird.


Anonymous said...

i agree, betty should be making the all-star starters with the greatest of ease. no question that b money has game. she deserves the credit and hard work she puts out each and every night. b money is my all star starter in my book. you go girl.

pilight said...

Cheryl Ford was voted as a starter.

Anonymous said...

I will miss tomorrow's game as well...dang job (in a 100 degree warehouse...I think I'd rather be surrounded by all the dang kids.)

My vote is definitely for Betty. It's too bad the all-star game is usually just a popularity contest rather than voting for people with the SKILLS. Oh well...my hopes are that Donna will choose wisely.

kilcher said...

betty certainly upped her game this season. props to the passing and the rebounding.