Things are heating up in the WNBA as the playoff picture begins to take shape. A couple of teams have locked up their spots while several teams are in the chase for post season glory. The week was dominated by teams putting forth powerful efforts down the stretch. As some teams move forward, and some don't, can we expect more of what happened between the coach and a player in Phoenix? Here's the scoop!
Pennell Calls Out Griner... Sort of
Phoenix Mercury head coach Russ Pennell took over the team after Corey Gaines was let go. When he took command the team rushed out and won three games only to lose three to teams below the Mercury in the standings. It's been weird for Phoenix. They've either lost by allow teams to score over 80 points or won by keeping opponents below 70.
Somewhere along the line things are breaking down and Pennell took the opportunity to point that out to the media by mentioning one player in particular. Keep in mind, the quote was in the context of questions based on game play and how specific players were holding up. So, while coaches rarely call out players in the media Pennell gently let his team, and Brittney Griner.
''She's (Griner) going to have to start doing some things we ask," Pennell said. "And she's going to have to start paying attention to detail, and I think she will. She wants to do it."
Pennell then let everyone know that while he was calling out Griner, that he was not actually calling her out.
"I'm not calling out Brittney here in front of the press," Pennell stated. "But frankly, she does need to improve and this is not anything I haven't told her.''
We'll see how things go with that motivational effort. Let me tell ya, Griner can flat out play! I think she's headed towards an amazing career in the WNBA. And I'm sure she can turn her game up a notch... or three, or four...
Minnesota Downs Liberty to Maintain Lead in the West
The Minnesota Lynx are now 21-7 for the season and maintained a one-game
lead over the Los Angeles Sparks as the two teams battle for first place in the Western Conference. The Lynx downed a struggling New York Liberty team by a loop-sided score of 73-47 earlier in the week. Lindsay Whalen brought home 18 points while Maya Moore had 11 points
and 10 rebounds to for the Lynx.
Pondexter Closes in on 5,000!
During the losing effort by New York against Minnesota one really, really neat thing happened. Cappie Pondexter scored 13 points to lead New York. Why is that really, really neat? Here's why: that scoring effort means that Pondexter has broken the 25 points away mark on a pretty exclusive club of WNBA players. Now Pondexter is 24 points away from becoming the 12th player in league history to reach 5,000 career points.