Player Spotlights

Elena Delle Donne

Elena Delle Donne was the second pick in the 2013 WNBA draft. She comes from Delaware where was definitely a leading player! She is Delware’s career leader with 2,258 points, 26.9 ppg, 90.7 fre throw percent, and 204 blocks. She made her team extremely successful and was definitely a leader. Over her years in college, she obtained 3 letters. In the 2011-12 season she averaged a double double. Upon coming out of college and being number 2 in the draft she’s going to be a player to look for this season. The Chicago Sky scooped her up as second pick and she has a lot to bring to the team.

Scoring. Delle Donne’s scoring ability is hard to match. She’s such a tall player and yet she can score from anywhere on the floor. She can make buckets behind the arc and certainly wins games for her team from the free throw line. She has the ability to cut through the lane and the ability to hit a pull up shot. There is no limiting where she can score. Another big thing about Delle Donne, is you don’t know when she’s gonna score. Each time she drives to the hoop, you would think she would put the lay-up in but there’s a chance she may stop and pop, or she may dish it to a teammate behind the 3-point line. She’s a player you really have to watch and guard or she may be the nail in your teams coffin at the end of the game.

Foul Shots. When Delle Donne is on the line, you can guarantee the show is going in. She has a 90.7% free throw percentage. When she shoots, she scores. Not only does she have a good percentage, but she knows what it takes to get to the line. She lines up perfectly to get the shot off, to make the bucket, and head to the line for an extra point. She has made a craft of getting buckets after the foul. When her team is down by a few points in the last quarter, you know who’s getting the ball. Delle Donne gets the ball drives in and makes the bucket and gets the foul. After she works her magic, the Blue Hens are 3 points closer to knotting up the game.

Quick Pace and Hustle: Delle Donne might be one of the fastest players at her position. She really knows how to get donw the floor and get the job done. She can easily get the steal on defense and get back on the offensive side to work the fast break and make sure that points are scored. She knows how to hustle and track down the ball. She has created several opportunities for her team just with a little hustle and tenacity. She pushes the pace for her team and herself and it always leads to great things.

Bottom Line: Delle Donne is going to be a stand out player for the Sky. They need someone to help fill the spot of Epiphanny Prince while she’s in Russian and I’m sure Delle Donne is going to do a great job. She is going to create so many opportunities for her team whether that is from the line or as the 6th person. The Sky are going to be successful this season thanks to Elena Delle Donne.

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Tamika Catchings

Tamika Catchings is the reigning MVP and she continues to play like it is 2011. She isn’t playing the exact same was as 2011, she is playing better. The Fever played much better last year, but Catchings isn’t letting that affect her. She is still determined to lead her team to a WNBA Championship.

Hustle: If she wasn’t MVP she should have received the Defensive Player of the Year as well, although Essence Carson is a great defender as well.  She is the top hustler in the WNBA. She is always involved in a loose ball play, she’s always involved in the fast break, and she is always hustling. Those hustle plays may end in a score or a foul but she takes that risk and usually the call is in her favor. She does a great job at creating defensive plays without committing the foul.

Defense: Catchings is one of those players that hardly ever commits the foul, gets a technical, and hardly ever fouls out. That’s not only because of her attitude but because of her defense. She is the model for good defense. She isn’t swatting at the ball and always Tamika Catchings - WNBA Finals Game 2:  Indiana Fever v Phoenix Mercurytrying to get the steal. She plays standard defense and doesn’t allow players to blow around her. Catchings is also good at help defense. She leaves her player to help a teammate out but is always aware that a pass may be made. Once that pass is made, she closes out on her defender and continues to play good defense.

All Arounder: Catchings can do a lot of things in the forward position. She might not be able to play the guard position, as Candace Parker, but she can dribble around player and hit a jumper in the key. She has no problem getting rebounds, or making difficult passes. Catchings is always involved when the Fever are swinging the ball around to the open player. Catchings penetrates into the key to draw the defense and kicks it to the open player. She is a great all around player. She rebounds, scores, steals, assists, and often has a few blocks. She can do it all from her Forward position.

Scoring: When Tamika is one of the leading scorers in a game, her team is going to win. She may not be sole reason but her points are going to make a huge difference. She’s a forward that has really good range. She can consistently hit shots beyond the arc for her team. When she is hot, get her the ball because she will make it from anywhere. All she needs is a pass from her teammates.

Bottom Line: Tamika Catchings can do many things at the Forward position. She is one of the best Defensive Players in the league and when you couple that with great scoring ability, you have an MVP. The 2011 reigning MVP is maintaining her MVP intensity level and that will lead her team into the Playoffs where they will make a good run.

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Candace Parker #3

Candace Parker is one of the biggest threats on the Los Angeles Sparks team. She is one of the best bigs in the league as well. She can do anything with the ball from anywhere. No one can stop her because she has so many elements of her game. She’s been playing great since she joined the league. She is completely healthy this year and she’s showing everyone why she’s one of the biggest names in the WNBA.

Shooting: Candace is one of the best shooters in the league and she is a post. She can make shots from virtually everywhere. She makes big shots from beyond the arc as well as taking defenders to the basket and scoring. When she misses, she is usually fouled so she still scores those points at the line. She isn’t just an open shooter, she can shoot with several people in her face or she will easily get around and drive to the basket. Regardless of where she is at on the floor, she will not only take the shot but make the shot.

Passing: Usually when referring to bigs in the league, passing isn’t one of their strongest points, but for Candace it adds an extra threat. She is definitely the best post passer. She passes like a guard and a lot of times she has more assists than the guards on her team. She may go in for a shot but if she sees Kristi Toliver open beyond the arc then she will dish it out. You have to guard everything about her, not just her shot but her vision.

Defense: She is a very active defender. She leads the league in blocks and even when she isn’t blocking shots, she’s swatting at the ball and trying to rip it from people. It is amazing how Parker can get to any defensive rebound. If she doesn’t get the rebound she is fighting with the opposite team that has the ball. She’s great at getting around her defender and grabbing the rebound. It’s also amazing that once she gets the rebound and passes it out, she is still a part of the fastbreak.

One Man Team: Parker can play any position on the court. She’s the best ball handling post in the game. She can cross defenders beyond the arc and drive all the way and score. We all know she plays spectacularly in the post as a forward and guard. She can play either forward position. She’s a great outside shooter so defenders have to make sure they come out on her. Regardless of where Parker is at on the court, she can score or get it to someone who can.

Bottom Line: Candace Parker is one of the best players in the league. She has been and is and always will be a huge factor in the success of her team. She is one of the hardest players to guard so she punishes them with rebounds, scoring, and steals.  The Sparks are going to be a Championship team with a big part being Candace Parker.

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Becky Hammon #25

Silver Stars are on a 9 game winning streak as they go into the Olympics. They have beaten many good teams this season including the Lynx and the Fever. They have been extremely successful. There are a lot of different reasons for this success but one of the the biggest reasons is Becky Hammon.

Becky Hammon has been in the league for 13 years and this might be best that her team has ever played. Hammon is an extremely underrated player. Most people don’t realize how great she actually is. She is out –shined by Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter, and another great players in the WNBA. People don’t see that she’s one of the keys to the Silver Star success.

Passing: Becky Hammon is one of the league’s best passers. Right now, she is leading the WNBA with 5.7 apg. She is a great passer. When she has the ball, you never know what she’s going to do with it. She may shoot the shot, pass the ball, or drive to the basket then pass it. She is unpredictable and that makes her a game changer. Even when you think she is going to drive and shoot the layup, she might drive and make a no-look pass. The defense can’t guard Hammon because she has so many ways of making plays. When she passes it isn’t always to the open player. She may pass it out to another player who might restart the play. You never know what’s going to happen with Hammon has the ball.

Scoring:  Right now, Hammon is averaging 16.2ppg. Her average hasn’t been that high since she first was with the Stars. In 2009, her average points per game were 19.5 and I believe this year she has an opportunity to pass that. The great thing about Hammon is that she can either create her own shot or she can wait and have a shot created for her.  Hammon has great range. She can shoot well from anywhere on the court. You always have to guard Hammon because she will make shot in your face if you give her too much room or she will simply go around you and make a quick layup.

Court Vision: Hammon sees everything that happens on the court. She sees the person in the corner, the defender coming up behind her, and the basket at the same time. She knows the plays and knows the movement of other players. Once she learns how the defense reacts, she finds a way to score. When her team is running a fastbreak and she has the ball, she knows exactly

who to pass it to at exactly the right time. She sees the floor how the coaches see the floor. She always sees the open person.

BEkcy vs. lymxLeadership: This is one of Becky’s best qualities. Hammon’s voice and her tone control a game. She knows when it is time to become excited and play with fury but she also knows when it is to be play calm and relaxed. She controls her teams mind and how they play. When they are down, she doesn’t become worried, she stays calm and thinks about what she needs to do in order to win the game. When one of her players gets angry about a play she immediately tries to calm them down.

You can hear Hammon screaming plays when she’s bringing the ball down the court. When she says something, the entire team listens and adjusts. On the defensive end, she might change a matchup or add something the coach didn’t see and her team listens to her. She leads in a way that no one in the WNBA does. She doesn’t always lead in points or in passing but her team always follows her direction.

Bottom Line: Becky Hammon is one of the greatest players in the league. Not because she scores the most or rebounds the most, it’s because she does the most from her team. She may have a 5 points game but she still leads her team to victory. She knows when to shine and when to play the background. She possess qualities that every team wishes they had in a player.

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