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The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

May 10, 2006 at 11:02 AM

Nutty fears

Sometimes coaches are crazy. They get all worked up about the littlest things, and Storm coach Anne Donovan showed she’s part of the club this week when she revealed her true feelings about the new 24-second shot clock.
The WNBA has tried the past two seasons to shrink the previous 30-second clock, but coaches voted against it last season, causing the measure to lose by a small margin. This season, Sacramento coach John Whisenant switched his vote to help pass the change. Donovan, however, voted against it.
Her reasoning? It’ll force bad shots.
Maybe in San Antonio. With a lineup of Sue Bird, Betty Lennox, Lauren Jackson and Co., the Storm almost has too many shooters who can create for themselves. And Lennox took bad shots with the 30-second clock, six less seconds isn’t going to alter that. Plus, the new rules have been in place internationally for decades, why can’t the WNBA join in?
“There’s been a number of shot-clock violations in the league,” Donovan said of the first round of exhibition games. “International basketball, when you go play on a club team, the Americans just go score. Here, there’s more flow to the offense that we put in and we have a number of different options. Again, in Europe or internationally you see a bunch of bad shots. We’re not looking for that, we’re looking for a high-percentage shot, good ball movement to get the right shot.”
Aside from a few awkward moments from newcomers, the Storm didn’t appear to take any ugly shots in its 71-43 exhibition win against New York. Seattle shot 39.4 percent, down from last summer’s 43.9, but it’s only one exhibition game.
The youthful Liberty, meanwhile, simply didn’t have anyone to shoot the ball outside of Becky Hammon.
Defensively the shot clock will actually help a team like Sacramento, the defending WNBA champions. The Monarchs pressure the point guard all the way up the court and already were a menace. The shortened clock just made their Purple Haze defense that much stronger.
Donovan has talked about adding some full-court pressure to her defensive schemes, but the Storm hasn’t reached that point, yet. When her team starts getting oodles of fast-break opportunities and shot-clock violations, we’ll see who’s griping about the 24-second clock.
Former Storm players Amanda Lassiter and Stacey Lovelace made sure the expansion Chicago Sky had a sparkling debut, scoring a game-high 14 and 12 points, in a 78-73 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday. The Sky hosts Seattle on Friday.
“It feels so great to get this first one,” Lassiter told the Daily Herald after playing before 2,633 fans. “There was just so much anticipation. The hype of this being the first WNBA game in Chicago just brought on so many jitters. There was a lot to live up to. But the crowd was awesome and really got into the game.”
Italian Francesca Zara is supposed to play with the Sky this season, lifted from the Storm’s roster via the expansion draft, but will instead skip the 2006 season to nurse an injury at home.



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