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Women's Hoops

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

September 5, 2008 at 7:01 PM

MVP: Revisited

Another playoff ticket was punched with San Antonio killing Los Angeles tonight to clinch a berth. After I got over the pink uniforms — in honor of breast cancer awareness — I appreciated coach Dan Hughes’ use of Ruth Riley and Ann Wauters on the court together, but was surprised at the ease of their dominance against two supposed locks for MVP in Lisa Leslie and rookie Candace Parker.
If you can use the fourth quarter tape of Storm guard Sue Bird against Chicago as evidence for why she should be considered a MVP candidate, you could use the entire tape of the Silver Stars’ win for why Parker and Leslie aren’t, especially Parker. With her team down by about 20, she was scoreless in the fourth quarter until about the 4-minute mark. I did some (real) quick research and Storm forward Lauren Jackson has never been shutdown late like that when the game matters. Even in some awful postseason games, Jackson at least got to the free throw line or made some defensive plays.
Parker hasn’t learned how to use her impressive skills to do this, which is why she shouldn’t be raved about as a MVP. (Hear me Chicago broadcast announcers?) LA needed the win to move up in the standings and lock its own playoff berth. But against the league’s best defensive team, they looked ordinary and now run the risk of falling to fourth in the West, if Sacramento can make some noise. (The Monarchs play Phoenix tonight on NBA-TV.)
Working for the Sparks, however, is that two of their next three games are against Atlanta and Houston. LA finishes the season against the Storm on Sept. 14.
A lot can still change in the West, but my MVP list is getting shorter for sure. Now if only San Antonio guard Becky Hammon and forward Sophia Young would make it easier to decide who’s more MVP-like between the two. And there’s still Connecticut stars Lindsay Whalen and Ashja Jones. Decisions, decisions.

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