The Sports Broadcast

A blog about sports broadcasting from the great state of Florida. They report. I decide.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

A Post About What?

Over the past year, I've tried to broaden my sports horizons to some leagues I've never paid attention to before. For instance, I almost watched an entire hockey game during the (final?) Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hey, the IHL called it quits after a Florida team (Orlando Solar Bears) won the title. Anyway, that also includes the WNBA. It's not really as bad as a lot of people who hate the WNBA would make you think, aside from the occasional terribly missed shot that would never happen in the NBA. Dunks have never impressed me that much, so the lack of an above-the-rim game doesn't bother me much.

Anyhow, the team I half-arbitrarily picked to "root" for is the Connecticut Sun, basically because they were once the Orlando Miracle. I'm not mad about the move or anything like I would be if the Magic left; no one ever showed up at Miracle games, least of all me. Also, they have one of the most exciting female players I've seen in PG Lindsay Whalen. I first heard about her when SI on Campus magazine did a feature on her and her Minnesota Golden Gophers who made an improbable run to the Final Four last spring. At around the same time, ESPN Motion had video of highlight clips from the tournament that you were then to vote on which was the best. Diana Taurasi won with a no-look, over-the-head touch pass that I doubt most male players in college could have made, but Whalen came in second with an amazing driving spin move by not just Duke but specifically Naismith Award winner Alana Beard.

Fast forward to now. Taurasi won the Rookie of the Year award, and rightfully so as she was the league's fourth-leading scorer. Her Phoenix Mercury did not make the playoffs though, but Whalen's Sun won the Eastern Conference, led by Nykesha Sales and Taj McWilliams-Franklin along with Whalen finishing fifth in the league in assists. However, since the playoffs have started, Whalen has elevated her game to a whole new level. For the playoffs, she is tied for second in points per game (18.0) and is fifth in assists again (5.0) with only 2 turnovers per game, and is first in ppg for players on teams remaining after a 2-games-to-1 first round victory over Beard's Washington Mystics. If she keeps this up and the Sun continue to advance, she may be in line for some hardware of her own. While Taurasi winning Rookie of the Year is impressive, a rookie wins that award every year. Whalen has a chance at an award that rookies win with far less frequency across the board for any sport - playoff MVP.


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