Game #32 – Tulsa Shock vs San Antonio Silver Stars Game Preview + Recap

Riquna Williams of the WNBA's Tulsa Shock

Riquna Williams had a historical game with a WNBA record of 51 points as the Shock defeated the Silver Stars 98-65 in San Antonio at the AT&T Center. Photo courtesy of Elaine Thompson/AP

It’s been nearly a week since they last played, but as I have stated in my previous post, I just didn’t have time this week to write the preview or recap. Heck, I didn’t watch this game as I was out doing some errands on my Sunday afternoon. This is also known as a historical game in terms of context because Riquana Williams had 51 points for the Shock! 51!  51 points is pretty ridiculous and it’s been difficult to do since Lauren Jackson last had 47 points back in 2007.  In terms of this game however, both teams weren’t in the playoffs so they weren’t playing for much unless you count lottery odds for the 2014 draft. I didn’t write a preview for this game, so I have combined my preview, along with my recap + notes and observations.

 PREVIEW

The Stars need a win badly as they host the Tulsa Shock who face similar problems as the Silver Stars. The Stars have now dropped their 2nd game in a row as well as the playoffs and a win would avoid being the worst team in the Western Conference. The Stars are 7-8 at home and have a 2-1 lead in the 4 game series with the Shock. The Shock are also without Liz Cambage who has left the team for Australia as she suffered a knee injury in the game against Phoenix.

THREE KEYS TO THE GAME

1.  Be balanced offensively – The Stars had 3 players in double figures and 2 players near to double digits. They will need to do more of the same if they want to win this game.

2. Defend – Defend against one of the most unpredictable offenses in the WNBA. One night, the Shock look like playoff ready, the next night they look like a rebuilding team, etc. It will be a challenge and the San Antonio Silver Stars have to be ready to handle whatever Shock offense shows up.

3. No X Factor – Make sure no one from the Shock who doesn’t play well, does. Make sure that the Shock’s only player that plays well is Glory Johnson. The Stars have to make sure that they are able to rebound, and defend against any of the Shock’s non All Star players.

The game will tip off at 3:30 pm local time, 4:30 pm EST and 1:30 pm PST. The game will be on LiveAccess.  Now, that my preview is done, my game recap is written below, along with video of Riquna Williams historical 51 point game.

GAME RECAP

The Silver Stars are on the wrong side of history as second year guard Riquana Williams goes off for 51 points and the Stars lose to become the worst team in the Western Conference. They also lose their third straight game and the Shock even the season series 2-2. The Stars also fell to 7-9 at home this season.

As you can tell, from the video, she was ON FIRE. There was absolutely nothing the Silver Stars could do, although the last 14 points came in garbage time as Tulsa had effectively won the game at that point. 16 of her points came in the first half and 20 points in the third quarter.

NOTES + OBSERVATIONS

The WNBA finally has a 50+ point performance in the WNBA. This will go a long way as the players get better and better every year. It took 7 seasons before it happened, so it’s a rare sight to see. She also did this without OT, which is pretty impressive. It’s always great to see players achieving milestones that haven’t been done before. It’s also great that it happened in San Antonio because the San Antonio announcer (Andrew Monaco) has had a pretty extensive play by play career for  both the Stars and the Spurs of the NBA. The Stars also have a better LiveAccess feed as they fixed their technical problems that they had earlier in the season. It was also nice that it was in San Antonio because the crowd were genuine and really wanted for her to get to the 50 point milestone. San Antonio fans who were there were really classy because it’s rare when you see the opposing team fans cheering for you.

On the flip side, San Antonio just couldn’t defend well enough and it turned into a game in which San Antonio was leading for the most part and up until the 3rd quarter had a game. But then the Shock went a run and the Stars could not respond. This season it seems that San Antonio always has a bad quarter which leads to them losing the game.

Game #31 San Antonio Silver Stars vs Phoenix Mercury Game Day Preview

The countdown is on! The Silver Stars are 4 games away from ending their injury riddled season with injuries to Sophia Young(ACL), Becky Hammon(ACL), Davellyn Whyte(Achilles) and missed games & time from Jayne Appel and Danielle Robinson. There is still no word on whether or not Danielle Robinson will play in this game, but it is still doubtful to this point. The Silver Stars have signed 3 new players this season in Cathrine Kraayeveld, Chelsea Poppens and now new point guard Chelsea Hopkins. She is in Phoenix with the rest of the team and will play in the game. The Silver Stars are in Phoenix tonight as they face a well rested team. The Stars have really struggled on the road this season and are 4-11 on the road. The Stars after tonight will only have 1 road game left for the season. The Stars are 2-1 against Phoenix this season with 2 more games left to play after tonight.

Starting Lineups for the Silver Stars

G – Jia Perkins

G/F – Shameka Christon

F – Shenise Johnson

F – Danielle Adams

C – Jayne Appel

Starting Lineups for the Phoenix Mercury

G – Diana Taurasi

G – Brianna Gilbreath

G/F – Dewanna Bonner

PF – Candice Dupree

C – Brittney Griner

THREE KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Stop penetration – The Mercury will be ready for this game as they need a win tonight to clinch the playoffs and officially eliminate the Silver Stars from post season. The Mercury will look to push and find ways to score from the paint so the Stars need to make sure they keep the Mercury guards out of the lane and make it difficult for their power forwards and centers to score.

2. Just score – The Silver Stars will need to bring it scoring wise in order to keep up with the Mercury. If they can’t score, they won’t win. Its that simple.

3. No X Factor – The Stars will have trouble winning if they can’t contain any of the Mercury’s other players. It’s already a difficult game to win considering the circumstances of both teams and it will become that much harder to steal a road game if the other players step up.

The game will be on LiveAccess and will tip off at 7 pm local time, 9 pm CT and 10 pm EST.

Game #30 Los Angeles Sparks vs San Antonio Silver Stars Game Day Preview

The Silver Stars are back at it after their win against Tulsa yesterday. The Stars will need to keep winning if they stand a shot of getting into the playoffs. The Stars are facing one of the top teams in the Western Conference in the LA Sparks who have a 20-8 record and are 7-6 on the road this season. The Sparks are 2-1 against the Stars in the 4 game series. This will also be the last time the Stars see the Sparks this season. The Stars are 11-18 and 7-7 at home this season. It’s also Military Appreciation Night at the AT&t Center which is always nice to see and to thank all those who did service overseas.

Probable Starting Lineup for the Los Angeles Sparks

PG – Lindsey Harding

SG – Kristi Toliver

SF – Alana Beard

F – Nneka Ogwumike

F – Candace Parker

Probable Starting Lineup for the San Antonio Silver Stars

PG – Davellyn Whyte (Danielle Robinson might play)

SG – Jia Perkins

SF – Shenise Johnson

F/C – Danielle Adams

C – Jayne Appel

THREE KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Contain the Sparks All Stars – Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike and Kristi Toliver all have unique aspects to their games that makes it difficult to defend them. Candace can be a matchup nightmare and Danielle Adams as well as Jayne Appel will have their hands full trying to guard her. Nneka Ogwumike is able to get to the basket at will and will also be a tough matchup for Shenise Johnson. Kristi Toliver is a scorer who can get hot in a hurry and Jia Perkins as well as Davellyn Whyte will need to make sure that she doesn’t score 20 points or more. If the Stars can guard all 3 players and make their lives difficult they can steal the game away from the Sparks. All 11 players will be needed to stop one of the top offenses in the WNBA this season.

2. Find energy –  The Stars will be at one point, have low energy and their legs will be tired. They will need to find a way or will themselves into getting to the basket and finding ways to either score or defend.  If they can find some energy or be able to stay in the game, the Stars can win the game.

3. NO X-Factor – Don’t let  any of the Sparks bench players have a great game otherwise it will make the task of defending that much harder.  If the Stars can limit the bench points, they have a great shot of winning the game.

The game will be on WNBA LiveAccess and should also be on TWC SportsNet for those that live in LA. The game will tip off at 7 pm local time, 8 pm EST and 5 pm PST.

 

Game #29 San Antonio Silver Stars vs Tulsa Shock Game Preview

It’s game day for the Silver Stars as they face the Tulsa Shock on the road for the final time this season. The Stars are 3-11 on the road and needless to say, they need some road wins. This is a battle of two struggling teams who don’t want to be the last team in their conference. Danielle Robinson who hasn’t played in a week since straining her right knee in Indiana on Aug. 21 has traveled with the team and is a game time decision. Liz Cambage, who hurt her ankle in Tulsa’s last game, might not play in this game.  The Stars are 10-18 while the Shock are 9-19 so far.

Probable Starting Lineup for the Silver Stars

PG – Davellyn Whyte

SG – Jia Perkins

SF – Shenise Johnson

F/C – Danielle Adams

C – Jayne Appel

Probable Starting Lineup for the Tulsa Shock

PG – Angel Goodrich

SG – Candice Wiggins

SF – Nicole Powell

PF – Glory Johnson

C – Courtney Paris

THREE KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Contain Glory Johnson – Glory Johnson is going to be tough to handle and the Silver Stars will have to make sure that she won’t have a good game otherwise it will be a long night for the Silver Stars. They will need to make sure that they can reduce her impact in the game by double and triple teaming her every chance they get.

2. Keep up the energy – Last game, the Stars were able to play through the entire game with energy. They never gave up, and still battled until the final possession. They will need to do more of the same and maintain it especially on the road when you need to play your best game.

3. Don’t let others beat you – Make sure, the other Shock players who normally don’t play well, have a field day against the Stars. It’s not just about defending the Shock’s best players but their entire team as well. They will need to defend Riquna Williams who is a scorer  as well as Roneeka Hodges who always seems to play well against San Antonio.

The game will be on LiveAccess and will be in Tulsa at the BOK Center. Tip off will be at 7 pm local time, 8 pm EST and 5 pm PST.

Game #28 Seattle Storm vs San Antonio Silver Stars Game Day Preview

The Stars are finishing a 5 game series against the Seattle Storm tonight at the AT&T Center. Both teams are 2-2 and the team that wins tonight will get the advantage of making the playoffs over the other. This is also the 2nd game of a home and home stand. The Silver Stars are 7-6 at home this season. They only have 4 home games left to play in the regular season including tonight. It will also be the last time Tina Thompson plays in San Antonio as she is retiring after this season. There’s still no update on Danielle Robinson, but as I have stated before, she’s most likely day to day and a game time decision.

Probable Starting Lineup for the Seattle Storm

PG – Temeka Johnson

SG – Tanisha Wright

G/F – Shekinna Stricklen

F – Camille Little

F – Tina Thompson

Probable Starting Lineups for the San Antonio Silver Stars

PG – Davellyn Whyte

SG – Jia Perkins

SF – Shenise Johnson

F/C – Danielle Adams

C – Jayne Appel

There will be no three keys to this game in this preview, since it is game 2 of the home and home stand. The three keys shall return against the next Silver Stars opponent!

The game will be on LiveAccess and wilL tip off at 7 pm local time, 8 pm EST and 5 pm PST.

Game #27 Seattle Storm vs San Antonio Silver Stars Game Day Preview

The Silver Stars have had a busy August and it continues this afternoon when they host the Seattle Storm in a home and home stand. The Silver Stars have lost 2 games on the road and will aim to play better in front of their home crowd. The Seattle Storm have played much better recently and are on a roll. They’ve won 3 in a row and are now 13-13 in which they were below .500 for much of the season. The Storm are also 6-7 on the road this season. The Stars are 1-2 against the Storm this season. The playoffs seem distant for the Stars but that doesn’t mean that the Silver Stars should give up. They have a shot of being playoff spoilers to other teams and trying to end the season on a strong note. 

Probable Starting Lineups for the Seattle Storm

PG – Temeka Johnson

SG – Tanisha Wright

F/G – Shekinna Stricklen

PF – Camille Little

F- Tina Thompson

Probable Starting Lineups for the San Antonio Silver Stars

PG – Davellyn Whyte or Danielle Robinson if she plays

SG – Jia Perkins

SF – Shenise Johnson

F/C – Danielle Adams

C – Jayne Appel

THE KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Defend Tina Thompson – Tina Thompson is having one of her best seasons in a while as the Storm’s first option. Despite her age, she’s having an MVP season and she should be one of the MVP candidates alongside her coach Brian Agler for Coach of the Year Award. Tina’s play has been vital for the Storm so the Silver Stars have to make sure that they double team and make sure that they cover her so that she won’t be as effective. Danielle Adams will have her hands full as well so she will require help from the other Star players.

2. No X Factor – Every time the Storm plays against the Stars, someone steps up other than their starters. The Stars will have to make it difficult for other players to step up. It’s as simple as that.

3. 4 FULL quarters – I had this as one of my keys last game and it hurt them as they couldn’t play 4 full quarters which cost them the game against Tulsa. I will continue having this as one of my keys to the game until the Stars deliver a full 40 minute performance.

The game will be on LiveAccess and will tip off at 3:30 pm local time, 4:30 pm EST and 1:30 pm PST. 

 

Game #26 San Antonio Silver Stars vs Tulsa Shock Game Day Preview

The Silver Stars are on the road again as they face the last place Tulsa Shock. The Stars and the Shock, despite their records still have a shot of getting into the playoffs albeit a long one. The Stars will try to go for just their fourth road win of the season while the Shock will try to win just their sixth home game of the season. The Stars are currently leading the series 1-0 with 3 games left to play in the series, including this one. After tonight, the Silver Stars only have 3 road games left to play. The Stars are 3-10 on the road. Other good news is that Danielle Robinson who is with the team in Tulsa will most likely play which is great news because she was sorely missed in the second half against Indiana last game.

Probable Starting Lineups for the Silver Stars

PG – Danielle Robinson (game time decision)

SG – Jia Perkins

SF – Shenise Johnson

F/C – Danielle Adams

C – Jayne Appel

Probable Starting Lineups for the Tulsa Shock

PG – Angel Goodrich

SG – Candice Wiggins

SF – Nicole Powell

PF – Glory Johnson

C – Liz Cambage

THREE KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Defend the duo – Liz Cambage and Glory Johnson are Tulsa’s two best players and the two together are both terrific front court players. The Silver Stars will need to help Danielle Adams and Jayne Appel in double and tripling both players to make sure that both are not as effective in the game tonight.

2. No X Factor –  Riquna Williams has only played 19 games this season but every time she comes off the bench, she is a capable 20 point scorer.  Roneeka Hodges, can also go off as well as Nicole Powell.  If the Stars can manage to hold off an X factor then they can win an important road game.

3. 4 FULL QUARTERS – The Silver Stars need to play four full quarters and be able to be effective both offensively and defensively to offset the Shock’s chances of winning this game. The Shock will be hungry so the Stars must come prepared otherwise it will be another loss on the road.

The game will be at 7 pm local time, 8 pm EST and 5 pm PST in Tulsa at the BOK Center. The game will be available on Live Access