Let’s have some fun. We’re in Las Vegas, Nevada and get to watch the best women’s hoopers play before everyone heads off for the Olympics break. Team WNBA is composed of the best players not on the United States Olympic team, as voted on by the fans.
On the other side will be the United States Women’s National Team. Team USA has been one of the most successful entities in Olympic history and they will be going to Tokyo aiming for their seventh straight gold meal.
Where to follow the game
ESPN is the place to be. Tip off after 7 PM.
Nothing on Team WNBA.
Diana Taurasi will sit this one out due to a hip pointer. She should be good to go for the Olympics.
Typically, All Star games are lighthearted affairs where everyone has fun and tries to avoid injury. With the format this year, expect the game to be a bit more intense. Team USA will need a great test heading into Tokyo and team WNBA will want some bragging rights.
I came across an incredibly great story on Candace Parker in Slam Magazine and this part stood out to me:
“This next chapter, I’m really enjoying the moment. Like I say all the time, I have way more basketball behind me than I have in front of me, I can promise you that. But one thing I’m never going to do is cheat the game. I have a circle of friends that I told 10 years ago that when it’s time, you need to sit me down and have an intervention if I don’t see it myself.”
And in some late breaking news…
Breaking: Candace Parker is officially the first female cover athlete in the history of the NBA 2k franchise. pic.twitter.com/qEBhM3c6Xv
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) July 14, 2021
CP3 will do battle with the reigning MVP. A’ja Wilson has been marvelous with the Las Vegas Aces and is a favorite to win it again. Wilson will be making her Olympic debut and the Aces lefty will look to punish teams on the inside. She can step out and hit elbow jumpers, handle the rock and get good looks for her teammates. She doesn’t take many threes thanks to the set up of the Aces offense, so tonight would be a nice chance for her to expand her range some.
This is the energy I’m here for!
At the end of their All-Star presser time, Arike Ogunbowale and Satou Sabally asked each other questions.
Arike: “You’re gonna dunk on Brittney Griner?”
Arike: “There you have it”#wnba pic.twitter.com/BHufYXLKdL
— Hoopfeed.com (@hoopfeed) July 13, 2021
Although, no one’s ever been able to Brittney Griner, so good luck to them. In the meantime, Griner will get an Olympic tuneup in the form of Liz Cambage. The Australian basketball team is in camp, but Cambage was allowed to miss a day as she played in this game. Cambage missed last year due to the pandemic, but she had a great 1st half of 2021 and is arguably the best big in the WNBA. When she gets to Tokyo, look for her to assert her dominance.
Jonquel Jones will be pulling double duty tonight. Along with playing in the game, at halftime, she’ll participate in the Three Point contest with Seattle’s Jewell Loyd, Chicago’s Allie Quigley, and the Liberty’s own Sami Whitcomb.
Player to watch: Betnijah Laney
Representing the New York Liberty will be the Queen Bee! Laney is making her All Star debut and it is a well deserved honor for her. Laney’s taken on more scoring responsibilities and has been able to develop her skill as a playmaker. A good showing tonight will introduce her to more fans and help make the Liberty the team to watch in the second half.
A former regular season MVP, Finals MVP and Gold medalist heading to the Olympics after a devastating Achilles injury? For Brooklyn Nets, that sounds familiar as our guy Kevin Durant as he heads to Tokyo. However, we’re thinking about his friend and future Hall of Famer, Breanna Stewart! Stewie has been doing the damn thing per usual and can do almost everything on a basketball court.
From the Vault
Let’s throw it back to the first WNBA All Star Game
More reading: Swish Appeal