Dishin & Swishin October 6, 2011 Podcast: Stalking the Lynx – Brian Agler, Dan Hughes & Ann Meyers Drysdale Discuss Their Teams
The Minnesota Lynx have run away with the 2011 WNBA season.
To recap where we stand today, “Los Lynx”:
- completed the regular season with a 27-7 record, six games better than the next closest team in the entire league
- had two players (Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus) on the All-WNBA teams
- defeated the San Antonio Silver Stars in three games and the Phoenix Mercury in two games to advance to the finals
- lead the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA finals 2-0 with the series headed to Atlanta
It has been one of the most dominant seasons the WNBA has seen in its 15 years of existence, and Minnesota is still overall a young team with virtually everyone of significance under contract.Â Where does that leave the rest of their division rivals?Â How do they look at their seasons?Â Just because Minnesota was out of reach, does that mean the season was disappointing to the other teams that made the playoffs, Seattle, Phoenix and San Antonio.
This week’s Dishin & Swishin podcast addresses those three teams with the decision makers of each franchise.
Brian Agler is the head coach and director of player personnel for the Seattle Storm.Â Despite losing defending Most Valuable Player Lauren Jackson for a good part of the season, the Storm finished the regular season 21-13, a record that would have tied them for first place in the Eastern conference.Â The Storm is loaded with high priced veterans, and will face the inevitable loss of Jackson for a good portion of next season.Â Agler and I discussed dealing with the loss of Jackson, the injuries Sue Bird played through, and the rest of the Storm, as well as how the team may look next season.
Dan Hughes returned to the head coaching job of the San Antonio Silver Stars, adding that role to his general manager responsibilities.Â Hughes reshaped and revitalized the franchise this past WNBA season, and has an exciting blend of experienced veteran teachers and role models, and young talented players eager to absorb that information.Â I had not expected the Silver Stars to be a playoff team, but there they were at year end, in the playoffs. Danielle Adams and Danielle Robinson were All-Rookie selections, and the future looks bright in Texas.Â Hughes and I discussed the amazing consistency and excellence of the tandem of Becky Hammon and Sophia Young, the rookies and the veterans, and what he would like to see on the court in 2012.
Ann Meyers Drysdale is a legend on and off the court.Â Her on court excellence has earned her Hall of Fame honors, and her off the court performance has earned the Mercury championships. This season the Mercury faced an “interesting” year, starting with the unknowns surrounding the Diana Taurasi drug suspension, continuing through the addition of veterans like Marie Ferdinand-Harris and Nakia Sanford, the mid-season revamping of the post due to the departures of two of their three centers, and the injuries that slowed Taurasi and do everything forward Penny Taylor. Stability is one thing the franchise did not get, nor is it what they will face this off-season. Like Jackson in Seattle and most likely Tully Bevilaqua in San Antonio, Taylor will almost certainly not be around for most of next season, due to Olympics preparation.Â Meyers Drysdale and I discussed that daunting task of replacing Taylor, the personality and outbursts of Taurasi, the continued growth of Candice Dupree and DeWanna Bonner, and the difficulties at point guard heading into 2012.
So while you have an off day in the WNBA finals, enjoy Dishin & Swishin with the management of the Storm, Silver Stars and Mercury. Which of these player personnel decision makers has their team headed in the right direction?Â Which doesn’t?Â Do you agree with their visions for your favorite team? Be sure to leave comments and your thoughts!