Dishin & Swishin 8/08/13: Armintie Herrington leading Atlanta towards the top of the East, Liz Cambage pushing Tulsa towards the playoffs
In today’s podcast we have two players that are definitely polar opposites in personality, but both are trying to push their teams toward a strong second half finish and a spot in the playoffs.
The Atlanta Dream are in second place in the Eastern Conference, but only one-half game behind the suddenly slumping Chicago Sky (who have lost two in a row). The Dream completed their West Coast swing, and face conference foes in 13 of their final 17 games.
While Angel McCoughtry and Erika de Souza are the Dream’s All-Stars, most would agree the leader of this team on and off the court is Armintie Herrington née Price, the first guest on today’s podcast. The former Rookie of the Year when she was with the Sky has been in the playoffs since arriving in Atlanta. Herrington is what fans refer to as a “glue player,” the kind that statistics do not measure the true value of the player to the team.
From last year’s perplexing season with on and off the court issues that culminated in a coaching change, to replacing their veteran point guard with unproven youngsters, Herrington is the stabilizing presence that helps drive the Dream forward. Furthermore, she is one of the most tenacious defenders and aggressive rebounders in the WNBA for her position.
Herrington discusses the team, the growth and improvement of McCoughtry as a player and teammate, the Dream’s incredible success at home (8-0 so far) and a lot more.
Meanwhile in the Western Conference, the Tulsa Shock has a roster loaded with talented but young players and a few experienced veterans, and are surging forward, looking for their first playoff spot. The Shock struggled early, as injuries sidelined players at different times, and the team tried to adjust to a roster with 50 percent turnover from the prior year.
The team did not have a Player of the Week selection until Glory Johnson won the honor in June. Since then, twice more the honor has resided in Tulsa, both times courtesy of the second guest on this week’s podcast, Elizabeth Cambage.
A year ago this week, the well-known Cambage gained more fame by being the first woman to dunk in an Olympic game. She has not dunked in the WNBA yet, but since recovering from wrist surgery and an ankle sprain, her game is clearly stronger. Over the last six games she has averaged almost 18 points and 10 rebounds per game, and the Shock won four-of-six. The Shock enter a crucial part of the schedule, with three games against Phoenix and two against San Antonio, two teams they could conceivably catch in the playoff race this month.
Cambage is always open and outspoken, and is one of the more demonstrative players in the WNBA on and off the court. In today’s podcast topics range from the Shock’s improvement, adjusting to being on the road so much of the year, her experience playing in the Chinese league, the adjustment to rookie point guards Angel Goodrich and Skylar Diggins after playing with veterans her whole career, and the referees in the WNBA.