Michelle Smith Archive

Michelle Smith

Contributor, espnW.com
Michelle Smith has covered pro and college sports for AOL Fanhouse, the San Francisco Chronicle and now espnW. She's also the founder of leftcoasthoops.com, which covers women's basketball on the West Coast.
  • Dream comes true for Cruz as Lynx head to WNBA Finals

    She's only in her second season in the league, but 28-year-old point guard Anna Cruz already has played a bigger role than expected in Minnesota's run to the WNBA Finals.

    Oct 1 1:16 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • WNBA admission can't rewrite controversial finish

    The WNBA on Monday acknowledged that the foul that helped decide Game 2 of the West finals should have been a no-call. It was the right thing to do, but sadly, the error was costly for Phoenix.

    Sep 28 6:41 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Too much Moore carries Lynx to Finals

    Maya Moore not only had 40 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals, she came up with key plays down the stretch to sweep the Mercury and send the Lynx back to the WNBA Finals.

    Sep 27 11:42 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Mercury need to rebound to stay alive

    The Phoenix Mercury will need to rebound from their Game 1 loss as they return home with their backs against the wall in the Western Conference finals.

    Sep 26 3:28 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • It's Brunson who sets tone for Minnesota

    The pregame talk was all about the Brittney Griner-Sylvia Fowles matchup, but it was Rebekkah Brunson who commanded attention in a grind-it-out Game 1 victory for Minnesota.

    Sep 25 1:16 AM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Fowles ready to battle against Griner

    The duel between 6-foot-6 Sylvia Fowles and 6-foot-8 Brittney Griner will be the marquee matchup in the Western Conference finals.

    Sep 23 11:31 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • West Finals preview: Why Minnesota will oust defending champ Phoenix

    Minnesota and Phoenix meet with a trip to the WNBA Finals on the line for the third consecutive season. The Lynx, coming off a balanced and complete performance Tuesday, have the upper hand.

    Sep 23 6:58 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • 'Vintage Lynx basketball' moves Minnesota past L.A.

    It was the kind of win Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve has been waiting for all year: Maya Moore had plenty of help -- five players hit double figures -- as Minnesota eliminated Los Angeles in the West.

    Sep 23 3:40 AM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Parker puts Sparks on her back in Game 2 win

    Facing elimination, in a gym they hadn't seen all season, against a No. 1 seed? It wasn't exactly an ideal situation for the Sparks. But it's also one they overcame, thanks to Candace Parker.

    Sep 20 10:21 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Mercury rout Shock behind Griner's block party

    After accepting the defensive player of the year award, Brittney Griner said she wants "to get better and I want to win." The center was at her best Thursday, blocking 11 shots in Game 1.

    Sep 18 2:17 AM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Liberty's Laimbeer named WNBA's coach of year

    Bill Laimbeer, who went from being fired last fall to leading the New York Liberty to the best record in the WNBA for the first time in franchise history, was named the WNBA's Coach of the Year.

    Sep 17 9:56 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Mercury ready to face Shock in first round

    Phoenix knows it's not the favorite to repeat as the WNBA champion. But the Mercury are riding some momentum into the playoffs and have home-court advantage in the first round.

    Sep 16 1:54 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Leslie still one of a kind

    Lisa Leslie, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this week, was an unstoppable center who thrived under pressure. There hasn't been anyone like her since.

    Sep 9 10:17 AM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Sparks clinch playoff berth, eye bigger prize

    After going from having the worst record in the WNBA to clinching a spot in the postseason, L.A. wants even more. "I feel like we are contenders to win the whole thing," Nneka Ogwumike says.

    Sep 7 2:20 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Seattle rookie Loyd is 'in the right place'

    The Storm probably won't make the playoffs, but that doesn't mean Jewell Loyd's rookie season in Seattle hasn't been a success.

    Sep 3 7:38 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Smith: Who are the WNBA front-runners in Breanna Stewart sweepstakes?

    Whichever WNBA team gets the No. 1 draft pick for 2016 knows it will get an immediate game-changer in UConn's Breanna Stewart. But which teams are we most likely to see in the draft lottery?

    Aug 26 5:36 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Sky's Pondexter feeling rested, at home

    Veteran guard Cappie Pondexter, traded to her hometown Chicago this offseason, has given friends and family plenty to cheer about and given the Sky's offense a boost.

    Aug 21 8:50 AM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Agler, Sparks keep pushing toward playoffs

    When Los Angeles had just three wins at the All-Star break, people might have thought the Sparks "were light-years away." But coach Brian Agler and L.A. are still clinging to a playoff spot.

    Aug 13 10:52 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Soaring Mercury ready to test Sky, de Souza

    Can Phoenix keep its winning streak alive -- and keep West-leading Minnesota in its sights -- when the Mercury take on Erika de Souza and the Chicago Sky on Sunday (ESPN, 2 ET)?

    Aug 8 | By Michelle Smith

  • Smith: WNBA's midseason report card

    Minnesota is the WNBA front-runner at the All-Star break, but where does every other team fall in? We hand out grades for the first half of the season and look ahead at what's next for each team.

    Jul 28 10:54 AM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Williams, Lavender, McBride added as All-Stars

    The WNBA has made three additions to its Western Conference All-Star roster: Tulsa guard Riquna Williams, Los Angeles center Jantel Lavender and San Antonio guard Kayla McBride.

    Jul 24 2:18 AM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Bird, Whalen highlight WNBA All-Star reserves

    Three of the best backcourt players in WNBA history and a group of impact young post players headline the WNBA All-Star reserves, which were announced Tuesday by the league.

    Jul 24 2:19 AM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • News & Commentary

    Smith: 'Worthiness' is a tired concept

    The debate around Caitlyn Jenner's "worthiness" in receiving the Arthur Ashe award shouldn't be a debate at all. Worthiness, and courage for that matter, is not exclusive to one thing.

    Jul 17 11:03 PM ET | By Michelle Smith

  • Coleman finds right fit with Fever

    On her third team in seven seasons in the WNBA, Indiana's Marissa Coleman is finally "having fun again." The guard/forward is tied for the team lead with Tamika Catchings at 13.1 points per game.

    Jul 17 | By Michelle Smith

  • Shock appropriate name for first-place Tulsa

    After an opening loss, Tulsa has reeled off eight wins in a row to take over first in the West, quite a turnaround for a team that went 12-22 last year. And their confidence is building.

    Jun 29 4:32 PM ET | By Michelle Smith