Chat with Mechelle Voepel
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, women's basketball writer Mechelle Voepel will stop by to chat some hoops.
Voepel has covered women's college and pro basketball for ESPN.com since 1996. Read her blog at www.mechellevoepelblog.com.
Send your questions now and join Voepel Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Mechelle Voepel (2:05 PM)
They're just starting the fourth quarter between Tulsa and San Antonio, so we'll keep an eye on that while chatting.
Todd (New Jersey)
What should the Tulsa Shock do if Liz Cambage decides to play next season. Courtney Paris is having a breakout year and is currently leading the league in rebounds. So do the Shock keep both or trade Cambage??
Mechelle Voepel (2:08 PM)
If Cambage is serious about returning to play next season in the WNBA, I think the Shock should see what they can get for her in a trade. Her heart has never been into playing in Tulsa, and it doesn't seem likely she'll be much a part of that franchise's future.
Glenn (Fresh Meadows)
Bill Laimbeer has been nothing if not proactive during the Libs troubles this year...he's turned over more than half the roster, sent Essence carson to the bottom of the bench and traded for Swin Cash (which as fate would have it was a case of getting out while the getting was good) is this good strategy or a case of going to the well once too often?
Mechelle Voepel (2:13 PM)
Because he's had so much success at coming up with the right formula to work in the WNBA, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt with all the moves made this year. But he hasn't found the right answers yet for the supporting cast around Pondexter and Charles, and I'm not sure that's is going to happen this year. The Liberty really need to have a good game plan going into this off-season so there isn't a repeat in the summer of 2015 of what's gone on so far in 2014.
Craig (Braintree, MA)
Prior to their championship seasons, the Lynx when dealing with injuries would sink to the bottom. What are the keys to this year's team in regard to overcoming injuries?
Mechelle Voepel (2:15 PM)
Just overall more talent, and Maya Moore especially is able to make up for a lot that the Lynx are currently missing because of injuries. All of Maya's stats are up, and she is the kind of player who can take on more responsibility without it negatively affecting her.
Todd (New Jersey)
Who's more likely to miss the play-offs, the Liberty or the Sparks??
Mechelle Voepel (2:16 PM)
The Liberty. I think the Sparks have turned a corner. We'll see. :)
kevin (macon ga)
Delisha Milton is done for the year with an Achilles. She'll be 40 in September. What are the odds she'll be able to come back from this?
Mechelle Voepel (2:22 PM)
You would think she might be ready to call it a career _ if she were almost anybody else. But DMJ has had a habit of overcoming injury in the past - and she's pursued some non-traditional remedies, too _ so perhaps she'll do it again. Maybe she still doesn't feel like she's done in the WNBA. But if she does want to return, teams will have to decide if she's worth the risk at this point.
The Shock are real top heavy in the top 5 or 6 playes they have? Is it too late in the season or should the Shock make some moves deep in the bench to maybe get more quality players. I think personally the Shock should have kept Ariel Edwards. She showed a lot of promise in the preseason. It seems the flow is there with the starters but not so much when subs come in. This season, with the short schedule it has been too vital.
Mechelle Voepel (2:29 PM)
I don't know there's a lot in terms of moves that the Shock could make right now that would help a lot for 2014. I tend to think that teams that are really good and are thinking they could contend in the postseason are the ones who would potentially making moves to increase depth. I agree that has been an issue for the Shock, but the good thing for the team is that there is this core of young talent that really seems promising. I realize the fans are maybe tired of "waiting for the future," but maybe we're talking about next year as a playoff season. I guess it's not technically out of the question for this year, but the Shock would have to really get it in gear over the last month of the season.
Glenn (Fresh Meadows)
Where would rank the overall interest in the league right now? Attendance is pretty much everyone getting the same 6-8K a game and tv is unchanged but it does look like jersey sales and general interest is up...so is it up down or unchanged from when Richie took over
Mechelle Voepel (2:31 PM)
I would say it's up a bit mostly because of some of the new faces in the league who brought their own personal popularity from college into the WNBA and seem to be expanding on that. Specifically players such as Brittney Griner, Shoni Schimmel, Skylar Diggins, Elena Delle Donne. I think someone like Breanna Stewart is going to add interest to the league, too.
Mechelle Voepel (2:33 PM)
Sorry, I've been a little distracted by the end of the Tulsa-San Antonio game.
Jonathan (New York)
In your interactions with WNBA players and coaches, do the players and coaches point to specific things that the WNBA could learn from the women's pro leagues in Europe and China?
Mechelle Voepel (2:37 PM)
I can't really think of much in this regard. The infrastructure of overseas women's basketball is so different from the WNBA that I'm not sure how much is applicable between the two. But it's interesting question that I can follow up on.
Mechelle Voepel (2:40 PM)
Well, congrats to the Shock ... after losing four in a row at home, it has to be a relief to them to pull out this victory at the BOK. Overall an entertaining game with both teams shooting over 50 percent from the field. Courtney Paris' best game of the season ... 22 points and 9 of 9 from the field. The Stars really do have some issues with their inside game, although they've been able to mask that at times.
Kate (New Jersey)
Are there any behind the scenes rumblings about a return of EDD this season? Or do Sky fans need to face the fact that this season is all but lost?
Mechelle Voepel (2:44 PM)
This is a tough one, because Lyme disease isn't like a lot of other ailments/injuries where you can have a clearer picture of the long-term and short-term prognosis. It's hard to know how her body will respond to this, and how soon she'll feel strong enough and asymptomatic enough to be able to play. It's interesting ... before the 2013 draft, some WNBA fans - including on this chat - were concerned about this in regard to EDD, even though they were big believers in her talent. I'm sure Chicago had concerns, too, but again it's just so difficult to know how much or how little it may impact her in the coming years. You hope for the best because she such an important player for the franchise and the league.
Glenn (Fresh Meadows)
With Tulsa's win over the Stars there are only 3 teams 500 or above in the ENTIRE LEAGUE...this can't be good, can it...that's mighty topheavy and do you see it changing at all...maybe 4 with winning records, at most?
Mechelle Voepel (2:46 PM)
I think with a pretty short season (in comparison to the NBA), and with only 12 teams, this is what we're going to have for the forseeable future. Two, three or maybe four teams that can break out, and mostly parity with everybody else. Which creates logjams in both conferences.
kevin (macon ga)
Who ya got in the ASG, East or West?
Mechelle Voepel (2:50 PM)
It's hard to pick agains the West ... in this or for the WNBA championship.
Mechelle Voepel (2:51 PM)
Will be heading to Phoenix tomorrow. Looking forward to what should be a good crowd and a fun game on Saturday. There will *not* be a chat next week, though. Will return July 31.