Cap and Trade

The WNBA season is around the quarter pole.  And after eight games, the New York Liberty — led by Tina Charles (former MVP) and Cappie Pontdexter (former All-Star) — are 3-5.

After the team’s fifth loss (which dropped the team to 2-5) we heard the following from Swish Appeal (on the New York Liberty’s 5th loss this season to San Antonio): “I really don’t want to blindly blame Cappie, because it’s not her fault Essence passed the ball to Katie and Anna kept giving it to Jia Perkins. But if we’re all on the failboat together, Cappie’s at the wheel. It feels like something has to give, and has to give soon, and I don’t know whether it’s Cappie, or Tina, or Bill”

It’s Cappie.

As Dave mentioned earlier there was a lot of hype built up about Tina Charles coming to New York after her trade was announced. Her performance so far this season has been a mixed bag; her rebounding is remarkable but is only helping to compensate for her below average shooting efficiency. Still, her wins produced at this point in the season has improved over where she ended up last year. (WP 0.62 versus WP -0.33)

Cappie Pontdexter, on the other hand, is not faring so well. Turnovers are plaguing the team and she is leading by example! This coupled with lackluster rebounding (the Stars’ Danielle Robinson has 38 rebounds to Pontdexter’s 15) is driving her productivity down. (WP 0.08 currently versus WP 0.29 last season). So, no one has to “blindly blame” Cappie. You can do so with eyes wide open.

Sunday UPDATE:  Apparently a team meeting before the Liberty defeated Washington on Sunday changed the team’s energy a bit.  Pondexter scored 21 points (10-11 FGM-A and 1-2 3PM-A) and only had 2 turnovers.  In an AP recap of the game, though, Charles sums up the overall performance of the team so far:  “Everyone is different. Things take time. When I got here I didn’t expect we would go 8-0.”  Makes you wonder what Charles did expect.  The pre-season hype didn’t seem to suggest 3-5.  But maybe after this team meeting and this win, the Liberty will change this season around.

Again, it is early.  The early returns — despite what we saw on Sunday — have not been entirely promising.

– Jill Harris