July 14, 2022 

Daily Briefing — July 14, 2022: REEVE-OLTED — Lynx head coach calls out Diana Taurasi for flagrant behavior

The Sun out-physical the Fever

It’s Thursday — the workweek’s almost passed! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap. Day 58 of the WNBA season is here, following the Connecticut Sun kind of taking care of business; they beat the Fever, but not in a manner benefiting a top-four team. But they probably just were shaking off some rust to start the second half. The real intrigue of yesterday came on The Cheryl Reeve Show, where the Minnesota head coach spoke on the Diana Taurasi play Tuesday night that should have resulted in a late ejection.

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“It’s disappointing behavior from her — not surprising, but disappointing. There will be ramifications to that kick,” said Reeve. “Not ideal. I don’t know how you have three officials and there’s no one that sees that egregious of [a play].”

The play didn’t just include Taurasi giving the beloved Sylvia Fowles the ol’ “Draymond Green”; Taurasi commits a fairly blatant flagrant 1 foul on Aerial Powers to start the play to get her out of Taurasi’s way, then Taurasi travels while trying to draw a foul from Fowles; and even after the play, as Fowles is doubled over in pain, Taurasi could’ve earned a tech for barking at the refs for her not drawing a foul call.

It’s the perfect encapsulation of what Taurasi has become at this stage of her career: at least as aggressive as ever, but with even less regard for keeping the aggression within the normal bounds of the sport, while leaning on foul calls as a crutch to keep her efficiency above water. Sometimes that results in her June 10 game against Atlanta, when she shot only a 50.0% eFG, but got to the line nine times in a two-point win. Sometimes it results in her performances against the Aces, in which she’s scored recorded just a 41.2% true-shooting across three games. Sometimes it results in her incident from a couple nights ago, nearly reinjuring one of the most beloved figures in the game.

The question at this point is what the “ramifications” will be.

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But first, read:

W Roundup

Connecticut: Re-signed big Joyner Holmes and off-ball guard Jazmine Jones to their third seven-day contracts, the last seven-days their allowed to sign with the team

Watch List, Thursday, June 14

(All times in Eastern, Game Of The Day in bold)

Las Vegas @ New York, 11 a.m., NBA TV (Local: My LV TV, YES)

Dallas @ Minnesota, 8 p.m., League Pass/Twitter (Local: Bally Sports Southwest Extra, Bally Sports North Extra)

Washington @ Phoenix, 10 p.m., League Pass (Local: Monumental, Bally Sports Arizona)

Chicago @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., League Pass/Facebook (Local: CW 26, Spectrum SportsNet)

Wednesday, July 13 recap

Connecticut (15-8) beat Indiana (5-20), 89-81. The teams were tied at 14 in the late first, then the Sun went on a 20-7 run. Connecticut won the rebounding battle by 12; the teams combined for 21 steals, part of 33 combined turnovers; the teams combined for 41 fouls.

Big wing Jonquel Jones led the Sun with a 20-point, 14-rebound double-double on 7-for-15 from the field, 1-for-5 from three, and 5-for-6 from the line, and six offensive boards, plus two assists and four blocks against three turnovers; big wing DeWanna Bonner had 19 points on 7-for-12 FG (0-1 3pt., 5-5 FT) and five rebounds against two turnovers; backup center Brionna Jones notched 17 points on 5-for-7 from the field and 7-for-7 from the line, three rebounds, and two steals against two turnovers.

The Fever were led by combo guard Kelsey Mitchell’s 21 points on 6-for-14 from the field and a season-high-tying 4-for-7 from three (5-5 FT), two rebounds, and three assists against three turnovers; combo forward Victoria Vivians had 17 points on 8-for-19 shooting (1-6 3pt.), four assists, and three steals against three turnovers; big NaLyssa Smith recorded a double-double with 12 points on 6-for-12 FG (0-3 3pt.) and 13 rebounds, plus three assists against two turnovers and five fouls in 35 minutes.

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the WNBA at large and college basketball for The Next, with a focus on player development and the game behind the game.

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