May 26, 2022
Daily Briefing — May 26, 2022: Indiana fires Marianne Stanley
Big night for Nneka
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 18 of the WNBA season is here, following Indiana firing head coach Marianne Stanley. Stanley joins former general manager Tamika Catchings as Indiana personnel relieved of their duties in the past few months, both of which coming a couple weeks later than you’d expect — Catchings led the first few weeks of the Fever’s offseason before stepping down, while Stanley’s firing has come two weeks into the season. I’ve mentioned in a couple places being underwhelmed by the play-calling for and on-court discipline/chemistry of the 2021-22 Indiana Fever; but with the team having been competitive against Connecticut and Chicago, and with four rookies playing fairly well, it’s quite odd timing for this move.
Elsewhere, Los Angeles threw out a starting lineup with multiple shooters and looked like a halfway-decent offense. On the other end, the Mercury… man, I don’t even know.
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But first, read:
- Our Matthew Walter sits down with Kelsey Plum, Mike Neighbors, and others to dive deep into what’s made the breakout MVP candidate into who she is today
- Our Jenn Hatfield contextualized the Mystics’ media blackout in response to Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas and why the news hit close to home
- Basketball News’ Mark Schindler looks at the stats and film from the Wings’ recent surge
Indiana: As previously stated, fired head coach Marianne Stanley. Assistant Carlos Knox was promoted to interim head coach.
Watch List, Thursday, May 26
(All times in Eastern)
Dallas @ Connecticut, 7 p.m., League Pass (Local: Bally Sports Southwest Extra, NESN+)
Wednesday, May 25 recap
Los Angeles beat Phoenix, 99-94. The Mercury jumped out to an 18-9 lead, but the Sparks responded with a 30-11 run and led by double-digits for most of the rest of the game. The teams combined to shoot 57.9% from the field; Los Angeles shot 8-for-11 from three; the teams combined for 20 steals.
Big Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting (2-2 3pt.), six rebounds, and two assists without a turnover; center Liz Cambage had 21 points on 8-for-13 FG, seven rebounds (three offensive), five assists, and two steals against five turnovers and four fouls in 31 minutes; combo forward Katie Lou Samuelson made her first start of the season, finishing with 17 points on 4-for-5 from three (1-3 from two) and two assists without a turnover in 27 minutes; backup point guard Chennedy Carter notched 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting, three assists, and two turnovers.
Phoenix was led by combo guard Skylar Diggins-Smith’s 28 points on 11-for-17 shooting (2-4 3pt.), four rebounds, two assists, and three steals against five turnovers; center Tina Charles had 21 points on 7-for-10 from the field (2-3 3pt.) and 5-for-6 from the line, seven rebounds, and two blocks against two turnovers and four fouls in 36 minutes; wing Diamond DeShields notched 17 points on 7-for-13 FG (1-2 3pt.), five rebounds, and nine assists against three turnovers and five fouls in 35 minutes; big Brianna Turner tallied 10 points on 5-for-5 from the field, six rebounds (three offensive), five assists, and three steals against two turnovers.