September 22, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Semifinals preview

Natalie and Em preview both semifinal series, including what each team needs to do to win and their vulnerabilities

It’s time for another episode of the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. In this episode, host and The Next’s Atlantic 10 beat writer Natalie Heavren is joined by The Next’s Em Adler to discuss all things semifinals as the first games of the second round draw closer. They break down each team’s strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as what needs to happen for each team to make it to the finals. Natalie and Em also make their predictions for each series and discuss what they’re most looking forward to.

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Em on the particular reason Connecticut is facing an uphill battle against New York, roster aside:

New York … is the best three point shooting team in the league, both in terms of the ability to get up a lot of good attempts and to shoot really well on a lot of attempts. And they have really quick passing, they have plus passers at every position. And that’s the issue that you have with this sort of blitz-heavy rotation reliant scheme that the Sun want to play … the main vulnerability [for the Sun] is [an opponent] having a lot of passers and shooters to be able to move around the pressure really quickly.

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Em on what she thinks Dallas needs to capitalize on in order to have success in the semifinals against the Aces:

They have this sort of macro level where they want to play and there’s no adjusting from that. And it’s because, for the most part, [Dallas is] putting four of the best bucket-getters in the league in positions where they can do their best to have how good they are at bucket-getting sort of pull some defensive gravity, pull some eyes away from each other. So they’re … constantly setting up the ball to swing to someone who has some level of isolation, or maybe you can pass an advantage. This is how you get a bunch of side actions that then [turn] into a Teaira McCowan post up.

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