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GlennMacGrady



Joined: 03 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: 09/08/21 5:20 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Hopkins. Hopkins. Hopkins.

Said. Said. Said.

Developer. Development. Developer.

Where did the "developer" and "development" memes come from, anyway? I've been reading about them nonstop ever since Hopkins/Kolb appeared from virtually nowhere.

What player has Hopkins ever developed before the Liberty? During the Liberty? What achievement has he had at all as a basketball coach? And what has Kolb, a lawyer, ever generally managed?

Maybe Hopkins can be a decent coach he ever gets good enough players. Until then, I've been quite underwhelmed by his undeveloped offense and defense. Whatever, he should get another year. Maybe he'll develop.

Every season I start off very hard trying to sustain interest in the team from my hometown, but it never lasts longer than six weeks or so.

Depressive rant over.
root_thing



Joined: 28 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: 09/08/21 6:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
Hopkins. Hopkins. Hopkins.

Said. Said. Said.

Developer. Development. Developer..


Did you use to run a porn shop? This reminds me of an old Rita Rudner routine about how you have to repeat everything three times before a man gets it. That's why signs at old-time porn shops tended to look like this:

Girls, Girls, Girls
Nude, Nude, Nude
X X X



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NYL_WNBA_FAN



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PostPosted: 09/11/21 1:58 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
Hopkins. Hopkins. Hopkins.

Said. Said. Said.

Developer. Development. Developer.

Where did the "developer" and "development" memes come from, anyway? I've been reading about them nonstop ever since Hopkins/Kolb appeared from virtually nowhere.

What player has Hopkins ever developed before the Liberty? During the Liberty? What achievement has he had at all as a basketball coach? And what has Kolb, a lawyer, ever generally managed?

Maybe Hopkins can be a decent coach he ever gets good enough players. Until then, I've been quite underwhelmed by his undeveloped offense and defense. Whatever, he should get another year. Maybe he'll develop.

Every season I start off very hard trying to sustain interest in the team from my hometown, but it never lasts longer than six weeks or so.

Depressive rant over.


He’s worked with Howard in the past. So that’s at least something. As an organization all the coaches and Kolb continuously talk about development, process and how their approach is longer term.

Since this is predominantly a team of late first and second round picks, it’s not surprising that if there’s development it would take longer. I’d say it’s more typical for those types who do develop to make their first significant strides in year 3 rather than year 1 or 2.

Who knows what will happen here. Maybe next season will be one of disappointment. But I wouldn’t make too many assertions just yet.

The offensive system isn’t super radical either. Other teams do similar stuff. Agler’s LA teams and the current Seattle Storm do similar things offensively. They just had/have better and more experienced players.



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Bob Lamm



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PostPosted: 09/11/21 9:19 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The box score for tonight's painful loss to Dallas reflects a serious problem that we've discussed before and that has to be one of the crucial offseason issues for Jonathan Kolb (if he still has has job for 2022).

For 2021, Kolb brought in three key players to join Sabrina Ionescu, all of whom can score. Tonight the quartet scored 65 points: 19 for Laney, 18 for Ionescu, 16 for Howard, 12 for Whitcomb. They shot 26-52 from the floor, but only 6-17 on threes (mainly due to Sabrina's 1-6).

Now we go to the rest. Together, Allen, Onyenwere, Richards, Jones, and Gray were on the court for more than 75 minutes. These five players scored 11 points, six by Onyenwere on 2-3 shooting. Allen started, played 34 minutes, and was 1-7 with three points.

One way or another, whether it's from players named above who return--and/or players arriving via free agency, trades, or the draft--the Liberty need more scorers. That's not the only problem, but it's a big one.



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root_thing



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PostPosted: 09/11/21 11:12 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Allen was useless on the offensive end, but she was the primary defender on Ogunbowale. Arike shot 5-21 for 13 points -- none in the second half. Holding the other team's explosive All-Star scorer to 23.8% shooting and zero points in the second half is a trade-off I think most coaches would take.

What's the matter, did a koala bite you when you were a child? Wink



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Stormeo



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PostPosted: 09/11/21 11:21 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
Maybe Hopkins can be a decent coach if he ever gets good enough players. Until then, I've been quite underwhelmed by his undeveloped offense and defense.


The other reason I was rooting for the Liberty to lose out & miss the playoffs, besides possibly getting the highest draft pick, is that I don’t want Kolb & Hopkins getting any ideas that the system they have in place – and by extension, the complexion of the rotations – is a realistic way of winning. I want them to see it fail so spectacularly that they can’t even convince themselves that they should stay the course; a 9-game losing streak in that way would go a long way here. It’s very much like last season & the 2-20 record. They dramatically shook up the roster & upgraded it in the free agency period that followed as a response to that awfulness, which is exactly what they needed to do. They made great moves, all things considered. Now they’ll need to dramatically shake up the system in the next free agency period – along with, to a not-too-lesser extent, the roster as well. If Hopkins doesn’t get let go, both he & Kolb need to agree to sort of soft-reset things. Like, playing two post players at the same time isn't asking for much. But this is a post player-dominated League. This small-ball strategy was always gonna be filled with question marks... and even with more or less everyone in the rotation healthy right now, there are ironically more negative answers to those questions than ever.



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Bob Lamm



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PostPosted: 09/11/21 11:53 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

root_thing wrote:
What's the matter, did a koala bite you when you were a child? Wink


Distressing that you are close to mouthing the words of your cult leader. But don't worry: we're sending deprogrammers and they should be breaking down your door in the next hour. Smile



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Last edited by Bob Lamm on 09/12/21 12:09 am; edited 1 time in total
Bob Lamm



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PostPosted: 09/11/21 11:59 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Stormeo wrote:
The other reason I was rooting for the Liberty to lose out & miss the playoffs, besides possibly getting the highest draft pick, is that I don’t want Kolb & Hopkins getting any ideas that the system they have in place – and by extension, the complexion of the rotations – is a realistic way of winning. I want them to see it fail so spectacularly that they can’t even convince themselves that they should stay the course; a 9-game losing streak in that way would go a long way here. It’s very much like last season & the 2-20 record. They dramatically shook up the roster & upgraded it in the free agency period that followed as a response to that awfulness, which is exactly what they needed to do. They made great moves, all things considered. Now they’ll need to dramatically shake up the system in the next free agency period – along with, to a not-too-lesser extent, the roster as well. If Hopkins doesn’t get let go, both he & Kolb need to agree to sort of soft-reset things. Like, playing two post players at the same time isn't asking for much. But this is a post player-dominated League. This small-ball strategy was always gonna be filled with question marks... and even with more or less everyone in the rotation healthy right now, there are ironically more negative answers to those questions than ever.


I agree.



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Stormeo



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 1:41 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

If nothing else, someone needs to point out to New York's front office (amongst other teams') that all the top-half teams of the League currently start someone listed at 6-6 or taller.



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Rock Hard



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: 09/12/21 8:26 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Stormeo wrote:
If nothing else, someone needs to point out to New York's front office (amongst other teams') that all the top-half teams of the League currently start someone listed at 6-6 or taller.

Small ball? How about medium ball? Not having any good tall players on your team does not have to be a detriment. If your team does not have tall players then at least three starters MUST BE great outside shooters. The other two players need to be great defensive players and great at getting rebounds. It is very difficult to assemble the type of team that I described above. So good luck New York!😃



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root_thing



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 10:10 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Rock Hard wrote:
Stormeo wrote:
If nothing else, someone needs to point out to New York's front office (amongst other teams') that all the top-half teams of the League currently start someone listed at 6-6 or taller.

Small ball? How about medium ball? Not having any good tall players on your team does not have to be a detriment. If your team does not have tall players then at least three starters MUST BE great outside shooters. The other two players need to be great defensive players and great at getting rebounds. It is very difficult to assemble the type of team that I described above. So good luck New York!😃


Medium-ball does sound like a more accurate description. New York's starting lineup ranges from 5-10 to 6-2, with the 6-2 players weighing under 170 lbs. Before the season started, Kolb and Hopkins kept emphasizing that they were building a defense-oriented team. I guess the theory is that medium-sized players won't be overwhelmed by either extreme height or speed differences after switches. However, it's not working out that way in real games. Opposing coaches are finding a way to exploit the mismatches anyway. The Liberty are too small to match-up against big post players and too slow to cover quick guards. It's interesting to note that the actual best defensive team in the league, the Connecticut Sun, are built exactly the opposite way. They are really tall on the front line, but small and quick in the backcourt.



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Last edited by root_thing on 09/12/21 10:14 am; edited 1 time in total
Queenie



Joined: 18 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 09/12/21 10:13 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Stormeo wrote:
If nothing else, someone needs to point out to New York's front office (amongst other teams') that all the top-half teams of the League currently start someone listed at 6-6 or taller.


I mean, we *do* have Han Xu under contract, maybe Hopkins and Kolb are counting her as our official Tall Person On The Roster.

God help me I'm actually going to try to get to Connecticut to see this team on the road.



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NYL_WNBA_FAN



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 7:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

root_thing wrote:
Rock Hard wrote:
Stormeo wrote:
If nothing else, someone needs to point out to New York's front office (amongst other teams') that all the top-half teams of the League currently start someone listed at 6-6 or taller.

Small ball? How about medium ball? Not having any good tall players on your team does not have to be a detriment. If your team does not have tall players then at least three starters MUST BE great outside shooters. The other two players need to be great defensive players and great at getting rebounds. It is very difficult to assemble the type of team that I described above. So good luck New York!😃


Medium-ball does sound like a more accurate description. New York's starting lineup ranges from 5-10 to 6-2, with the 6-2 players weighing under 170 lbs. Before the season started, Kolb and Hopkins kept emphasizing that they were building a defense-oriented team. I guess the theory is that medium-sized players won't be overwhelmed by either extreme height or speed differences after switches. However, it's not working out that way in real games. Opposing coaches are finding a way to exploit the mismatches anyway. The Liberty are too small to match-up against big post players and too slow to cover quick guards. It's interesting to note that the actual best defensive team in the league, the Connecticut Sun, are built exactly the opposite way. They are really tall on the front line, but small and quick in the backcourt.


Interestingly, the Liberty have finally gone to a defense switching every screen just in the last 3 games. My guess is it’s something they didn’t want to do with Shook playing heavy minutes but that it’s something they can do more freely with a healthy Natasha Howard. Here’s the defense rating numbers for each game and the totals:


Dallas 77/75.6 = 101.8
Seattle 85/77.4 = 109.8
Minnesota 74/82.6 = 89.6

Total 236/235.6 = 100.2

Minnesota was without Clarendon and Fowles so there’s a major asterisk there.
Yesterday they defended an undermanned Dallas team really well.
Against Seattle their numbers were terrible.

Now that they’re actually playing the scheme they wanted to probably play all along, I’m curious what will happen with a larger sample size. We won’t know that answer until next year. If Hopkins is still the coach. Given the caveat that the scheme will deviate slightly for the big teams too. You can’t switch against BG and Liz, for instance.

My greater concern personally is why the offense rating is so far below 100 even with Howard having returned. And why Sabrina has shot just .234 from 3 point range since the break even though she appears healthy and is getting open shots. Last night they had Sami too. Their offense was putrid for most of the night anyway. Especially in the fourth quarter when they were just walking the ball up the court. In the first half they had energy and got many great looks. The fourth quarter though…smh. It was horrendous.

They’re also moving into potential draft range where drafting either Howard or Austin is a realistic possibility. Austin would upgrade both sides of the ball. Howard would add another big scorer to a team that already has offensive upside on paper. She’s also an all-SEC defender. I wouldn’t mind Austin at all. I have a feeling the Liberty will be thinking similarly if they have the chance. They have enough 6’0” wing players. The data against these big teams (Vegas, Phoenix, Chicago, Connecticut) has been unfavorable defensively. Even in the games Howard has played, it hasn’t been too good defensively. They’re a data driven organization. Something has to give.



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NYL_WNBA_FAN



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 7:40 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

If they draft Rhyne Howard, would they just use her at the 4 spot? 🤷🏻‍♂️ I’d guess they would. It fits their prototype.



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myrtle



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 8:07 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

NYL_WNBA_FAN wrote:
If they draft Rhyne Howard, would they just use her at the 4 spot? 🤷🏻‍♂️ I’d guess they would. It fits their prototype.


If they sign a FA big like Dolson then they can play the other Howard at pf and Rhyne at SF. If they are absolutely determined to not have a real big on the roster, then expect another season like this one regardless of who they draft.


Richyyy



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 8:11 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Even if Kolb thinks he's secure, Hopkins has to think they need to do well next year to keep his job (assuming he still has it next year). Makes me think he at least might prefer that they throw money at Myisha Hines-Allen rather than rely on yet another rookie to be the upgrade. Depends how good they think said rookie would be though, of course.



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root_thing



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 8:31 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

New York is running a read and react offense which requires players who can shoot, handle, pass, and make good decisions. It's very hard to find a lot of players who have all those skills as well as vision and judgment. It's probably the most difficult type of offense to implement. This goes well with our equally difficult-to-implement unorthodox defense. Drafting players who have no history of shooting 3s to be pieces in an offense that relies on shooting 3s also fits the pattern. Hopkins is a guy with two fancy master's degrees. In the world of intellectuals and artists, you're expected to innovate. Merely winning in a conventional way is too derivative. Walt has to come up with something to revolutionize women's basketball. How else can he justify his reputation as a boy genius? He and Kolb aspire to be like Picasso and Braque inventing cubism.

We Liberty fans have seen the read and react offense before. That was Patty Coyle's offense. I can still remember Erin Thorn pounding the ball and waving her arms around as she directed traffic. Usually, with around 10 seconds left on the 24-second clock, she would relinquish the ball. Some unlucky teammate would have enough time to make one move, and if that didn't work, we were treated to a desperation heave.



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 8:41 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

root_thing wrote:
New York is running a read and react offense which requires players who can shoot, handle, pass, and make good decisions. It's very hard to find a lot of players who have all those skills as well as vision and judgment. It's probably the most difficult type of offense to implement. This goes well with our equally difficult-to-implement unorthodox defense. Drafting players who have no history of shooting 3s to be pieces in an offense that relies on shooting 3s also fits the pattern. Hopkins is a guy with two fancy master's degrees. In the world of intellectuals and artists, you're expected to innovate. Merely winning in a conventional way is too derivative. Walt has to come up with something to revolutionize women's basketball. How else can he justify his reputation as a boy genius? He and Kolb aspire to be like Picasso and Braque inventing cubism.

We Liberty fans have seen the read and react offense before. That was Patty Coyle's offense. I can still remember Erin Thorn pounding the ball and waving her arms around as she directed traffic. Usually, with around 10 seconds left on the 24-second clock, she would relinquish the ball. Some unlucky teammate would have enough time to make one move, and if that didn't work, we were treated to a desperation heave.

It's a rather aspirational system isn't it.
Sounds great in theory, but the reality is that you need some very good and very versatile players for it to work.



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 9:36 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

root_thing wrote:
Merely winning in a conventional way is too derivative. Walt has to come up with something to revolutionize women's basketball. How else can he justify his reputation as a boy genius? He and Kolb aspire to be like Picasso and Braque inventing cubism.


LOL. This is great.

So far, after two seasons, Walt hasn't had to worry about being criticized for "merely winning in a conventional way." Smile



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Shades



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 10:23 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I don’t know if it’s the case all the time, but I noticed once in the last game it was the male assistant writing up the play in the huddle. I’ve never liked that. These assistants should be the head coaches, which has happened. Ross in ATL. Collen in CON. Quinn in SEA. Those are the ones I’ve noticed. Wouldn’t be surprised if Tanisha Wright is doing it but I haven’t noticed yet.



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jmvcity



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 10:52 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Assistant coach Dustin Grey might be in charge of calling special plays.


Bob Lamm



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 11:21 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I noticed the same in a recent game: he was the one running the huddle at a key moment and explaining the play that would be used after the timeout.



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root_thing



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PostPosted: 09/12/21 11:57 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Hopkins said back when he was hired that he would have an offensive assistant, a defensive assistant, and a "pulse of the team" coach. Similar to football offensive and defensive coordinators, we've seen some basketball teams use the concept. For instance, Vic Schaefer used to be Gary Blair's defensive coach at Texas A&M. Gray apparently serves the offensive role for New York. From what I've seen at games, Hopkins still does most of the talking in huddles. They probably have special plays for certain situations, and at those times Gray takes over to explain them in detail. It doesn't mean Hopkins doesn't know the plays or that he hasn't preapproved them.



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PostPosted: 09/13/21 12:43 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

He knows all the plays, he’s just not sure which one is the best for certain situations or perhaps he’s not the best at conveying? That should be comforting.

I dunno… I’m having a hard time stomaching any of the newer coaches, but I’ll give a pass to Quinn for now. Trying to play without Stewart should be a real test for her.



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root_thing



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PostPosted: 09/13/21 2:08 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Shades wrote:
He knows all the plays, he’s just not sure which one is the best for certain situations or perhaps he’s not the best at conveying? That should be comforting.


I'm obviously not a huge Hopkins fan, but this is the wrong reason to attack him. In every sport, the head guy has assistants because you can only focus on so many things at the same time. Especially during a game, you're assessing and trying to make adjustments on the fly. It helps to split up the responsibilities. More brains are better than one. You see it in businesses and other nonsports organizations. Control freaks who try to do everything themselves are the ones who usually fail.



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