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Sunday, August 3, 2014


- Despite All-Star success...Schimmel still sits

Shoni Schimmel followed up her WNBA All-Star Game record 29 points scored July 19 by matching her career high July 22 against the Minnesota Lynx with 17.

Since then, though, the former University of Louisville star has returned to her role with the Atlanta Dream — as an option off the bench who can score and distribute, but who needs a high volume of shots to do it.

Schimmel has scored a total of seven points in her last four games. She has committed as many turnovers (eight) as assists. And unlike with the aggressive, "rez ball" style Schimmel U of L fans got to know over four years, she hasn't made it to the free-throw line since the break. caught up with Schimmel after the All-Star Break, curious as to why the college star wasn't getting consistent playing time. As writer Mirin Fader points out, sometimes Schimmel plays 25 minutes and others not even 10.

"At first I tried not to worry about it," Schimmel said. "Just to sit there and go out there and play basketball and have fun, and then it just kind of kept going and I just didn't really know how to handle it. It's really frustrating, but at the same time, you know, if we're winning, I can't sit there and be mad about not starting or not playing much because you know, hey, at least we're winning

That's hard to argue against. The Dream are 4 ½ games ahead of the Indiana Fever, at 17-9 overall,
atop the WNBA's Eastern Conference.

So what's keeping Schimmel off the court? Coach Karleen Thompson, filling in for Dream head coach Michael Cooper while he's on medical leave, said it's defense.

Ball handlers too easily do to Schimmel what she does to them — cross over, get by and score in a one-on-one situation. Schimmel is plenty eager to fix that.

"She's sitting right beside me all the time so I can see that," Thompson told "She's always ready, she's watching the game, she's a student of the game, she knows what's needed when she gets in there. She's just always ready."

(this article previously appeared in the Courier-Journal)

1 comment:

  1. Not surprising, really. Shoni will never be a great defender...I just hope she can become an adequate one. She excelled at the All Star game because no defense was being played (until the last two minutes). I know a number of (supposedly) knowledgeable basketball fans who routinely trot out the "no defense in the NBA" line. My response is that these are the best male and female basketball players in the world. If no defense was played, every game would be 150-148.


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