Update: Plenette Pierson announced via Twitter on Monday, June 14 that she signed with the New York Liberty. (Whatever stumbling blocks were in the way of the previous offer of a New York trade have apparently been cleared.)
After Tulsa’s loss last night 116-84 to Phoenix in a record-setting Mercury effort, Shock coach Nolan Richardson talked about his opinion that his team does not have a star.
When you look at our basketball team, we have less than an expansion ball club. We have players that were second team; we don’t have a star on our basketball team. The all-stars didn’t come back. It’s more to me like piecing things together to try to make sure that eventually we get a pretty good mix of players. There is no question that just because who I am, they walk in and say we got this, this, this, and this: these players and we’re ready to go. That isn’t going to happen. We’re going to have some peaks and we’re going to have some valleys. Right now we have some bigger valleys. As I told the people when I took the job, it’s going to take time to get the players to understand this basketball and play the kind of game we want.
Three members of the former Detroit Shock remain with Tulsa: Plenette Pierson, Kara Braxton and Alexis Hornbuckle. All three were members of the 2008 championship team. Pierson and center Kara Braxton played on Detroit’s 2006 championship team.
Pierson won the WNBA’s first Sixth Woman of the Year award in 2007. During training camp and at the beginning of the season, it appeared as if the seven-year veteran was taking a leadership role with team. However, she did not play in the game against Phoenix. And, in several previous games, she did not start. She is averaging 12.1 points and 2.50 rebounds per game.
In Phoenix, Richardson indicated post-game that her time on the Shock may be limited. Tulsa offered Pierson a trade to New York over a week ago but she turned the offer down.
In last night’s game the Mercury went into halftime with a 59-46 lead setting a new franchise record for points scored in the first half. The previous record was 58 set on two separate occasions including on May 25 at Tulsa.
Other game notes:
- Phoenix’s Candice Dupree set a new franchise record for field goal percentage by making all nine attempts for a total of 18 points. The previous record was set by Kamila Vodichkova in 2005 (10-of-11, .909).
- The Mercury shot a season-high 53.1% (43-of-81) from the field and held the Shock to just 42.7% (32-of-75).
- All 11 players on the Mercury roster scored at least one field goal in the game and six players reached double figures for the first time this season: (Taurasi, 18; Dupree, 18; Taylor, 14; Lilley, 14; Johnson, 11; Ohlde, 11).