If you were expecting a WNBA All-Star Game that was a glorified pick up game with no defense, think again.
The 2021 WNBA All-Star Game was a tough and physical match that paired up the USA Basketball women’s national team against a team of WNBA All-Stars who were either not selected for Team USA or had other FIBA nationalities.
So, I wasn’t terribly surprised to see that Team USA lost, on Wednesday night, 93-85.
Unlike the men’s basketball team, most of the women’s players play overseas, whether in Europe or Australia so they are familiar with the more finesse and perimeter oriented nature of the FIBA Game. But like the men’s team, the American women will have to get their act together quickly even though European teams are practicing regularly just to get their 40 minutes of fame against the USA.
While I don’t think the warning signs are as blatant with the women’s team as I think they are with the men, who will miss Bradley Beal for the foreseeable future due to presumed coronavirus protocols, losing any game is a bad look.
So … how did this game itself go?
Tina Charles and Ariel Atkins came off the bench in this game with Atkins playing less than two minutes in the first half. There wasn’t much to write home about with them but this was one highlight we got to see by the WNBA’s leading scorer.
Team USA was able to hold the WNBA All-Stars to 40.9 percent shooting in the half, but they committed six turnovers. They ultimately committed 15 overall which was not helpful in their hopes to turn things around.
The players who were “USA Killers,” Ariel Ogunbowale scored 26 points, including 12 in the first half. For the Americans, Brittney Griner led with 17 points and Breanna Stewart added 15 more.
Charles scored 5 points for Team USA and Atkins scored 6 points, getting 14 minutes of playing time overall, including the second half of play.
The USA Basketball women’s national team will continue play on Friday when they play Australia.