Many critics said Elena Delle Donne would have trouble with the speed and physicality of the WNBA...but 22 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocked shots later in her pro debut, it appears it took just one game to put those doubts to rest.
I know one game is not usually enough time to make a definitive judgment, but in this case, I think it is.
Watching Delle Donne's skill set against the Phoenix Mercury on Monday, it's evident that the way she plays the game is perfect for the WNBA. And it was apparent that she is at least as good a player as Brittney Griner, the two-time NCAA player of the year and first pick in the draft.
I had a few doubts about her speed in the WNBA but not her toughness. And while she isn't the quickest player on the floor, no one in the WNBA is that fast that it will cause her ongoing problems.
And as she said in the halftime interview she gave (and my wife astutely pointed out), the physicality of the game is less than at the college level, because she was routinely double and tripled-teamed (and mugged) in college because no one could play her straight up. It may be that she starts to see double-teams in the NBA, but they'll eventually be able to better play her defensively without resorting to obvious fouling that was done in college.
So I think she has the necessary tools for the WNBA...in abundance. Now can we just get the announcers to pronounce her name right? One college announcer always botched it...and in yesterday's ESPN telecast, the play-by-play guy kept calling her Delle DONNE, even though analyst Rebecca Lobo got it right (as did Sue Bird in the studio). It's really not that tough. ESPN should never have an announcer on who can't pronounce the star's name. End of rant.
Yes indeed, Elena Delle Donne had a fantastic debut in the pros. I'm sure we'll be reading more about her in the future. Shame that WDEL's sports schedule is pretty well loaded up, would be great to hear her games.
Joe Flacko's whose career is easier to follow as he's with Balt. Ravens and those games are heard locally on radio and sometimes on TV. So we'll just have to rely on you, Big Don and WDEL, keep us all up to date on Ms. Delle Donne's career in the WNBA.
Tue, May 28, 2013 12:29pm
I was not worried about her speed. But I was worried about her toughness. Then I remembered a line from a Lethal Weapon movie. Danny Glover asks a female detective how she learned to fight so well. Her answer? "I went to Catholic school!"
That says it all.
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