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Last year


Spirit V Lightning - Three Things I Learned

Spirit eventually got the job done in OT.

1. Lightning will have a lot of "honourable" losses. Defence was great and every player worked their tail off. If, however, the offensive output is gong to be left to Hodges and the two imports Logic and Planeta, then they will struggle to turn that effort into too many W's. Those three contributed 73% of Lightning's total and that is too much to sustain. Lightning were only down by 5 when Logic fouled out and they really weren't going to be a threat after that. Eventually depth of class told and OT was rather a one way street. Foul trouble and/or injury to just one of those three and Lightning are cooked.

2. Spirit's offensive issues won't be with the spread of threat but range of threat. Their top 3 contributed just 54% and they got significant output from 3 others as well. They did show a little reluctance to fire from downtown and although they were fairly efficient (6/14) that meant the Lightning players weren't under much pressure to close out and a consequence the opportunities to drive were rare for Spirit. The offence looked a little one dimensional until OT. I don't think they need to jack up threes willy nilly but a 25 to 30% lift would have the defence stretched a bit more. Their increased depth means they could also afford to be a little more aggressive on the boards and get some second chances off missed shots.

3. Heather Oliver is hidden gem. Her hustle has always been great but Pritchard's pre game assertion that she was shooting the lights out were on the mark. Just when it looked like a Spirit offence had come to nought there was a blonde flash from the wing resulting in a put back or the ball knocked out to the top of the key for a restart. Down the other end was a similar story, just when Lightning thought they had unlocked the D, there was a blonde flash from the wing and a blocked or changed shot jacked up. Olly registered 3 of the 5 steals and 3 of the 6 blocked shots for Spirit and knocked down 15 points (5/8 2pt, 1/2 3pt and 2/2 ft). She not only has great foot speed but her anticipation is top notch too. Molloy was in the house to scout Lightning but would have been recording a few notes on Olly.

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Orange Crush
Last year
05:51 9 Oct 16

Reply #601203

re: Spirit V Lightning - Three Things I Learned

where do you see the teams finishing ?
What was decisive in the first quarter (good start by Lightning) and overtime (box score looks all spirit) ?

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Last year
08:45 9 Oct 16

Reply #601205

re: Spirit V Lightning - Three Things I Learned

I would want to wait to see a few more matches before making finishing predictions but doubt Lightning will make playoffs and think Spirit can. Spirit have much more depth than last year and that will be important. As far as what was decisive it was Lightning's effort on D in both cases. In the first quarter they disrupted Spirit but by the time OT came around the effort told and Lightning committed too many turnovers as they looked tired.

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Last year
10:59 9 Oct 16

Reply #601208

re: Spirit V Lightning - Three Things I Learned

I've always like Oliver. I'm a sucker for a pure shooter and she's one of the best going around.

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Last year
17:58 9 Oct 16

Reply #601292

re: Spirit V Lightning - Three Things I Learned

I'd say seeing the game and reading the reports, the Spirit have switched to a completely new offensive system (Triangle/motion) which they're all learning.

Ekunwe is the real deal, a Griffin clone almost, or at least the closest I've seen in the WNBL.

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