Monday, May 28, 2012


Never forget.

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases (American Cemetery, Normandy)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not Too Early and Not Too Late

The WNBA season isn’t even a week old, so it may be too early to be making predictions, but it’s definitely not too early to get excited about an upcoming game.

Thanks to Live Access (no longer free, but still a bargain at $4.99 for the season), the BCs have already gotten to see a couple of impressive teams and a quite a few very talented players. So we’re really looking forward to tomorrow’s (Thursday) match-up between the Minnesota Lynx and the visiting LA Sparks. This will be must-see (web) TV in our house . . . and not just because it’s the only WNBA game scheduled.

Two undefeated teams (both 2-0), plenty of high-profile players (including several of the BCs’ favorites) . . . and an early start time! That’s an added bonus: the game tips off at 8 PM EDT! The problem with so many of these Western Conference games is that, if you’re on the East coast, they just start too late! 10 PM tip-offs are OK on Friday and Saturday nights, but on weekdays, they’re tough. At least they are for us.

But tomorrow’s game is one we’d probably lose sleep for, even if it didn’t have an early start. On one end will be the team the BCs hope will win, LA. On the other -- the team the BCs think will win, Minnesota.

With Alana Beard and Marissa Coleman joining Kristi Toliver on the Sparks’ roster this season, it should be pretty obvious why the BCs are now paying more attention to LA. Plus, when you add Candace Parker, DeLisha Milton-Jones, and Nneka Ogwumike (among others) to the mix, this LA team has all the makings of being a fun team to watch.

Two games into the new WNBA season and the Sparks haven’t disappointed. They stunned host Seattle last Friday night by storming back from a 21-point second-half deficit to win, 72-66. LA’s comeback was sparked by (you guessed it) Kristi Toliver, who scored 10 of her game-high 25 points in the final quarter. Then last night, in their home opener, LA proved that the comeback win was no fluke. The Sparks beat the Storm again, 74-61, this time leading from the first quarter to the final buzzer.

Three Sparks led the way in that win: the amazing Candace Parker (21 points, 10 boards, and 6 blocks), the always exciting Kristi Toliver (18 points; 4 of 5 from beyond the arc) and . . . Alana Beard (13 points and 7 boards)! Alana’s back . . . certainly not all the way, not yet. But in two games, she’s already traveled a long way from Washington and a long way from her two seasons sitting injured on the Mystics’ bench. Double figures last night! 35 minutes of playing time! Isn’t that great!

While we may really like that LA roster, we can’t honestly pick the Sparks as the favorite in tomorrow’s contest. LA’s opponent, the Lynx, are the defending WNBA champions, and have raced out of the gate this season, already looking like a team that could, indeed, repeat (something that hasn’t happened in the league since 2002). Minnesota is simply loaded with talent -- Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, Becky Brunson, Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Candice Wiggins, Monica Wright (among others). Some line-up, huh? No wonder they started the season by dropping 105 points on Phoenix (sorry, Nakia) on their way to a 22-point win. And Minny followed up that performance by dominating the Liberty last night, 80-62, on the road at the Pru Center. The Lynx will be tough to beat, in every game, all season long.

Can the Sparks pull off the upset? Maybe. The only thing we know for sure is that tomorrow’s game will be won by a good team, with plenty of exciting players. We also know we’ll be watching. And though the BCs would like LA to win, we’re not invested in the outcome the way we used to be invested in the Mystics. Truthfully, it’s kind of liberating to have exited that emotional roller-coaster, and to just be able to enjoy good players, good teams, and good WNBA basketball again. And that’s what we hope to see tomorrow night.

Monday, May 14, 2012


If you’ve been wondering whether the BCs have been away, the answer is “yes!” Since we last posted, we’ve crossed the Atlantic Ocean by ship, driven around the rim of a dormant volcano in the Azores, visited one of the oldest cathedrals in Spain (Santiago de Compostela), stood on the hallowed ground of one of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War (Omaha Beach in Normandy), and walked around the prehistoric stone circle of Stonehenge – among other things.

That’s why we missed blogging about the Terps’ Annual Banquet and the Rebounders’ Mini-Golf Fundraiser. We were traveling.

But if you’re wondering whether that’s why we haven’t blogged about the Mystics this pre-season, no, it’s not about travel . . . it’s about choice.

Friday marked the sixth anniversary of the DCBasketCases blog. In those six years, we’ve written hundreds of posts, provided well over a thousand links, and shared numerous photos as well as anything else we thought our readers – primarily Mystics and Terps fans -- might enjoy. Those six years of blogging have been a lot (a lot!) of work. But mostly, our blogging’s been a labor of love. And that’s what made it worth doing.

We still feel that way about the Terps. Love the team. Love the program. Love blogging about them. But we no longer feel that way about the Mystics.

That franchise stopped being fun for us in October 2010. (No need to revisit that time. You know.) After that, our feelings about the Mystics franchise changed. We tried blogging about the team last summer. Readers undoubtedly could sense that we weren’t writing about the team with the same excitement, enthusiasm or humor that we had before. Frankly, it was all labor, no love.

No more. This season we won’t be Mystics bloggers. We now think of ourselves as fan-bloggers of the Terps and of women’s basketball. But the Mystics are no longer part of our blogger identity.

Sixteen summers after the WNBA was launched, we feel like we’ve come full circle. In 1997, there was no Washington Mystics, just a new professional basketball league for women. There was no blogging back then. But we followed the league, pulled for our favorite players, and simply loved that the WNBA had arrived, providing an opportunity for its talented athletes to perform in the USA in front of fans like us.

We still feel that way. We want the WNBA to survive and thrive. We look forward to seeing Crystal Langhorne have another All-Star season. We’re happy that Alana Beard will finally be playing ball again. We’re thrilled that Kristi and Marissa will again be wearing the same uniform, albeit the yellow and purple of the Sparks, not Maryland red. There’s a lot that should be fun or interesting (or fun and interesting) about this WNBA season. And we’re excited; just not about the Mystics.

So we may decide to blog about one of those fun or interesting things from time to time . . . and, of course, we’ll try to keep our readers up to date about any Terps news. But we won’t be blogging regularly about the Mystics. That’s a thing of the past.

We doubt that many of our readers will be surprised by our decision. You probably saw it coming. But we do appreciate that some readers may be disappointed that ours will no longer be a Mystics-specific blog. However, the blogosphere is big, wide, open to all . . . and free! So, if you care enough, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to blog about the Mystics. The BCs would be happy to pass the torch.

To those who now will no longer be regular visitors to the BasketCases blog, thanks for reading us. And, don’t forget, you’re always welcome to drop in at any time.

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases