Sami Whitcomb should be starting over Alysha Clark in Seattle
It is a big call to start a rookie over a six year veteran but at the moment Sami Whitcomb is playing a better brand of basketball than Alysha Clark.
Clark has been a solid contributor for the Seattle Storm. She has hit close to 50 percent of her shots in her career, including 34.5 percent from three.
This season, however, she is not hitting the numbers required to keep her on the floor in front of Whitcomb. Her field goal percentage is still a tick under 50 percent (46-of-95). However, her three point shooting has suffered this year, she is shooting at a shade under 26 percent (9-of-34) from deep.
Given Crystal Langhorne, Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd benefit greatly from floor spacing, this number is not high enough. The argument can be made that her other work should be enough to keep her on the floor but her numbers are not getting it done.
In 28.2 minutes, Clark is averaging 8.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.7 steals in a game. When you compare these to Whitcomb’s numbers you will understand what I mean.
Whitcomb is playing 11.6 minutes per game. In this time she is averaging 5.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.2 assists and 0.8 steals. In less than half the Playing time, Whitcomb is averaging some impressive numbers.
However, it is Whitcomb’s percentages which merit reading. She is going at a respectable 44 percent (23-of-52) from the field and 38 percent (18-of-47) from deep. These numbers are quite impressive considering she has taken all but five of her shots from three at the time of writing. Whitcomb has hit every two point field goal attempt she has taken this season.
Add to this, Whitcomb is also shooting 88 percent (7-of-8) from the line, compared to Clark’s 75 percent (18-of-24) and Whitcomb is by far the more efficient scorer.
Clark is a more than competent defender but Whitcomb has such hustle she is not a liability on the defensive end.
However, it is not just stats which lead me to this opinion. Whitcomb just seems to want it more at the moment. Her shooting is clutch, the 22 points against the New York Liberty in her third WNBA game is testament to this. Also, she did not miss against the Connecticut Sun as Seattle were mounting a comeback down the stretch.
Lastly, her hustle cannot be taught. She tipped the ball out of Jonquel Jones’ hands to anther Storm player which led to a bucket. Let’s not forget that Whitcomb is 5-foot-10 compared to Jones who is 6-foot-6.
It is no secret I am a massive fan of Whitcomb, her story and game are amazing. Seattle need to use the gifts Whitcomb brings to the table from the start of a game.