Lee Joo-yeon-Smith season out at the end of the first half, Shin I-seul-Jo Soo-ah moderate probability ↑
On the 8th, the Women’s Professional Basketball All-Star Game, which was held for the first time in three years since 2019, was held with a lot of cheers from fans. In the game, Pink Star defeated Blue Star 98-92, and after recording 20 points and 7 rebounds in Blue Star, Jin An (BNK Some), who changed to Pink Star, added 13 points and 13 rebounds, and was selected as the first All-Star MVP in his life. . Kang I-seul (KB Stars), who missed the MVP despite scoring 42 points between the two teams, soothed his disappointment by winning the 3-point shooting contest three times in a row.
Now the festivities are all over. Players who laughed and enjoyed the game after a long time putting down the burden of winning and losing in the All-Star Game will jump into fierce competition for ranking again through the second half, which will resume from the 14th. Woori Bank Woori Won, who finished the first half with an overwhelming record of 16 wins and 1 loss, including the ongoing 13 consecutive wins, will be able to break the WKBL record for winning percentage (.943), which they set in the 2016-2017 season, if they win all 13 games in the second half. can be replaced
On the other hand, Samsung Life Bloomings, who emerged as the main player of the storm this season by recording 2nd place with 11 wins and 6 losses in 17 games in the first half, has become more emergency ahead of the second half. This is because in the last game of the first half against Woori Bank on December 26 last year, the team’s starting guards Kiana Smith and Lee Joo-yeon were injured side by side and the season was out. Following Yoon Ye-bin, who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the women’s basketball World Cup finals in September last year, all three main guards left due to injuries.
The rebuilding that seemed to be complete with Smith joining
In the 2020-2021 season, Samsung Life Insurance ranked 4th in the regular league, but won the championship by defeating Woori Bank, which ranked first in the regular league in the playoffs, and KB Stars, which Ji-soo Park held out in the championship match. However, as soon as Samsung Life enjoyed the thrill of winning the championship after 15 years, it made a difficult decision for the future. It was decided to carry out a bold and aggressive rebuilding by using Kim Han-byeol (BNK), who was selected as the MVP of the championship match, as a trade card.
On May 17, 2021, Samsung Life Insurance sent Kim Han-byeol to BNK through a triangle trade with BNK and Hana 1Q, and obtained rookie king Kang Yoo-rim and three rookie nomination rights for the 2020-2021 season. And in the 2021 rookie draft, 183cm tall forward prospect Lee Hae-ran, who was called the biggest girl high school basketball player, was nominated. The average age of the Samsung Life Team has become significantly younger as veteran players Kim Han-byeol and Kim Bo-mi (retired) were removed and Kang Yoo-rim and Lee Hae-ran joined.
However, it was not easy to fill the gap between Kim Han-byeol, who was good both inside and outside, and Kim Bo-mi, who had a lot of experience in big matches, in a short period of time. Samsung Life Insurance, who recorded 11 wins and 19 losses in 30 games in the 2021-2022 season, failed to advance to the playoffs by staying in 5th place out of 6 clubs. Although the name started the season as the ‘defending champion’, Samsung Life Insurance suffered a humiliation that was not included in the top 4 out of 6 clubs in the next season.
However, Samsung Life obtained another young treasure through the rookie draft last September. It was Kiana Smith, a mixed-race player with a Korean mother who played for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA last summer, as the first overall pick. Although Yoon Ye-bin was out of the season due to a knee injury ten days later, Samsung Life’s power was greatly improved due to the joining of Smith, who had experience in the WNBA. And Samsung Life Insurance succeeded in raising the score with the changed skills after the season began.
Samsung Life recorded 11 wins and 6 losses in 17 games, ahead of BNK in 3rd place by half a game, and finished the first half of the year in 2nd place after Woori Bank. Young players such as Lee Ju-yeon, Kang Yu-rim, and Lee Hae-ran, centered on the team’s ace Bae Hye-yoon, have grown further, and the rookie Smith’s skills were also quite outstanding. Samsung Life’s rebuilding, which was said to take at least two or three seasons until the team became strong again, seemed to be completed in just one season thanks to the ace’s health and the growth of young players.
Guard line injury, great opportunity for backups
However, on December 26 last year, in the last game of the first half against Woori Bank, two tragic things happened in a row 메이저놀이터. With 3 minutes and 30 seconds left in the first quarter, Lee Ju-yeon suffered a broken left knee and was substituted out. In the third quarter, Smith also grabbed her left knee and collapsed on the court. Lee Ju-yeon received at least 9 months of rehabilitation due to a cruciate ligament rupture, and Smith received a finding that he would need rehabilitation for more than 6 months due to a patellar tendon rupture. In fact, both players were judged to be ‘out of the season’.
As a result, Samsung Life’s three main guards, including Yoon Ye-bin, who were judged to be difficult to play this season early before the season even started, were out due to injuries. From the perspective of Samsung Life Insurance, which has to play 13 more games in the second half, it is literally a super-emergency situation. If Samsung Life Insurance’s performance declines rapidly in the second half due to a line injury to the guard, not only BNK and Shinhan Bank’s Sbird, but also KB, which is aiming for a counterattack with Park Ji-soo’s return, can target Samsung Life.
Shin I-seul, who recorded 4.25 points and 3.38 assists in 16 games in the first half, is highly likely to fill the gap left by Smith and Lee Ju-yeon. Prospective guard Shin Dew Seul, born in 2000 and entering his 5th season in the professional league, is a player with a bold personality and excellent game management skills. However, his height is only 170cm, so he has a weakness that he is inevitably at a disadvantage in participating in rebounding.
Jo Soo-ah, a third-year guard born in 2003 who is two years senior and junior at Onyang Girls’ High School with Shin Iseul, should also use the injury of Samsung Life’s guards as an opportunity. Most of the players who established themselves as league-class guards at a young age, such as BNK’s Ahn Hye-ji and KB’s Heo Ye-eun, have grown into excellent guards by gaining opportunities through the sluggishness of their seniors, injuries, or transfers. As for Jo Soo-ah, there is less pressure on him to do well on the court, so he needs to show his play boldly.
The guard is not a position that simply carries the ball from the defensive court to the offensive court. The guard is a position that plays the role of a ‘field commander’ who leads the game by deciding between fast and slow attacks and which players to use in each position to score. Samsung Life, which has to spend the second half without Yun Ye-bin, Lee Ju-yeon, and Smith, is clearly in a big crisis. However, if the young guards use this as an opportunity to grow in the second half, Samsung Life’s rebuilding can be completed more successfully.