score: Storm 72 Monarchs 74 OT (L) (0-1)
Watch | It was good. Not memorable, but not
Psyche | Sit down! Don't you know you're at
a sporting event? How could you be so rude as to stand up?
Highlight | LJ's MVP-like performance, Sue's
All Guts first team performance, Janell rocking Guppy out
of her shoes.
| Maiga pulled one on that "flagrant"
foul charged to Adia, but otherwise the Monarchs stayed on
their feet. The Storm guards did the flopping to excellent
Keyword of the Game | Unprintable! (and I
waited until we were out of any kids' hearing range before
I let it out as loud as I could)
Photos | Game Photos (Scott
a lot to cover, but after having a day to let things rattle
around and after watching the last part of the game on NBAtv
replay today, there are a couple primary things that stick
directly after the game I made the comment that I didn't think
the refs did that bad a job. I gave them a general pass on
the game. Yes, there were bad calls, but they went both ways
- after all the Storm had Sac in the penalty fairly early
in both halves. I also said that I didn't think the refs had
an overt impact on the game.
three horrible calls late in the game when things were knotted
up that definitely had an impact on the end of regulation
score. The first was the incredible chain of events that started
with Pocahontas throwing Sue to the floor, followed by Yo
knocking Janell down going after a loose ball (AP
photo shows what would seem to be a foul) and then climbing
over Janell with the last piece being Pocahontas once again
knocking Sue around and holding her to get at the loose ball
- only to have Sue end up getting the foul called on here.
There were at least 3 opportunities for the refs to correctly
call a foul against Sacramento and all of them went uncalled.
The foul on Sue was clearly on Tangela - it was clear to us
live at the game and it was clear on the broadcast. The Storm
had the Monarchs in the penalty at that point and that should
have counted as 2 points for us. Instead, it was 2 points
other highly questionable call came after Smith missed 2 free
throws and Janell was called for a foul while she and Yo were
going for rebound off the second miss. Again, both from the
live view and seeing it on the broadcast, there was no way
that the foul should have been called on Janell. If anything
there should have been no call since the two players were
merely fighting for position. If a foul had to be called,
it should have gone against Yo for coming over the back. She
started on Janell's left side, came around Janell's back and
then tried to push Janell out of position from the right.
Through it all, Janell was holding her position and boxing
out. Janell did not foul. Instead, because Seattle was in
the penalty, Yo got 2 free throws and hit them both. This
was with about 3:30 left and allowed the Monarchs to once
again close to within 2 of Seattle.
last bad call was at the end of regulation when Sacramento
stole the ball from Lauren and called a timeout with about
20 seconds left. They were allowed to advance the ball to
midcourt coming out of the timeout. This was a mistake. Yo
dribbled the ball after gaining control of it before the timeout
was called. The Monarchs should have had to put the ball in
under the basket on that end. A few seconds spent on getting
the ball up the court may have made a difference.
my opinion, these bad calls did have an impact on the end
is also my opinion that Seattle let the game slip away in
the last 10 minutes or so and allowed these bad calls to have
an impact. If the Storm had been able to maintain their offensive
execution — not necessarily shooting 60% for the whole
game — but crisp passes, cutting to the basket, solid
screens that were forcing the Monarchs' guards to lose the
Storm guard, keeping their vision up to see the open player,
all the little things the Storm was doing in the first half
so effectively. When the Monarchs started to catch up, the
Storm started to tighten up more and more. Their offensive
sets seemed to loose focus which gave the Monarchs more confidence
with their defense. I'm biased, but I don't think the Monarchs'
defense was all that tough compared to other teams the Storm
have played. The Storm sagged and allowed the Monarchs' slapping
style have an effect.
is one of the reasons why I'm not too worried about the Storm's
chances to win game 2 or game 3. Yes, the Monarchs picked
up a little momentum, but I don't think the Storm will allow
themselves to breakdown again like the did in the second half
of game 1. The Storm are the better team and they will prevail.
other thing that stuck out from this game was Sue Bird. Of
all the big time performances we saw from the Storm players,
and maybe one of the Monarchs (okay, Pocahontas had a good
game, there are you happy? That's all you're getting from
me), Sue Bird came out and put her stamp on the definition
of what it means to be tough. It can all be summed up with
two words: What mask? She wasn't hesitating to drive to the
basket. She wasn't resuscitating to fight for loose balls.
She wasn't backing off from Monarchs' screens. She took everything
the Monarchs' guards gave her and went right back at them
with it. I do give the Monarchs credit for resisting the urge
to give Sue a little love tap on the mask to give her a reason
to pause. They played clean in that regard and they deserve
our thanks. LA would have had Sue on the floor in the first
five minutes. The only real hit that Sue took was from LJ
during a rebound. LJ caught Sue on the right temple/forehead.
Sue shook her head and adjusted the mask and gave LJ a "watch
the head" look. LJ gave her the "what are you doing
in here fighting me for a rebound look" that she usually
gives Betty. Later, Sue pulled herself out of the game because
her nose started to bleed. I don't think she got popped, I
think it might have just been due to exertion. She came out,
had the trainer stuff her nose with gauze, and went right
back in. Ladies and gentlemen, we saw one of the gutsiest
performances we may ever see. LJ said it best when she said,
"Sue is one tough little cookie."
were plenty of solid performances from the Storm and some
great individual plays. The ones that leap to mind include
the monster block Janell laid down on Kara "Guppy"
Lawson that knocked Guppy out of her shoes, literally. Tully
and Sue both got offensive fouls called against Ticha. Were
they flops? Perhaps, but Ticha was also out of control and
bowling her way to the basket (like she normally does). Betty
time and time again feinting a shoulder-dropping drive to
the basket (and getting the defender backpedalling) only to
stop and pop a super clean jumper. Kamila and Janell working
together to make Yo a near non-factor. Sheri working her tail
off against the taller Monarchs' forwards. The unfortunate
thing was that much of this happened in the first 25-30 minutes
of the game. The Storm just need to keep it up a little longer.
had one of those "Lisa who?" performances that I
think caught the Monarchs off guard. She was simply spectacular.
The press keep talking about how Yo came out of the Olympics
looking to prove something because of all the attention that
The Diva got and didn't deserve. Last night, I got the feeling
that LJ was trying to prove something too. A little more help
in a couple of spots from her supporting cast and she would
have lead the Storm to another road playoff win. Now, she'll
have to do the same at home, only this time we'll be there
to really propel the team through to the finish. I don't want
to guarantee anything except that the Storm and the fans are
going to be Bringing It like never before.
pregame tailgate BBQ was an instant hit and may need to become
a new Storm fan institution. Karen Bryant's family and friends
supplied the RV, BBQ, food and beverages. The many Storm staff
on hand provided t-shirts for anyone not already sporting
Storm colors. A couple Monarchs' staffers came by to meet
up with their Storm counterparts. A healthy contingent of
the Sacramento Sheriff's Office was there to keep us safe.
Thanks to KB and her family for getting everyone in the right
frame of mind for a tough game. Further thanks to them for
coming into Arco and bolstering our efforts to cheer on the
Storm staffers who came on the trip were a kick to watch as
they were finally able to be fans at a game. They were as
wild as any of us and got more screen time, I think. The staffers
also did their own version of the Storm's huddle that the
players do right after the introductions. I think they might
have gotten admonished from an usher for that too.
I have in the past, I feel the need to once again point out
that Arco Arena is an awful place with crappy lighting, wood
floors and small, outdoor-style plastic seats. Bleck.
always when we go into hostile territory, we encounter some
good and some bad and it's always up to us whether we let
the bad get to us and end up outweighing the good. Tonight,
the bad was really making an effort to win the battle.
didn't start until well into the first half until I stood
up to deliver the first "Brick!" of the game during
Maiga's free throws for Adia's "flagrant" foul.
I stood up and did the first one - she missed. I got the usual
dirty and surprised looks from the surrounding crowd. That's
too be expected and welcomed. I also got the women behind
me bitching at me to sit down. I said no and told them that
I was going to stand for every free throw on this end of the
court. They promptly started trying to get me thrown out of
the game. During the second set of free throws, I stood up
for the first one. One of the women asked me to compromise
and step aside into the aisle, which I did. They other one
started gesturing to the jack booted thugs, excuse me I mean
ushers, to come up. He did and started to tell me that there
is no standing allowed during the game and if I didn't sit
down he would throw me out. Of course I argued - not standing
at a sporting event is stupid in the extreme. The only thing
that really kept me from getting tossed is that the Monarchs
shot so few free throws in the first half. The Storm staff
on hand took notice and tried to intervene, but the jack booted
thugs, I mean ushers, wouldn't relent. It didn't end there,
of course. During half time, I stood up and was talking with
other fans as most people do. Another jack booted thug came
up and told me to sit down. I couldn't believe it. Their rule
is that any time there is any "entertainment" on
the court, there is not standing - even if it is dogs running
up and down the court. In-freaking-sane. And the best part
came at the beginning of the second half. Guess what, the
Monarchs' fans stand until their team scores a basket. That
was okay, until we continued to stand waiting for the Storm
to score their first basket. No, I got another visit from
the purple shirted devil who told me there is not standing
during the game, ignoring what the Monarchs' fans just did.
He told me, "We have rules here." I replied, "Yeah,
stupid ones." Of course, now that the Storm were shooting
free throws on our end of the court, Monarchs' fans were standing
and making noise during the shot like fans at any arena. That
too was okay apparently because none of them were threatened
with ejection - even the ones standing right next to the ushers.
I tell you, I'm a magnet for this kind of crap - but then
if I wasn't actively getting their team to miss free throws
I doubt they would have cared.
wasn't the only one getting crap from Monarchs' fans. Lilpost
had a woman two rows in front of her turn and tell her to
stop yelling so loud and in her ear. That's right - there
is no yelling at a basketball game. Shed and NewSocks got
bopped with thunderstix by a woman trying to get them to sit
down and to shut up. Several other Storm fans were also visited
by ushers during the game. I can't figure out what these people
- the dumbass Monarchs' fans who were giving us crap - were
doing at a sporting event. They obviously don't know the first
thing about being a fan. Actually, what was really going on
was that they didn't like seeing opposing fans in their arena.
So few people actually travel with their teams to away games
(on the west coast anyway) in the WNBA that home fans don't
know how to act when road fans show up. It's like our presence
offended them. Any time I see fans from other cities at the
Key, I always go up and thank them for coming - win or lose.
I have never treated a visitor rudely or with disrespect,
but that is what I get every time I've gone to Arco. Furthermore,
the bad/good ratio at Arco is always about even while at every
other arena it's been much higher on the good than bad. I
won't generalize to say ALL Monarchs' fans are jerks and need
to learn how to be fans. I will generalize to say about half
of them need a major attitude adjustment, to seriously think
about staying home and leave the sports events to the people
who know how to act.
said, there were several good and a couple great Monarchs'
fans who did know how to act. The two that stand out were
a security guard who started flipping us good natured barbs
the second we stepped into the Will Call area and a woman
who came down and sat with the Storm staff and bantered back
and forth with us the whole game. She was a lot of fun and
tried to convince us before the game that the flop was a thing
of beauty. There were also couple of older ladies sitting
in front of the Storm staff and right across from Angie and
I on the aisle who kept telling us to keep it up, that it
was fun to have us there. A Monarchs' fan came up to me after
the game and told me that most of them hate their ushers too
and to not let them get to me. Another fan, who I was trading
online barbs with last week, came up and made peace. I tried
to explain that I was just trash talking and didn't mean anything,
she tried to explain that it meant something to them. This
is what it really is all about — meeting new people,
having a good time win or lose, talking a little smack and
getting a little smack right back at you — being fans.
For those who "get it," I hope to see you at the
Key. For those who don't, go watch golf or maybe ice skating
where your lack of sense and energy will be welcomed.
of that, although my Sacramento bashing is not quite done.
the game, we eventually decided to get some food (and maybe
a couple stiff drinks). There were 4 restaurants right next
to our hotel which all closed at 10 or 10:30. Even the McDonalds
closed at 10:30. We got roundabout directions from the hotel
desk clerk (man, talk about some surly people) and headed
out into suburbia. Nothing was open, even the normal restaurants
and bars — all closing at 11 or 11:30. By this time
we were getting a little irritated, but our resolve only grew
and we vowed to find life somewhere. We did, at one of the
few places open in Sacramento past 10:30 on a Friday night
— TGIFriday's. Ugh, and there was a 30 minute wait because
it was one of the few open spots. I commented to Seattlegaucho
and Samfan that we needed to make a documentary called "Searching
for life unsuccessfully in Sacramento."