score: Storm 74 Sun 60 (W) (2-1)
Finals Game 3
17,072! 2nd straight sell-out. First ever sold out Finals
Watch | The director from the Total Experience
Gospel Choir doing her thing.
Psyche | Betty! Betty! Betty! — at 116
Highlight | Nothing can top Val Ackerman handing
the trophy over to Coach Donovan and the team. That's just
about as high a highlight as you can get.
| The tumbler guys returned.
| Eh, who cares? The Storm are the 2004 Champions!
Keyword of the Game | Defense.
Photos | Game Photos (Scott
can be said but the Storm are the 2004 WNBA Champions? Or
that Betty Lennox was awarded the Finals MVP? Nothing else
seems to matter once you get past those two facts.
course, I can't just leave it at that, so here goes:
didn't really ever follow the Sun when they moved to Connecticut
and left Orlando. I didn't really pay much attention to the
eastern conference this season because it seemed such a mess.
Coming from a state of basic ignorance about what kind a team
the Sun was I have to say that they certainly earned a lot
of respect and admiration from Seattle fans through this series.
If the Storm had lost, I'm sure you would have heard some
sour grapes (and I haven't yet read any other forums to know
how the Sun fans are responding), but you would have also
heard a grudging respect towards the Sun because they simply
would not quit. Hats off to the Connecticut Sun — they
played tough and between them and the Storm made this one
of the best Finals series in a long time.
cliche that has been tossed around the last few days is that
basketball is a game of runs. That may be true, but a series
is won and lost on the adjustments each coach makes game to
game. In many areas, the Sun "figured out" the Storm
and were able to stymie LJ and keep her well below her scoring
average. Well, the Storm made some adjustments too. From Game
1 to Game 2, they figured out how to shut down the Sun posts.
From Game 2 to Game 3, they figured out how to shut down the
Sun guards. The only Sun player the Storm never really contained
was Nykesha Sales. Sales almost won the Finals on her own
in Game 2. Tonight, she wasn't enough and the rest of the
Sun fell under the Storm's defensive onslaught.
was the key tonight. When the Storm were aggressive on defense,
they were aggressive on offense. When the defense sagged,
their shots stopped going in. The Storm stalled in the first
half and allowed the Sun to catch up. The Storm denied everything
in the second half and pulled away to the eventual win.
to talk too much smack about the Sun because I was serious
about what I said above, but I think it's accurate to say
that a couple of their key players choked tonight. Katie Douglas
with an 0-11. Lindsay Whalen who had a 1-7 or so going until
she got some garbage baskets in the waning minutes. Wendy
Palmer 0-2. The Sun had something like 4 or 5 airballs. Airballs
in the deciding game of the WNBA Finals (just to be fair,
the Storm did have one of their own). Compare some of their
other stats to previous games - steals, assists, blocked shots
— everything much much lower. To be honest, they played
in Game 3 like the Storm did in Game 1 — tired, unfocused
and a step slow.
Storm, except for their major skid at the end of the first
half, had all the energy, all the determination and all the
momentum. Like the Sun in Game 1, the Storm were the ones
tipping passes and somehow coming up with the loose ball.
The Storm took this game with confidence and no one can say
it was given to them. To use another cliche, they wanted it
much, much more.
as the Storm had no real answer to stopping Sales, the Sun
had no answer to stopping Betty and Betty once again punished
Whalen and Douglas. All the chatters after Game 2 kept going
on about how Sheri got torched by Sales, ignoring the job
Betty did on the Sun. Well, Betty one-uped Nykesha tonight
and took it right at the Sun guards. I think it was pretty
obvious towards the last 10 minutes of the second half that
the Storm players wanted Betty to get the MVP — they
kept feeding her the ball and letting her score. Betty has
her detractors, but not in this town.
of the best things about this game was how Kamila and Simone
came out and contributed. They both played huge games and
not only picked up the slack from LJ being bothered, but they
scored and got their rebounds in big time fashion. They are
one of the main reasons Seattle went on the run they did in
the second half — key baskets and even more key rebounds.
Simone played better in the last 3 games than she has in maybe
the last couple years. You could see how much she wanted this
win and she played with great energy. In addition to her 14
points, Kamila played excellent interior defense play after
play. How many times did she stop one of the Sun posts from
making a move into scoring position or stop a drive from getting
too close to the basket? Kamila was a brick wall tonight.
It was so great to see these two players, our only two original
Storm players left, to contribute to this win in such a meaningful
way. This has to be the sweetest for them, to have been here
for the 6-16 and 10-22 seasons only to now be WNBA Champions.
course, just about all the other Storm players had some key
contributions tonight. Sue showed no fear once again and attacked
the Sun defense time and time again, especially at the beginning
of the second half. It was almost like she and LJ personally
wanted to rip the momentum back away from the Sun the second
the clock started in the second half. With the way both of
them came out, I'm sure Coach Donovan had to have challenged
them during the break to set the tone and not let the Sun
get any more of a toe-hold on the score. Tully was as tenacious
as ever, diving to the floor after loose balls and hitting
an absolutely monster three-pointer in the second half. It
was one of the shots that help start the Seattle run. Sheri
again did not have a big scoring night, but she did have another
all-around stat line and hit the two shots she made at key
times and was able to take some of the defensive pressure
off of LJ and Betty, if even for a few minutes. Adia, Chelle
and Janell did not have a lot of playing time and did not
contribute a lot to the offense. They were vital to that second
half push though and helped shut down the Sun during the last
12 minutes or so.
was a team defensive effort at all levels that allowed the
Storm stars to shine on offense. Everyone had a part to play
and they brought it all together and gutted out an impressive
Game 3 win. The Storm won the Championship the way they got
through the regular season — by believing in each
other, by playing swarming defense and by moving the ball
with confidence and finding the hot player.
Storm are the 2004 WNBA Champions.
seeing the ref list taped to the side of the scorer's table,
I and several other Stormfans let out a groan. But, I turned
to them and said that the Storm will just have to win the
game in such a way as to make the Refs of Doom a non-factor
— not letting the refs impact the end of the game. That
is exactly what the Storm did.
to the crowd tonight. I can be happy with 116 decibels (as
reported by the PI). It was loud enough a few times that my
ears did indeed hurt. THAT is what home court advantage is
heard after the game that Doppler's wife was having a baby
tonight. Talk about a dedicated mascot. The significant other
is giving birth to a Dopplet and you're at the Key doing your
booty shaking thing. Congratulations. I just hope Dopplet
gets its looks from Mom, if you know what I mean...
had the great honor to be asked to help out with a pregame
crowd frenzy activity along with Big Lo and my main man with
the foam finger on his head. We joined Doppler on the court
right before the player intros to lead the "Not. In.
Our. House" cheer with signs. I had the "our"
and was facing the team benches. It was one of the coolest
things I've done as a fan. Even cooler yet was when I came
off the court to go back to my seat and got high fived by
the Storm coaches and half the team. Damn if that wasn't beyond
was Angie and my 9th wedding anniversary. Eclair told us before
the game she was getting us a WNBA Championship as a gift,
but that we could return it if it didn't fit or something.
Nah, I think we'll keep it.
Schultz went absolutely ape over a foul call in the second
half (I think). I was shocked that the refs didn't give him
a technical. He was going crazy over there.
did the bungie bowling thing again and there were Sun jerseys
on the pins (just like there were Monarchs jerseys and Sparks
jerseys previously). Apparently a couple Sun fans and their
GM took major offense and will be "calling" the
Storm GM to complain. Whatever.
Seahawks showed up to throw t-shirts to the crowd during a
timeout. Also, there were more taped messages of support from
Seahawks, Mariners and Sonics players (and Coach McMillan).
WNBA Trophy is smaller than I thought it would be.
didn't get nearly as emotional this game as I did with the
Game 3 win over the Monarchs. Maybe it will hit me later.
was complete mayhem on the court after the game, of course.
Sue's mom was pretty much continually dancing. Adia's mom
was pretty much continually crying. The massed throng of fans
were asking for hats, shoes and t-shirts to be thrown to them.
We could only hear about half of what was said on the podium
because people cheered for everything.
the Storm started cutting down the net and Simone passed the
scissors to Kamila, she had a "why would you want to
do that" look on her face. They pushed her up there anyway
and she got her snippet of twine.
Donovan triumphantly cut the last cord and tore the net away
from the hoop.
came back out after most of the festivities went into the
locker room and sprayed champaign all over David Locke (and
a little on us).
LJ and Sue were leading around packs of media.
went into the locker room and then came back out barefooted.
She tried to pour champaign on Coach Donovan, but Anne wouldn't
let her so Anne instead took a big swig off the bottle.
biggest hugs came from Kamila as she left the floor at the
end of the game. She gave up the Olympics for this and it
had to feel spectacular to have actually achieved the Championship.
the first half, I turned to the ball girl that works behind
the Storm bench and asked her if they had a defibulator. She
pointed to it sitting right next to me. I told her to get
it warmed up because we might be needing it (we didn't).
finally, for now, because Owl told me to crow my crow, here
predicted before the Storm even played their first game that
they would win their first Championship in year 5?
would be me. That's right — I called it and I called
Now we just need to repeat!