score: Storm 88 Lynx 85 (W) (1-0)
Watch | 3 comments. First, the kid has some
skills. Second, he's also developing some bad habits that
only someone of Christine Aguilera's experience should have.
Third, I'd like all that ham with some swiss on the side and
a sourdough bun, to go.
Psyche | We... just... might... WIN!
Highlight | LJ takes over and punishes the
| Hit Explosion
Photos | Game
Photos (Scott Larson)
And I do mean capital W H E W.
is the type of game that the Storm tended to lose in seasons
past. How many times have the Storm lost nail biters because
the super star on the other team was somehow able to get that
all-important steal, draw the foul on every drive to the basket
and hit those dagger-like threes to seal the game and the
Storm's fate. Actually, that is how the game ended only it
was OUR superstar who came through.
may be one of the more tired sports clichés, but LJ
took over the game in the last few minutes, put the Storm
on her back and carried them to this win. The Lynx had her
stymied earlier in the game, but were not able to as effectively
muscle LJ around late in the game. Once Nicole Ohlde got into
foul trouble and eventually fouled out, the Lynx didn't have
anyone who could guard Lauren so they had to keep fouling
Lennox and Sue Bird ended up with similar numbers, but as
I've been paying a lot more attention to efficiency lately
(thanks to a little fantasy league I'm in that is scored based
on player efficiency) I think it is interesting to take a
look at their effectiveness overall. Yes, Betty had a double
double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but she also had 7
turnovers and shot 6 for 16. Sue shot 5-7 with 4 TOs and had
17 points. I'm not saying that Betty's performance wasn't
one of the keys that helped the Storm win, but those 7 TOs
were harsh. I'm hoping that once the team has more time together
and they develop that chemistry Coach Donovan has been speaking
about, Betty won't feel the need to drive into the defense
when she doesn't really have an opening and can instead feel
confident that her teammates will get her the ball when she
is in good scoring position. I will give Betty credit where
credit is due - she did get a steal during the last minute
or so that stopped the Lynx from tying or taking the lead.
I am looking for her to be under a little more control, but
not much. She's got great skills and I think 2 or 3 less turnovers
would have been huge in this game.
be honest - the Storm looked a little out of sync for most
of the game. The Lynx were consistently successful in disrupting
the Storm's plays on defense and then getting open post players
under the basket on offense. The Storm players were doing
a lot of directing traffic - telling each other where they
should be - and then chasing the Lynx instead of anticipating
Lynx also seemed to have a consistent height advantage over
the Storm and they used it as often as they could. Amanda
Lassiter was defending Sue much of the first half and with
her height, speed and long arms was able to force some bad
passes. Teresa Edwards was putting on a show and arguably
getting away with some veteran slight of hand (even though
she's technically only a 2nd year player). And then there's
Katie Smith. She's super tough and plays a style that one
could argue is dirty. I tend to look at her as someone who
takes full advantage of how far the refs are willing to go.
She may also be the absolute best offensive player when it
comes to using screens. She forces her defenders to fight
and scrap through every screen, making them pause just long
enough for her to jack up a money jumper. She also flails
her arms, makes those "I've just been pummeled"
faces for the refs, and takes every opportunity to act like
she is getting mugged when the truth is that she is in complete
control at all times. Katie Smith may not be the fastest sprinter
or the highest jumper, but she will out-muscle everyone on
the floor and make it look like she's the victim of a hard
fouled every time. In other players, this kind of style only
comes off dirty and underhanded. With Katie, at least for
me, it speaks to her experience and determination. And, I'm
happy to say I'm am now the proud owner of a signed Katie
Smith jersey courtesy of yet another Storm auction (I swear
they take a look at my financials before scheduling these
things so they know when I have some cash on hand).
last Lynx related note before I move on to our heroines -
where were all the moves and skills when Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert
was on the Storm? Anyone? She looked good out there tonight
and neither Angie nor I could remember her playing that well
when she wore the Green, Gold and Red. It's nice to see a
former Storm player come back into the league and all, but
come on now.
put in some quality minutes and while she didn't score a lot
she was definitely scrapping for rebounds. Every time Katie
Smith burned which ever Storm player was guarding her, Coach
Donovan would bring Adia in to bring a little Heavy D to the
party. Knee brace or not, Adia held her own and even though
she might still be a little slower than last year, she looked
comfortable and undaunted at putting the clamps on Smith.
Sam had a better game than she did during the preseason games
and showed signs of coming out of her shooting slump. She
was also playing Katie often and was expending a lot of energy
on defense. She didn't seem to be looking for her own shot
that often and was maybe too cautious in picking times to
drive to the hoop. There were a couple of occasions when she
had one defender on her that I think she could have taken
it in, but instead elected to pass out. Take it Sheri, take
played an almost quiet game. She played all but 7 minutes,
shot the ball really well with 3 three pointers, and had a
few assists, but seemed to step back a bit and allow LJ and
Betty to be the offensive focus. When you think about it,
for a point guard that is really the job description - get
the play started, make sure your offensive big guns are able
to do their thing, and look for your own shot within the flow
of the game. Sue did all of that tonight - she found little
ways to help the team win the game. LJ and Janell may get
the big time blocks, Betty make get the steals and Adia and
Tully may get the slashing rebounds, but Sue is the quiet
one who will rack up which ever stat is needed for the team
to win - points, assists, whatever.
made it an official game by getting knocked to the floor at
least a couple times. She was also a little overmatched by
the taller Lynx guards. Of course, in pure Tully style, she
scrapped and flung herself into the fray and was able to get
a couple key steals. I also noticed one time when she came
off the floor a scar that looked like it ran the full length
of her right arm on the inside. One day, the Storm need to
do a mapping of all the scars and scrapes that Tully carries
around on her arms and legs - badges of courage all.
that's the key to tonight's game - scrap and heart. The Storm
stood their ground and even though they weren't playing as
well as they could or should, they still found a way to win
the game. I hope this boosts their confidence and helps them
address some of their weaknesses. We've got LA next and the
Storm need to get that chemistry thing working fast.
Storm and Adia's Dreams in Action held a silent auction at
the game and Angie and I walked away with 3 items - the aforementioned
Katie Smith jersey, a Sue Bird Team USA jersey and a Storm
t-shirt autographed by the whole team - and we don't have
to sell the house to pay for it all. It's all for a good cause
- although we're going to need a new room for all this stuff...
of Adia's Dreams in Action, tonight was the first night for
Barnes' Buddies. At Storm home games, Adia's foundation will
be bringing in groups of kids who might normally not be able
to come to a game - hence the name Barnes' Buddies. They were
sitting behind the north basket near the top of the bowl.
I have it on good authority that Adia will have 80 kids at
Saturday's game! If you have thought about contributing to
Adia's foundation, here is the tangible proof that your donations
are being used to help kids. Way to go Adia.
(or SF20) was able to let Michelle Greco know that we are
celebrating Michelle Greco Week on the forum. From what SF20
said, Greco was touched and appreciated the support - which
is exactly what we intended.
Vladimir Radmanovic was at the game looking all tan and Euro
fashion plate-like. Doppler had the "choo-choo"
train going during a time out in the second half and tried
to drag Vladimir out but was unsuccessful. They must not do
the "choo-choo" in Serbia-Montenegro.
before the game started, the Storm recognized LJ for her 2003
MVP award. In addition to a crystal award, she got a big hug
from Coach Donovan - everyone together now... awwwwww.
been fun to watch Coach Donovan interacting with her coaching
staff. On a couple of fouls called against the Storm, Coach
D would give one of the refs a stare or some select comments,
and then look back to Missy Bequette or Talvin Skinner (former
Sonic) and get a "yes, she did actually commit the foul"
signal. That didn't seem to stop Coach from getting after
of which, Coach D just about came unglued when the refs missed
an out of bounds call on Amanda Lassiter right in front of
the Storm bench. Anne stomped her foot down so hard I think
she may have dented the floor. Man was she pissed off, and
rightfully so - the refs completely blew the call.
Thompson is wearing one of those plastic boots. No word on
what her injury is (there may have been in the papers but
I missed it), but she looks like she may be in street clothes
in the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that Katie
Smith is one of my fantasy league players - my 2nd pick as
a matter of fact. As Karen Bryant said to me during the half,
it's okay to root for them to be efficient (since that's what
we're counting for that league) as long as they don't win
or shoot 2 for 3 or something. So go Katie, just quit shooting
so often - you're blowing your efficiency rating, especially
with those threes... but go ahead and make a couple if you
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