score: Storm 72 Mercury 45 (W) (3-2)
Watch | 3-part harmony with the Bass singer
hitting notes lower than I've ever heard someone sing (you
know he gets all the chicks)
Psyche | Will the real Storm please stand
up? And please please please be the Storm from the 2nd half
from now on.
Highlight | LJ going medieval MVP on some
Reese's Pieces in the second half, Tully being Tully, and
Janell with a couple well-timed blocks.
| Tiny Cheerleaders
| New Feature! Kayte Fish actually stayed vertical the whole
game. I was shocked.
all kept thinking that if the Storm can just put it all together
- defense and offense - all at the same time, they might just
give you the second half.
Storm's performance in the second half was simply beautiful.
They totally controlled the game and were able to, as Coach
D said during a time out with about 15:00 left, keep the Mercury
"flustered and out of their game."
Storm were crisp in their offensive execution and smothering
in their defensive pressure. They were able to force the Mercury
into a reactionary mode instead of the aggressive style Phoenix
played in the first half. By taking on the role of the aggressors
themselves, the Storm turned a one point deficit at the half
into a 20+ point rout.
the first half, the Mercury had all the energy and were seemingly
reading the minds of the Seattle perimeter players. Every
pass into the posts were heavily contested and many were picked
off. Every time the Merc successfully stymied the Storm, you
could see Phoenix's confidence go up a notch while the Storm
were in a bit of a daze. It almost seemed in a couple of situations
that when the Mercury were able to successfully deny the Storm's
first option in an offensive set, the Storm weren't quite
sure what to do. They would make another pass into a double
team, or a pass to a player who was out of position or not
ready and the Mercury would be scrambling for the ball.
fact, the only reason why the Storm were even in the game
during the first half was because of free throws. The refs
were very "active" tonight and the Storm were lucky
to get half of their 22 points at the line, especially since
their offense was going nowhere.
a timeout with maybe 5 or 6 minutes left in the half, Coach
Donovan didn't even bother with standing back to confer with
her assistants like usual. She met the team at the bench and
went at them for the entire length of the timeout and focused
on the poor passing and poor offensive decisions the Storm
had been making.
after this rather stern speech, the Storm kept making bad
passes and turning the ball over. At one point, Coach D turned
to Lauren who was sitting on the Coach's end of the bench
and she said, "That's exactly what I was talking about.
Did you see that?"
Coach said to the team during halftime did the trick, because
they came out with a mission and everything changed. Energy,
hustle, determination - the Storm were able to completely
take the momentum away from the Mercury and dominate the rest
of the game.
were numerous individual plays from all the Storm players
that tipped the game from a tight nail-biter to a blowout.
again played with no fear against the taller Phoenix guards.
She may have been outsized, but she didn't let that get in
her way. She may not pick up the offensive slack that the
team loses when Sue is out, but she definitely brings the
big time defense. I am amazed sometimes at how unfazed she
is when she gets isolated against a forward or even a center
on a switch. More often than not, she will win the mismatch
because she goes on the attack every time. Normally, the taller
player would be looking for the mismatch on the smaller player
- I think Tully actively looks for the mismatches against
the taller players.
again had the game high in rebounds for the Storm. Energy
and a never-stop attitude makes up for height disadvantages.
It can also get her into trouble on offense - not tonight
though - and she seems to be a foul magnet, but I'm willing
to take all of that if it means she can help will the Storm
to a win.
was losing the early rounds of the SB vs DT bantam weight
bout, but came on strong late and took control. Watching the
two of them play one another, it almost looks like the one
to get the first edge is able to take off and control the
other until something external to their match-up comes along
to change the rhythm. Tonight, Diana was in control early
and had Sue on her heels. Even at the beginning of the second
half, DT was getting the better of Sue, until Diana picked
up a bunch of quick fouls. She then backed off and got tentative
and Sue picked up the baton and ran like crazy. It was like
2 prize fighters who know each other's tricks waiting to see
who flinches first. You flinch and you're toast until you
can force the other person to step back. It will be interesting
to watch these two play against each other over the next few
was closer to being her old self. She didn't have a great
game - 3 points, 5 rebounds - but she looked a lot better,
much more comfortable, and was much more aggressive with the
basketball. All she needs to get her shot to start falling
- not getting hammered every time she gets within 5 feet of
the basket might have something to do with her shooting percentage
- and she'll be golden.
also did not have a huge stat night, but she was guarding
DT a lot of the time and was expending a lot of energy on
defense. On offense, she drove to the basket and forced the
Mercury to guard her, which helped ease some of the pressure
on LJ enabling Lauren to get into her own offensive groove.
One of the main things that Sheri did was just be the wise
veteran on the bench. After timeouts, she would go talk to
the players on their way back onto the floor. She would pull
someone aside and talk to them away from the coaches - and
you could see clearly that the younger players were actively
listening to her. She may not be contributing big points yet,
but she is contributing big in other ways.
didn't get as many minutes tonight as she has in the earlier
games so far, but she, like Tully, was the player Coach D
would call up as soon as the Mercury started to get a head
of steam or if the Storm's energy started to falter a bit.
In comes Adia and we're back on course. She too did not end
up with a big stat line, but she had rebounds and at least
one steal that helped turn the tide in the second half.
did get some significant minutes and made her presence felt
with some monster blocks, hitting her free throws and offensive
rebounds. There was one sequence where she was relentlessly
going after the rebound again and again, surrounded by Mercury
players, and was finally fouled. It is heartwarming to see
that kind of tough play in a Storm uniform.
Michelle and Chelle got limited playing time towards the end
of the game and were all able to produce compared to the Phoenix
bench. I think Coach D might have been able to bring them
all in sooner than she did, but she knows her players and
I'll not sit behind her and second guess.
game showed us 2 teams that are potentially very dangerous
this year. The Mercury have a swagger to them that they haven't
quite earned yet, but it is enough to keep them in games and
get other teams out of their comfort zones. The Storm are
a click away from stomping everyone in their path - IF they
can get everyone on the same page and working together. In
my opinion, the Storm can be legitimate contenders for the
Western Conference this year, if not the Championship - if,
if, if. I think the Mercury are still a step behind, but that
doesn't mean they aren't going to spoil a lot of parties before
the season is through. Which ever team can consistently play
their game - the Merc from the first half or the Storm from
the second half - will be successful.
got a nasty kick to the shin near the end of the game. We'll
need to keep watch to see if that becomes a problem.
of the Washington Huskies womens' bball team was at the game,
as were a few Seahawks. Damon Huard came out and threw a football
to Doppler from mid court to the upper part of the open seating.
Basketball fans that we are, many people were leaning this
way and that asking "Who is he?"
received her Community Assist Award before the game and had
a video segment during a timeout in which she discussed her
community-based efforts through the Stormin' the Sound initiative
and her foundation, Adia's Dreams in Action. The Barnes' Buddies
group was highly visible in their yellow t-shirts, although
for some reason they were split between 4 places. You can
check the Adia's Dreams in Action website - http://www.adiabarnes.org
- soon for information on how you can help support Barnes'
Buddies and the other activities the foundation sponsors in
this area. (I say "soon" because the web guy helping
Adia do her website seems to be extremely busy these days).
and Shed were interviewed during the pregame by KING 5. They
called out to Diana during the shoot around and she came over
to sign a couple things. The KING 5 guys saw that and made
a beeline to get SF7's and Shed's opinions on DT. Always in
the spotlight these two.
finally broke out of my quiet mold and let the refs have it
a couple times tonight. I've been holding back because I'm
sitting right behind the players after all, but I couldn't
keep it in. Right in front of the bench, Anna DeForge kicked
the ball out of bounds - CLEARLY kicked it out of bounds -
and the stoopid ref called it Mercury ball. Since the ref
was right there (and I had my megaphone), I tried to inform
her that the ball had in fact gone out off DeForge's foot.
I know she heard me because both the trainer guys who sit
in front of me along with the players on the bench all looked
back to see where the maniac was. Now that I've broken them
in without frightening them (I scared Rita Williams last year
doing something similar), I can let loose more often. It's
not a game unless I can yell at the refs.
game was televised by ESPN, and the ESPN sideline reporter
kept running back and forth in front of us as she tried to
get her various tidbits of information. She was polite about
it, but her perfume was a little heavy.
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