THAT'S the Mercury we all know and love!
But it almost didn't look like it was going to be. Anna DeForge
popped a few early, and I thought she was going to be hot.
This game was all about enduring the first half, and then
smothering, smothering D in the second.
The refs apparently didn't get the "Poop On #7's Game"
memo from the league. Kamila had no fouls! It was a miraculous
and long-awaited occurance.
Stat of the night: Guess who scored as many points as Simone
Edwards? If you guessed the Savior of the WNBA, you'd be absolutely
correct. DT and the Hurricane each put down 6. That's a single-figure
number, for those of you who are keeping track out there.
In all fairness, Diana Taurasi is indeed the second coming
of Magic Johnson, a point guard whose size bucks the prototype,
and whose passes seem impossible. Taurasi passed on several
open looks to make her teammates look better, but even so,
she was a non-factor tonight, honest--I don't know how. I
just realized about midway through the second half that the
action always seemed to be away from her. I have a sense that
it was in large part to Betty Lennox, but really, the play
was away from her so much, I hardly even noticed what she
was up to.
DT also looked a little like Karl Malone. Sue Bird's first
foul was no such thing. It was Taurasi employing that little
elbow hook move that Malone's patented to get defenders into
foul trouble. Kinda low, isn't it, Diana? I mean, you kids
were teammates on the most important team in the known universe
once, weren't you?
Final thought on Taurasi: She may be 6'0", but she's
got the arms of a seven footer. I swear they dangle down by
the top of her socks when she lets 'em hang. She also sropped
her towel in the high-five line and left it on the Key floor.
Sheri Sam was oh-so-close to a T. She got up in the ref's
face twice about more of the WNBA as usual abysmal calls,
and I thought she was a little too vigorous in her objecting.
I loooved to see it, though.
Second half, Lauren Jackson in the paint. Heck, yeah. I been
waiting all season for that, and oh my is it effective. I'd
like some more of that, please.
Leighway looked just plain ArenaVision fabulous trying on
some Carolina Blue Shox in the video shot at NikeTown last
night. Nice socks, girl!
Play of the night: Adia, who currently has a vertical leap
of approximately a nanometer, maybe slightly less, tied up
the ball. Forgive me that I don't know who with. Adia just
laughed and laughed before the jump ball, but somehow managed
to get a chunk of it and send it to Sue Bird, who cruised
down court for the easy two. The best part of this play was
that the girls following Sue were smiling big happy faces.
Reserve play of the night: Michelle Greco's no-look to Chelle
Thompson in the corner. The bench went CRAZY!! It's so fun
to see the numbers ones giving mad love to the number twos.
Seen in the crowd (actually, Wingardium pointed them out),
a very beautiful Gioconda Mendiola with our own WNBAfanforever.
She didn't seem too enthusiastic about the game, though.
Also, the Big Lo's back. And still big.
Big bunch of Seahawks in the house tonight. Isaiah Kaczevinski
(sp?), Matt Hasslebeck, and Brock Huard, who did a little
QB shtick with Doppler. Isn't Brock's brother, Damon, married
to a former UW basketball player? For that matter, isn't Brock?
I know Marques Tuiasosopo's married to Megan Franza...
Lauren came down all funky on her ankle late in the game,
and did the t-shirt throw sporting a big ol' ice bag. Any
of you glamourpusses by the bench catch any thing on how she's
And speaking of the t-shirt throw, Janell, you throw like
a Girl (capital G on purpose).
Tonight marks the first time I've seen Sue Bird without her
patellar strap in two years. Must be a good sign.
I called my son and asked him if he saw me on TV. He said,
"No, but Scott looks good." It's the way things
should be, after all.
game was brought to you by the letters D (for defense) and
S (for scoring, and streak, and Sue Bird, among other things),
and by the number 3 (win, that is).
This report is probably a bit superfluous since the game was
nationally televised...ok, I'm over it.
It was another one of those blink and we're up by 20 type
of 2nd halves. Is this the difference between being
at home and on the road? In the second half we take
it up a notch in the Key, but just can't bring it on the road?
Betty Lennox was interviewed by Locke as player of the
game, and when questioned she said that it was definitely
"better to play at home." Yeah, yeah, no kidding,
but I was a wee bit down before the game thinking about those
road losses, and looking at the Western Conference standings
where we were in the bottom half (I haven't watched it on
TV yet, but perhaps for a time certain people were feeling
justified in predicting Seattle at the bottom ).
I thought the anthem was a little strange; at least, it was
sung in a different style than we usually get. I guess
variety it good, though.
Gio Mendiola was spotted in the house, for those of you who
keep track of these things (thanks CC7), as well as a bunch
of Seahawks players, and at least one of the Sonics.
We started the game a bit rough. Which brings me to
my first burning question, if you're team hasn't scored yet,
but calls a time out, do you remain standing through the time
out until the score ? Well, my answer was yes, but I
saw a lot of butts hit seats around me. Thankfully most
stood again when game play resumed.
Right away Kamila looked much more energetic. The first
three plays must have run through her, and she was down there
banging bodies. Sure, the shots weren't going in like
in nostalgic times past, but she was moving around, getting
rebounds, trying to put it back up (frustrating people around
me by putting it on the floor first). She had a few
assists and boards, and I was happy with her continued improvement.
Not far into the game Betty Lennox was called for a foul.
It was totally bogus, especially since it was called
by the ref out of position (#47, I think), rather than the
one standing RIGHT THERE at the sideline. Whatever.
Who knew it was going to be such a sign of things to
come? The fouls were being handed out like candy by
the refs tonight, which got me to thinking about how physical
the last game in Phoenix sounded. I didn't see that
game so I can't really compare, but even though this was really
annoying, I think overall I'm less annoyed than I would be
if Sue were getting thrown to the ground and Lauren draped
all over by the defense all night. However, lots of
fouls = choppiness. It's a fine line between too physical/not
enough calls, and too many calls/no flow. At least there
were good and bad calls both ways.
There wasn't much to cheer about in the first half. LJ
had more fouls than points (yes, that's right, zero points
on like 0-1 or 2 shooting ) and had to sit down with 6 min
to go having accrued 3 personal fouls. Hmph. I'll
just bite my tongue. How much impact do you think the
wider lane is having on the post players this year? It
seems to be a big adjustment for those whose bread and butter
last year was posting up...at least she who must not be named
didn't seem as dominant when we played LA. Perhaps I'm
Turnovers were plentiful too, probably one of the bigger differences
between the 1st and 2nd halves (not to mention, we actually
started making field goals in the 2nd). Simone came
in at the end, and completed a sweet play on a pass from Sue
with like 10 seconds left in the half.
Storm 22 - Mercury 23 at halftime, but there was happiness
in the crowd, because face it, we all like to see Simone do
So why were we worried? There was LJ with 0, and her
streak (not the most important thing, but it was in the back
of my mind)...and our reigning MVP came out and scored 9 quick
points. Yea! That's what we're talking about.
She finally got the ball in her hands, and began hitting
turn-around jumpers, etc. She was at 9 for a while,
though. Every time she went up for a shot you could
feel the anticipation, but instead we made do with threes
by Sue and Betty. Oh, poor Storm fans.
Finally, at just over 7 minutes to play Lauren scored again,
putting her to 11 points. Whew. She put a few
more up on the board. The Storm were looking good. KV
was hustling. Our lead kept growing. And Diana
Taurasi, was our defense that smothering, or are you human
after all? It was odd to have these two very dominant
players (LJ and DT) be so quiet in the 1st. We began
getting fast breaks and moving much smoother in the 2nd. I
think LJ was the most excited person in the building when
Sue had a break-away lay-up ahead of the pack off Adia's jump-ball
Tully played solid minutes. LJ was called for an offensive
foul with about 4:30 left and came up lame. She was
clearly in pain, grimacing and limping to the end of the bench.
She spent the rest of the game with ice on her leg,
and it was strapped there when she was throwing shirts as
well. But very soon after this, AD put all the
reserves in. Michelle subbed in, and scored on free
throws (of which there were many)! Thompson scored,
and looked pretty good out there too, and scored on a fast
break off a MG assist. Simone took it to the middle
and got the shot and one, and that got the bench to their
feet. It's nice to see them cheer so hard for their
teammates. And I just always notice how ecstatic LJ
is...I guess it's hard to miss 6'5" of celebration.
As time wound down we just kept waiting for Tully to score,
which she finally did on the 2nd of two free throws. Hurray!
This was Phoenix's lowest point total of the season so far.
We outscored them like 50-22 in the second, and it really
snuck up on you. Shots just started falling. It's
so easy to be all confident after another nice home victory.
But though I'm trying to be optimistic, lets see how
the Sacramento game goes. It would be delicious to break
our road streak at Arco Arena.
Some scoreboard issues. Would it be a game without them?
I guess it would be if Tully hit the ground. And
she did, so this was a game. There were a few hard falls
though, as Sue and Sheri Sam also took hard falls. Ouch.
There's always mass confusion on my aisle (between sections
106 & 107) during the kids' train dance. All the
kids run down the stairs to the front, and there's no outlet.
Naturally they start vaulting the wall there. Tonight
the guard wasn't as attentive as usual, and all the kids were
getting over with us cheering them on, telling them they'd
better hurry before he saw them, but then some poor little
girl kicked over a drink or purse or something on the wall,
and the guard swooped down on them all. It's always
worse going back up, though, because they rarely get back
over the wall. Just one little girl did tonight, and
he was yelling at her to stop, but we hurried her along and
she made it. Such drama.
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