score: Storm 62 Liberty 67 (L) (8-4)
4527 (uhh... I'm not buying it)
Watch | Clocked at almost 3:00. I blame her
for sucking the energy out of the Storm and the crowd.
Psyche | This doesn't feel much like a home
Highlight | Trying to convince the Liberty
fans behind me that Betty's travel was really a step-through
| $10,000 half-court shot — missed.
| Tari and the Belgian Waffle were like reeds
in the wind — luckily the refs weren't buying it.
Keyword of the Game | (Unprintable)
Opportunity of the Game | Ref #36's last name
was "Fullilove." That's right — Full i love.
You do the word swap.
Photos | Game
Photos (Scott Larson)
good news, if you need some right about now, is that we are
actually here to do a site update and Gameday report.
game wasn't that bad you might be saying — painful
yes, but not lethal.
but thanks to Leighway's quick reflexes at about 1:30 am doing
80 MPH just past Snoqualmie Pass, we missed the deer. I think
you can imagine what would have happened if the Deer vs. VW
Beetle grudge match has actually happened. That's right —
there would have been no winners.
as bad as this game was — the drive back could have
been a lot worse. Once again, and I may never say this enough,
thank you Leighway, thank you.
to the (unprintable) game.
general terms, I'm seeing a disturbing pattern taking shape
that, if true, may mean some rocky times ahead. Here it is:
teams the Storm have beaten have used what they've learned
from that loss to completely take the Storm out of their game.
Not such a big idea really. One of the more tired cliches
in sports is the "We'll learn from this game and move
on" or something to that effect. With Houston and now
New York, we have seen it in highly effective action.
lesson that both teams apparently learned is that Seattle
cannot handle a zone defense, or at least they can't handle
it well. The Liberty were able to stymie the Storm during
the first 15 minutes of the first half by using their bigs
to completely clog up the lane with a 2-3 zone. The Liberty
posts racked up the fouls (and Tari eventually fouled out
— much later than she should have been tossed), but
they held LJ to single digits in the first half and took full
advantage of a very tentative Betty Lennox to contain her
and the guards.
Storm did force the Liberty out of the zone with about 5 minutes
left in the half with our now patented zone-killer Kamila
hitting free-throw line jumper after jumper, but it took 15
minutes to do it and then because the last few minutes of
the half were dominated by fouls and timeouts, the Storm were
unable to get into a good flow and do anything more than even
up the game.
was pretty much nonexistent during the first half. She was
so out of sorts and out of character that she was actually
cringing to get out of the way during screens and rebounding
opportunities. I think the Liberty reminded her what might
happen when one of them gave her a little smack on the face
guard. I felt for her — I can't imagine how uncomfortable
that face guard had to be. I'm sure it affected her vision
and it looked like it was sliding around a lot. For players
who have to wear them long term, the masks are usually made
to fit their face. I imagine that since this was the first
game, Betty was wearing an off-the-shelf model and the fit
was not the best. As understandable as her discomfort was,
she was a complete non-factor during the first half and that
really hurt the Storm on defense and offense.
second half started out really well. I got the sense in the
first few minutes that the Storm might uncork another 50 point
half and blow out the Liberty. Unfortunately, the Liberty
also felt that coming and turned up their defense and went
back to the zone. Once again, the Liberty's zone slowed the
game down and made the Storm work harder than they wanted
to on each possession.
and LJ both were much more aggressive during the second half
and were able to keep the Liberty at bay most of the way.
But the Storm kept missing on golden opportunities and were
unable to capitalize when they got defensive stops. The Liberty
kept the game close, then tight, then went ahead in the last
couple minutes. Even so, with about 3 minutes left and the
Liberty up by two, the game felt to us like the Storm would
still pull out a win. It felt like the Storm's game to lose.
then Becky Hammon hit an open three with just under a minute
left that put the Liberty up by 5.
like the last couple of minutes against the Comets, the Storm
unraveled a bit and went into a bit of panic mode. They couldn't
hit anything, but were luckily getting offensive rebounds
until Sue was able to drive to the free throw line and hit
a jumper. Unfortunately, all of that took a lot of time and
the Liberty were able to keep hitting free throws the rest
of the way.
Liberty out rebounded, out hustled and forced the Storm out
of their comfort zone enough to eke out a win. They used the
zone defense effectively and by keeping the game close gave
themselves the opportunity to put on a last minute spurt that
decided the game and end an embarrassing losing streak.
question for the Storm faithful is this: what will the Storm
learn from these two losses and how will they apply that lesson?
together now — Hoopfest was a bust. True, there were
thousands and thousands of people filling the streets, parking
lots and parks surrounding downtown Spokane. If two or three
percent of that mass had come to the game, it would have been
acceptable. If five percent had come, the arena would have
been packed. When high school age girls who play basketball
don't know that Sue Bird plays for Seattle, there is a problem.
The place was a bit of madhouse and I can understand that
without major sponsorhip-level advertising, getting a consistent
message to all participants that there was a WNBA game on
Saturday night featuring last year's MVP and several Olympians
would be difficult. The one piece of Storm advertising I heard
was piped over the loudspeakers around the various courts
- except the audio quality was horrible and the only word
I caught was "Storm" — and that was because
I was listening for it. I'm sorry, but while this had the
appearance of a golden opportunity to reach a huge audience
of basketball-minded fans, I think it failed.
came and sat on my knee and I gave him a little back scratch.
I also inadvertently got my fingers under the fur a bit. It
was warm and damp. Besides EWWWWW, all I could think was that
my heart goes out to the brave soul who brings Doppler to
life. Being the mascot during 85-ish plus weather in a poorly
ventilated building has to be one of the top-ten worst jobs
around. I took a turn one year as Smokey the Bear at our local
summer fair one year (I was worked for the Forest Service
during high school), so I have a little experience wearing
the big furry shoes. Doppler, you're a trooper.
you're a snarky bastard. We're glad we were you're second
to last option (although after the deer near miss, I'm sure
you were having second thoughts).
didn't take the fan bus this trip and instead caravanned with
another car driven by the forum members formerly known as
Hoopgrrle and Lilpost, with Jezzie and Pwe as passengers.
We had Leighway with us along with the aforementioned snarky
bastard. It was actually not a bad drive (minus the deer).
We got started with an appropriate song - "Convoy"
by C.W. McCall on the iPod (with an FM transmitter that has
a 150-foot transmission radius so the other car could hear
too). We also had some 2-way radios (walkie-talkies for the
less hip set) and were able to do a little faux CBing. The
only time this got us into a little trouble was on the way
back. A cop passed the other car and they warned us that he
was coming up on us. Of course we slowed down, and of course
he heard their warning and was on our butts for a couple miles
while he ran our plates. Being ironic smartasses and having
plates that spell out "antisocial" may be fun and
all, but I doubt he was laughing. He apparently got nothing
(traffic record clean as a whistle - at least these days it
is) and took the next exit.
highlight of the trip was getting to meet Norwester - a prolific
contributor of excellent game reports on the forum. Thanks
and keep up the good work.
Spokane arena, while hot, was a nice building. It was nicer
than Arco Arena, but then so are the stands at the Puyallup
fair grounds during the annual pig races. The ushers, except
for a couple very helpful people, were cut from the same fascist
cloth as our KeyArena redshirts.
about Spokane being a pimple on the ass of BFE aside, the
park in the middle of town that surrounds the Spokane falls
is a great city park. Now if they could build a great city
around it... (the email address is email@example.com
— flame away Spokanites).
EBay whores were there, naturally. "Becky. Becky. Becky.
Turnaround. Becky. Becky. Turnaround." Click. "Thank
You." Another "proof of signature" photo that
is only proof of how annoying these people really are.
least one downtown Spokane business owner had his head up
his ass. We stopped for a bite just before 5:00 to eat at
a little cafe a block from the Hoopfest activities. They were
closing the cafe and we were the last people they let in before
locking the door. You have thousands of people right outside
your door who are thirsty, hungry and looking for a place
— any place — to sit down and you close right
when they all might want to get something to eat. Hmmm. And
you were surly on top of being stupid.
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