score: Storm 75 Silver Stars 59 (W) (11-7)
6800 (including one Phoenix Mercury player!)
Watch | They didn't mangle the words... because
it was a bell chorus.
Psyche | First half — oh crap. Second
half — that's what we remember.
Highlight | LJ going all MVP again, Sue almost
getting a triple double.
| Wheelchair basketball
| The only flopping was Margo try to move
Keyword of the Game | Whew
Photos | Game Photos (Scott
home cooking didn't kick in until the second half and I can
tell you that there were a lot of very nervous Storm fans
first half was almost a carbon copy of the first halves from
the last three road games — the Storm were down by 4
and only put up 29 points, they only had 3 FT attempts and
were shooting a dismal 32%. The only good stats were that
we had outrebounded the Silver Stars and had only committed
a handful of turnovers.
even with a depleted roster (no Ferdie or Semeka), the Silver
Stars played the Storm basket for basket during the first
half and kept the Storm tight the whole way. The Silver Stars
were the aggressors and were driving, cutting and working
more efficiently than the Storm on offense.
could feel the Storm getting a little frustrated I think.
It seemed like they had expected to come home and turn on
the juice, but they were still too passive, weren't converting
on turnovers or defensive stops and were getting beat down
the court. Like I said, we were all pretty nervous.
good signs were that the Storm posts — LJ, Kamila and
Janell — were asserting themselves and really fighting
for rebounds. Even with Dydek in the game, the Storm bigs
were scrapping for every ball. There wasn't a lot they could
do when Margo would snatch the ball out of the air 3 feet
above everyone's heads, but if the ball came within reach
one of the Storm players was going after it.
other good sign was that even though the Storm offense wasn't
clicking, the players were moving around and the passing was
tighter than it was in the road games. It was a small thing,
but it started to pay off in the second half when the Storm
offense did get rolling.
said after the game that one of the reasons they lost those
three games on the road was because they had gotten comfortable
where they were and lost their focus. I think the same thing
was happening tonight and we saw the Storm slowly regain their
focus during the second half.
say it happened slowly because they would get two or three
baskets and go up by 8 or 10 and you could sense that they
were mentally saying, "Finally," but then the Silver
Stars would chip the lead back down to 3 or 4 on fastbreaks
off of missed Storm shots or would charge the lane, get the
basket and a foul on the Storm.
Storm would fight through each of these mini runs by the Silver
Stars, go back up by a bit and have the Stars come back again.Each
of the Stars' mini runs would get smaller and the Storm's
answer would extend the lead farther. It wasn't until the
last few minutes of the game that the Storm were able to put
think a ton of credit has to go the Silver Stars for a gutsy
game. I think they came in thinking that Seattle was in a
vulnerable spot given their performance on the last road trip.
I'm sure San Antonio thought they had as good a chance as
ever to steal a game. If it weren't for some inspired play
from LJ and Sue, they might have pulled it off. But when it
got down to the end of the game, the Silver Stars just didn't
have the guns to match up with the Storm.
Bird had an awesome game, especially in the second half. She
started doing to her opponents what they had been doing to
her and the Storm for the last three and a half games —
driving to the basket and shredding the defense with sharp
passes. She only needed one more assist to have achieved a
triple double. I know that some people who aren't paying attention
to Sue think she was in a slump during the first part of the
season and she's now out of it. If they knew what they were
talking about, they'd know that she has been doing what her
team has needed during each game. When Betty was scoring 15-20
points a game, Sue didn't need to drive and score. When the
bench was producing points, rebounds and assists, she didn't
have to play as much. When the offense was clicking, she didn't
have to take such a strong hand with directing the plays.
Now, the team is in a rough patch and needs her to score and
take control of things, so she is. There was no slump, there
was only a player who did what her coach asked of her —
and that is still what she is doing, only now she's the one
on the highlight reel. That is what makes Sue Bird such a
great player. I think she also wanted to school Peewee Johnson
a bit and remind the starting Team USA guard that she is ready
to take that starting spot at any time.
was her same old bad*** self.
bench was still a little on the unproductive side stat-wise,
but then the stats don't always tell the whole story. I don't
think anyone who watched the game could say the bench wasn't
bringing a lot more energy into the game than they did during
the road trip. Janell hit some of those chippies that she
had been missing. Adia came in and played some really tough
defense. She also had a couple jumpers that were so close
to going in that I wish she had kept at it and could have
shot herself out of the scoring drought she is in. Tully and
Chelle got very limited minutes, but I think that was because
LJ and Sue were playing with such dominance, and because the
Silver Stars wouldn't go away. Michelle was dressed and seemed
to be moving really well during the warmups, but both she
and Simone stayed on the bench.
was more aggressive than she has been and was throwing herself
into the fray more often. She does seem to have a problem
with her peripheral vision due to the mask because she lost
the ball a couple times and I think it was because she didn't
see the defender. I'm really hoping she gets used to that
mask before September rolls around. We are going to need her
at 100% or as close to it as possible for the push into the
think that the Storm have found their focus again, to go back
to what Sheri said after the game. They have seven more games
before the Olympic break, four at home and three on the road.
They need to find their focus now and reassert their game.
They had a bad spell — but it that needs to be
it. With these next seven games, the Storm have the opportunity
to dictate how important September becomes in the run-up to
speculation was churning like a tornado when a sharp-eyed
Storm fan spotted Anna DeForge. She was sitting in the family
and friends section above the Storm player tunnel. The crazed
guessing started with Anna being at the game because of a
yet-to-be-announced surprise trade between the Merc and Storm.
Then someone pointed out that the Storm still have an open
roster spot, so there is no need to trade. Slowly, reason
began to set in and someone suggested that she might be here
for the Silver Stars since they would more plausibly be involved
in a trade with Phoenix since they are so injury-ridden. None
of the Storm staff would give up any info (since they may
not have really had any). During halftime, David Locke and
Elise Woodward walked by our seats and I asked them if they
had heard anything. David thought she might be here because
of a girls' basketball camp that was going on today. Elise
pointed out that if a trade really was in the works, she wouldn't
have been allowed to be seen in the arena unless the trade
had been announced. Okay, if you want to logical about it,
radio-girl. So we went from DeForge being a new member of
the Storm to she's probably here to meet a friend or talk
at a basketball camp. It was fun while it lasted.
DeForge Scenario pretty much dominated the other note stuff.
One last bit of info just in case — Angie said that
the Storm coaches looked up at her before the game and then
looked at each other with "**** eating grins on their
faces." Could be nothing, could be...
traveled with the Stars. She has a mammoth splint/cast on
her nose. It was sparkly.
and Pwe got the "New Refs" chant going during a
timeout when the refs where standing right in front of them.
They had to have heard it. Cool.