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9/1/04 vs Sacramento Monarchs

Final score: Storm 65 – Monarchs 73 (L) (17-9)

Attendance | 8408

Anthem Watch | Country

Fan Psyche | Where's the other Olympian? You know, the tall blonde one?

Game Highlight | Can't say that there was one.

Halftime | Jump rope team.

Flopometer | DeMya got one in there for good measure, but otherwise stayed on her feet (actually this was a bad thing since it meant that the Monarchs' post players didn't need to resort to flopping)

SF.O Keyword of the Game | Oi

Game Photos | Game Photos (Scott Larson)

The most important thing about tonight is that we all keep Lauren and her family in our thoughts. Lauren's grandmother is deathly ill and LJ flew back to Australia to be with her family during this emotional time. LJ's parents had not travelled to Athens for the Olympics because of the grandmother's condition. LJ was unaware of it and insisted that they be there. They finally agreed and were there for the last couple of games, including the gold medal match against the US. They let her know about her grandmother's situation after the gold medal game. LJ did fly back to Seattle, but upon hearing that her grandmother took a turn for the worst, she decided to head home and be there to support her family. We can only add our own support to LJ.

It was pretty clear that LJ's absence tonight was a blow to the team as well. They all looked pre-occupied and a step slow. But, dealing with the loss of a star player is what playoff and championship teams need to do. I don't think it is feasible that the team would be able to completely compensate for LJ's offensive and defensive output for an extended period of time, but for a couple of games - especially must win games like the ones the team is facing - the Storm has to find those points, rebounds, steals and blocks somewhere. Being a contender means getting something from every player. We did not get that tonight.

Simone, Janell, Adia and Kamila were 2-18, and many of those misses were from 2 feet out. 4 more made chippies, and the final score would have been tied, at least. All these four players needed to do was shoot 30% and it might have won the game.

The only thing that really kept the Storm in the game through the first half were three-pointers and free throws. The Storm was getting zilch in the paint. 47 of the Storm's 65 points came from the guards.

The Storm are facing what could be their toughest and most important road trip of the season at Los Angeles and Phoenix this weekend. This is the test of what this team is made of and how far they can go. The playoffs start now and the Storm have to play like there is no tomorrow. The absolute last thing this team wants to do is limp into the playoffs, regardless of who is suited up or not. They can do it. We know they can do it.