score: Storm 73 Mercury 58 (W) (20-13)
Watch | Well performed. It helped to have
the Ft. Lewis Honor Guard there to add the right level of
reverence. Also, a lot of singing along from the crowd.
Psyche | This is what getting ready
for the playoffs is supposed to look like.
Highlight | The Killer B's coming through
big time down the stretch.
| Another skills contest on the court, tense
bidding wars at the silent auction on the concourse (the Swoopes
shoes be mine!).
| Kayte Fish was working it pretty well. She
wasn't paying enough attention though because there was one
play defending Lauren on the sideline that was a prime flopping
opportunity and she stayed on her feet and picked up a reach
in foul. Her fish head wasn't in the game.
Keyword of the Game | Benchies!
Photos | Game Photos (Scott
that was a good game. The Storm already had their playoff
spot locked up while the Mercury are still fighting for position
and trying to make up ground against Sacramento and Minnesota.
Even though the Storm had 2nd place at stake with home court
in the first round — at least, there was the danger
that the Storm might not come out with the same determination
as the Mercury. The first half certainly looked that way.
Storm's offense was flat and the Mercury defense was highly
aggressive. Passes were getting tipped, any layup attempt
was met with 2 or 3 defenders slapping at the ball (and no,
the Phoenix players did not really have 8 blocks in the first
half regardless of what they were credited with on the stat
scoreboard — they were pummeling the Storm and not getting
called for the multiple fouls), and the Storm were getting
beat up and down the court.
first 10 minutes or so were very tight on both sides and the
score was only about 12-10 with Phoenix leading. Neither team
was really having that much success offensively, but the Mercury's
stifling defense kept the pressure on the Storm and lead to
some easy baskets that allowed the Merc to start pulling away.
I think the Storm were stuck at 12 points for a good 5 minutes
a string of timeouts, Coach Donovan got progressively frustrated
with the team's lack of execution on both ends. She kept coming
back to the Mercury's plays running screens for DeForge and
Taurasi and how the Storm were letting both of them get open.
She was also hammering into them that they needed to move
more without the ball on offense and cut to the basket because
the Mercury defense was letting cutters get free and the Storm
built a 13 point lead during the first half and held the Storm
to 20 points until about 1:30 left in the half when the Storm
went on a mini-run to reel the Mercury back in. Instead of
being down by 13, the Storm were only down 3.
had to go protect my silent auction bids, so I didn't get
back to the second half until about 11:00 left on the clock.
By that time, the Storm had taken the lead on a couple Tully
three pointers. The Storm never looked back as they slowly
built a lead. It was yet another one of those games when you
keep looking up at the scoreboard and wondering, "How
did we get up by 12 so fast?"
answer, of course, was an intensified defense and much better
execution on the offense (but then, isn't that usually the
was almost like the Storm and Mercury traded defensive philosophies
during halftime. Now it was the Storm's turn to tip every
pass, force shot clock violations, deny every layup and gang
block shots. Oh yeah, and we also saw a resurgent Adia Barnes
play just about the best game she's had this season —
on both ends of the court.
had some significant playing time in the second half and spent
much of it guarding Diana Taurasi. Of course, DT outscored
Adia — that's to be expected. But Adia was right in
there getting rebounds, steals, and trying to frustrate DT
as much as possible. She was successful, with a little help
from the striped goon squad.
the refs were letting the Mercury get away with muggings in
the first half, they made up for it by calling anything and
everything against them in the second half. Diana in particular
was getting bent out of shape (potty mouth!), so Adia was
able to really get after her and play off of that.
benchies in general — The Killer B's according to David
Locke — played a solid game with 21 points, 50% shooting
and 13 rebounds. Janell was not as effective as she has been
in the last couple of games, but Kayte and Tuvic were really
smacking her around (Kamila too).
the end of the game, the starters were on the bench goofing
around and acting nutty — always a good sign that
we're back on the right track. Adia and Tully got the post-game
interview treatment which they definitely deserved.
we backed into the playoffs, but have confidently latched
onto second place and are picking up the all-important momentum
we need for the playoffs.
more to go and just between you and me, I don't think LA is
going to know what hit them...
was paying attention during the Storm's game at Phoenix on
the 4th. Their mascot did the bungie cord launch into bowling
pins thing that we saw debuted tonight with Doppler. I will
give the Mercury mascot a little more credit since he/she/it
was going easily twice as fast as Doppler. Even so, it was
cool to see and I hope they keep it. Bungie cords and timeouts
go hand-in-hand in my book.
group of Mercury fans did their version of our away game trip
to LA and Phoenix by doing the back-to-back LA and Seattle
trip. After talking to a couple of them after the game, they
are of the opinion that we will be playing each other in the
first round since Minnesota is on the road for their last
two games while the Merc are at home. Probably. I think I
would prefer the Lynx in the first round since the Mercury
play us so tough. But we're not in this for the easy trip.
If the road leads to America West, so be it. We'll be there
screaming "Brick!" as loud as we can.
think the Stormfans forum members need to have their own preseason
training camp. So far, I think we as a group are 0 for everything
when it comes to doing the pregame foul / three-point shots
for the Team Shop gift certificates. Personally, I have not
had the opportunity to allow my skills to shine forth, but
I don't think any of the forum members who have had a shot
has made the shot this season. NewSocks was today's hapless
shooter. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Locke mentioned that the Storm are currently 2500 tickets
short of a complete sellout for the LA game. Now is the time
to tell your friends, coworkers and neighbors if you haven't
already (and being the good Storm fans that you are, you already
have). If the Key is a rockin' don't bother knockin', come
right on in!