score: Storm 79 Silver Stars 51 (W) (2-1)
Watch | A UW alum — solid, standard
rendition without all the extra nonsense.
Psyche | Alrighty then.
Highlight | Sue playing perfect fastbreak
defense on Shannon Johnson.
| Don't remember.
Keyword of the Game | W00t!
then. This felt a little more like the Storm team we all know
and love. Before going all crazy with the superlatives, I
think it is important to say that the Silver Stars are once
more in the hurt box and a monster win against them should
be taken in context — good, but not necessarily a sign
that the Storm are back to their full speed or strength yet.
said, there are plenty of great positives that came out of
this game including extended court time for the bench, much
of it against the Silver Star starters, and much stronger
play from all our new players.
the Open Practice and Q&A yesterday, someone asked the
new players what strengths they bring to the Storm. I was
disappointed to hear most of them mumble something about defense
or not come up with an answer at all. What we should have
heard was that Battle has been on championship teams and has
been through high pressure situations before, or that Wright
led her team for four years in this or that category. Instead
we got Wright saying "Aggressive." I think in the
first two games, what we saw from her, Battle or any of the
other new players (except for Izzi that is) was anything but
championship-tested toughness or aggressiveness. True, these
women have only been together for a few short weeks, but the
WNBA season isn't long enough for a 15-game getting-your-feet-wet-training-wheel
transition period. If you've got skills, let's see them.
benchies got plenty of time to do just that, and it was almost
enough for me to excuse their nonanswers to that question.
Almost (as in let's see that on the road and then I'll be
the bench players scored, and with respect to Trina Frierson,
they did it with about 9 minutes left in the game and without
the offensive set aimed at getting one person or another a
shot so she could get on the board. This is a telling point.
All the players were feeling more comfortable on the floor
and with each other and were able to find their shots within
the normal offense.
in particular had a few standout plays in which she either
drove to the basket, broke down her defender for an open jumper,
or directed the offense with confidence. The best instance
of this came on a broken play when Wright made a bad pass
that went out of bounds. Zara immediately, like the veteran
she is, went to Wright and gave her the "keep your eyes
on me" sign. That was excellent and got me more excited
about Zara than anything else. Say what you will about Sheri
Sam, but from my perspective one of her strongest attributes
was her veteran leadership. If Zara and Izzi start exerting
themselves as seasoned vets and can bring the rooks into line,
that can only mean good things for this team.
seemed to break out of her funk and was playing with a lot
more energy and determination than we saw in either of the
two previous games. 5 rebounds in 8 minutes is some hustle.
She also seemed to be feeling more comfortable overall —
she was joking around on the bench, dancing to the timeout
music, etc., everything we remember from the time she was
one of our prime spark plugs off the bench.
had a couple mistakes, but did show more "Aggressive"
tonight. I don't think she is going to be the Sue Bird type
of point guard, nor is she really going to be a point guard
ever. I get the sense that she is modelling herself after
Betty — not a bad thing in my opinion. She was
throwing herself into the thick of things and got a couple
rebounds and steals that were surprising because she came
out of nowhere to get them.
one spot we are still thin at, and yes that pun is intended,
is at the 5 spot. Janell, Simone and Mandisa split the 5 and
4 rotation minutes tonight and while they did get a few blocks
and each hit at least one basket, there were still a lot of
minutes there without a lot of production. Janell did the
best of the three and certainly had the most energy. Simone
has a bit of an edge to her this season. I don't know if she's
still worried about her roster spot or if she is trying to
prove to someone (herself?) that she still "has it,"
but she showed a lot more energy tonight than she normally
does. If she can keep that up and if she and her skinny compatriots
step it up just a little more, we'll be in great shape.
of looking like she is in great shape, LJ went to town and
had a great night — shooting 50% even though she
missed 3 three-point shots. I get the feeling that she just
needs to hit one of those in rhythm and that particular log
jam will be opened. She and Chantelle Anderson got tangled
up a couple times. Actually, Chantelle was getting tangled
up with just about everyone. She got called for an offensive
foul in the second half after wrestling with Janell. Once
they got back down the court, there was a timeout (or something)
and Chantelle got pulled from the game. On her way out, she
made sure to walk past Janelle and said "She's such a
f***ing flopper," to which Janell replied with a smile,
also threw an "nice" open field tackle on Betty
as they were going for a loose ball right in front of the
Storm bench. Both of them ended up banging into the chairs.
I popped up and was pointing at Chantelle — from my
viewpoint it was sooooo clearly a push/tackle that I felt
the need to help Roy make the right call — and
in my excitement found myself leaning over the bench seats
a little too far. I backed off and did a covert check to see
if anyone was coming to haul me away. Nope, so I went back
to yelling at Roy.
was Betty, of course.
was probably the best bright spot of the game. She not only
went at the Silver Star defense in transition, she also threw
a blanket on Shannon Johnson. If the play in which Sue successfully
defended that Johnson fastbreak doesn't make it into a year-end
highlight reel, there is no justice in the world. It was a
thing of pure beauty. Textbook defense. Shannon got the ball
and took off down the court with only Sue ahead of her. Sue
was backpedaling the whole way, which was impressive enough
since Johnson was going full speed, and forced Shannon into
a travel at about the three-point line totally denying her
an opportunity to get a shot up. Wow, wow, wow.
other key thing from this game that I thought was great to
see was that the Storm had no problem with the Silver Stars'
zone defense. San Antonio didn't waste any time and went into
the zone from the tip. The Storm handled it by moving the
ball, moving without the ball and attacking any open seam
they found. Of course, hitting shots is the best zone breaker
and the Storm did that too.
also did a great job of shutting down the Silver Stars on
defense. Marie Ferdinand is one of my favorite players and
while it was great to see her back on the court, I was hoping
to see a good show without it being "too" good a
show. Well, she got virtually skunked — especially for
such a prolific scorer. 6 points and 3 turnovers is about
a bad a night as she could have had, without breaking another
arm that is. It would have been nice to see her and Betty
get into a shoot out, but I'll take the blowout instead. No
Silver Star player scored in double figures. Wendy Palmer
got 9, but most of that came at the end of the game during
a solid game that gave our bench players a chance to show
what they can do. Now, the road beckons.
I'm sitting there before the game and Karen Bryant comes over
and asks me to get a picture of her Goddaughter who was one
of the kid's captains and got to go out pregame to meet the
team captains. I said sure, but she meant for me to go out
there. I was like, um, are you sure? She said go, so I went
and tried to be as inconspicous as possible. Angie assured
me that I failed utterly.
mom sat next to Shed and SF7. I had them ask her if she ever
grounded LJ for her on-court language. She said yes, and that
she had a talk with LJ earlier in the day about that very
and Darla were reffing, which meant that I was yelling a lot.
After the game we went to Jaliscos. Zara and Simone were there
and came by our groups' table to say hello. Zara pointed to
me and said, "You were yelling at the refs. Good job."
It's nice to be appreciated.
think my ref appreciation has been rubbing off on the little
girls who sit behind us. The older one got off a good one
at Roy when she said, "I'm 12 years old and I know the
rules better than you." I gave her a high five for that
the Vodopyanova fashion watch — she didn't have one
any noteworthy footwear, but she was sporting a sparkly belt.
I took a picture of course.
Storm players Edna Campbell and Sandy Brondello both got big
applause during the intros.
and lowlights tonite.
refs. boy, when you are reffing with roy and you're the one
being yelled at by the fans, it's a new low. darla, bad dye
jobs and huge boobs are, like, SO 80's.
dance troupe, just the storm gang unit, aka: the hip-hop squad.
anthem (mostly good with just a bit of american idol at the
behind us with duck noisemakers who made the entire bench
and staff crack up.
showing her stuff.
scoring over 20
proving once again that she's THE 5th starter
by almost 30 points!
refs (just seeing if you're paying attention)
What a fun game. I was worried because sometimes when you
play a bad team, you play badly. Not tonite!