score: Storm 74 Monarchs 67 (W) (8-8)
Watch | Trio of Seattle Police Officers. At
the risk of appearing to be coddling up to The Man, this was
one of the best anthem performances this year. They had me
getting all goosebumpy.
Psyche | So apparently the road Storm team
is made up of the real Storm team's non-basketball playing
Highlight | Suzy hitting a 1st half ending
buzzer beater, and then whacking Sue in the face. What is
it with Aussie elbows and Long Island noses?
| Chinese Drill Team.
Keyword of the Game | LJ for THREE!!
this is why I'm not too worried about the Storm if they make
the playoffs this season. When they can convince themselves
that a game is an actual "big" game, they perform
like the defending champions. Now if we could only play Connecticut
and Sacramento 5 times each between now and the end of August...
to get this out of the way, say that the Storm beats Phoenix
and ends up 9-8 before the All-Star break. Repeating that
record in the second half of the season and ending up at 18-16
might, might be enough to get into the playoffs this
season, but we'll be at the mercy of tiebreakers for certain.
If you've noticed, hoping for good tiebreak situations isn't
going to be any avenue for us this season, at least so far.
In other words, if we're battling for 4th place at the end
of the season, we're going to be in trouble. The Storm need
to be shooting for 3rd place, at least. I'm thinking the Storm
are going to have to at least match last season's record of
20-14 to be sure about a playoff spot. Anything less and it
is going be very dicey. This means they have to go 11-6 in
the second half of the season. 12-5 would be better.
is this an important thing to bring up now? We'll be facing
Sacramento in the playoffs - count on it. The driving question
for the Storm needs to be do they want to face the Monarchs
with home court advantage or not? Every game from here on
out is for playoff position.
that kind of perspective, this was one of the Storm's biggest
games this year so far, if not THE biggest. Just like the
Sun, the Monarchs are playing like they think they were robbed
by the Storm in last years' playoffs (even though the Monarchs
have been perennial playoff chokers - now it's all our
Storm dominated the first half and survived the second. The
Great Barrier Reef shut down DeCrya and The Flopettes (when
was the last time any of us saw Yo flopping around so much?
It was like she was playing the game standing on a balance
beam — even the slightest touch sent her arms flailing
around like she was about to fall to her doom. It's the Flounder
Effect in action). Izzy put the breaks on Powell and kept
her from going crazy from the three-point line while getting
her own shot enough to compliment the Aussie scoring machine.
of the great and true Flounder, DeCrya, since when did she
warrant such kid glove treatment from the refs? Did she achieve
some secret flopping quota or, I don't know, ever get close
to being an MVP of anything that gives her a free pass to
throw temper tantrums on the court — complete with jumping
up and down and throwing her arms around — or following
Roy and June around yapping at them non-stop? In a game that
featured multiple league MVPs, Olympic team members and league
veterans who have actually earned some respect from the refs,
how is it that DeCrya is the sole player on the court that
gets to do and say what she wants? And man she was working
that free pass every minute she was out there. She was in
the refs' faces CONSTANTLY. She whined, complained and threw
her tantrums non-stop. How she avoided a technical when she
acted like a 2-year-old whose mother told her that she can't
have a cookie makes no sense to me. Since The Diva has been
fading away lately, I think we have a new Queen for the Diva
about her, except to note that the refs didn't bite when she
flopped in the second half... and she was flopping often.
Cue Nelson Muntz.
LJ was having a MONSTER game. She was unstoppable inside,
outside and on defense. It didn't matter which Monarch post
was guarding her. She led the team to this win on and off
the court. She was the one in the huddles and during timeouts
who was pushing and challenging her teammates to play with
more intensity. She was the one who got the offense started
and the one who set the tone on defense. This was Lauren's
game from start to finish.
and Izzy gave the Monarchs enough problems to help keep LJ
only facing double teams. They both continued to hit big time
jumpers through the end of the second half as the Storm held
off the Monarchs for the win.
and Betty were mostly no-shows, again. Sue's only point was
off of a technical free throw. Betty's points came off of
jumps shots instead of drives to the basket. Betty unfortunately
has the same mindset as DeCrya except she isn't getting anything
from the refs. She throws herself into the paint looking for
fouls and gets nothing except more frustration. To me it looks
like she is driving with idea to draw fouls first and score
second. I hope she figures out soon that she's not going to
get the calls and needs to forget about the refs. Get the
scoring back and the calls will follow.
mask. Unfortunately, I don't think Sue will be able to get
away from the mask this season. She gets at least one major
love tap to the face every game (and not necessarily from
the other team), so even if her cheek and nose heal fully
I doubt she would or should take off the mask. Her vision
is off, her aggressiveness is off and her shot is off, but
it's something she's going to have to work through because
we need her and LJ can't have a season-topping nights every
bench players may not have lit up the box score, but that
is only because they are still getting limited playing time.
Francesca, Chelle and Simone all had good production in the
few minutes they got. Zara looks more and more comfortable
every game and hit every shot she took tonight. Chelle is
slowly getting back to what we saw last season. At the beginning
of this season, she was wearing knee and ankle braces that
looked a lot like the hardware Simone wears. I wondered at
the time if she was injured or if her knees are just wearing
out. She's not wearing them any more and her game is picking
up, so maybe she had something wrong that we never heard about.
Whatever it was, it's good that she's finally warming up since
we'll need her down the stretch. Tanisha is still an unknown
for me. She seems to be high on Coach's list, but I still
don't see it. Eleven minutes, three turnovers and no points.
When Sue is as off as she is, our back-up needs to be stepping
up and so far she isn't.
was also a bit of a no-show tonight. She got into foul trouble
and got pushed around by Yo and DeCrya. Janell has the capacity
to average a 10 and 10 each night and when she goes four points
and two rebounds we're going to be in trouble, unless LJ goes
off like she did.
how do we look at this game? We beat the Monarchs when three
of our starters had arguably horrible games. The Storm took
the 2nd place team in the league down a notch and showed that
they can play like the defending champs that they are in the
games that "count." Well, as I wrote earlier, all
the games count so the defending champs need to start showing
up on a more consistent basis — and it needs to be all
had another "game on" bloody incident, although
it was her lip instead of her knee. I did notice after the
game that she had a nasty scrape on her right shin. She didn't
need it to bleed though since getting popped in the mouth
did the trick.
Queen of Hitting the Floor, our beloved Tully, was at the
game wearing an LJ jersey. Indiana gave their players a 4-day
break, so Tully flew out to Seattle to visit with her mates.
Storm recognized a couple local "All-Stars" in the
stands. Kayla Burt and a young woman (I forget her name, sorry)
who recently scaled Mt. Everest got the spotlight treatment.
was received a pregame award for her community work.
had a short video about her foundation on the big screen.
The url for her web page is www.lennoxfoundation.org.
Donovan got the 20-question action on the big screen during
a timeout. She had good answers to everything, except her
favorite CD/musical artist. There was a palpable cringe in
the crowd when they showed the guy she likes. I didn't recognize
who he was, so someone else will have to explain... other
than it sounded like some very white-bread adult contemporary
easy listening (shudder) music.
pulled a fast one on us. The ref list that was taped up before
the game was NOT the actual list. I always make sure to check
it out early so I can prepare for the ref suck factor appropriately.
The pregame list had Nakasone and two names I didn't recognize.
Okay, bad but not evil bad. Later, after the anthem, I looked
out on the floor and saw Roy and June talking to each other.
WHAT? How did we go from bad incompetent to 2 of the ref Sith
Lords? Sure enough, there was a new list on the scorers' table.
That's how evil works — it catches you off-guard.
thing — anyone who doubts that Storm fans are the loudest
needed to be here tonight. The sound was so loud at the end
of the game that it started to break up like a recording in
which the levels were off and the sound was exceeding the
max capabilities of the equipment. That my friends is loud.