score: Storm 92 Mystics 70 (W) (9-10)
Watch | An excellent rendition from a trio
of soldiers who are heading back to Iraq in October. Stay
Psyche | You better be able to beat San Antonio
(followed up by) So you beat San Antonio - don't get cocky.
Highlight | Sue and LJ shooting the lights
out in the second half.
| Kids scrimmage.
Keyword of the Game | No Foam Finger Guy?
if to prove Betty's recent quote in the press about not worrying
about scoring and focusing on defense, the Storm run away
in the final minutes of the second half to blow out the Silver
Stars yet still allow 70 points and 44% shooting. The Storm
can score, but their defense still has some question marks.
one thing that I've been noticing more and more lately is
that the Storm are allowing their opponents to create mismatches
on offense which they then successfully exploit either because
the defender switch puts the Storm player way out of position
and or one of the switching defenders completely misses their
assignment and the opposing offensive player gets an uncontested
jump shot. This happened a few times in the last game against
the Mystics and it happened several times tonight against
the Silver Stars.
and Johnson used this to their advantage throughout the entire
game. In one of the most glaring breakdowns in the first half,
Marie screened off of one her forwards and swung around to
a spot right in front of the Storm bench. Betty, who was guarding
Marie, switched off and took on the post player. Izzy, who
had been on the San Antonio forward, did one of those throw
out my arm moves at Marie, but stayed with the forward and
Betty. Marie gets the ball and an open jumper which she of
course hits.The whole time after the switch, Betty was angrily
gesturing for Izzy to go back to Marie. I don't know if Betty
was supposed to stay on Marie and not switch or if Izzy was
supposed to switch and didn't. Either way, someone blew it
and Marie did her thing. This kind of thing happens enough
— maybe 10 or 15 times a game, maybe more — that
it's not just one player making a bad decision on one play.
other thing that has been very apparent and was rearing its
ugly head again in this game is that the Storm as a team seem
to be playing one step slower than their opponents. This is
on display just about any time there is a scramble for a loose
ball on the floor or a contested rebound. More often than
not, the ball seems to end up in the opponent's hands. How
many times tonight did we see a rebounding opportunity go
tap, tap, tap, San Antonio? LJ is the only one who is really
going in there with authority and ripping down rebounds with
two hands. Our other bigs seem to be thinking tap it back
before grab it myself. Janell has her moments, especially
on the offensive boards, when she gets in there with some
aggression and takes over but she also gets pushed out of
position much of the time.
thinking at this point that we won the game, so why am I still
going on about the areas in which the Storm are getting beat?
Because this was the "easiest" game on the Storm's
remaining schedule. They only get tougher from here on out.
Getting the defense together and playing with more energy
than the other team are two things that have to happen in
every game between now and the end of August or the end of
August will be the end of the Storm's summer.
of that. The Storm did get a much needed win after all and
we finally got to see the team having some fun out there.
hit a couple threes and then shot a few more just to make
sure the first one or two weren't flukes. Sue went score crazy
for a few minutes again and started nailing shots. She too
seemed to then shoot a few more just to affirm that she was
indeed making baskets. Betty finally had a good game (although
she has apparently lost the ability to keep the ball under
control when she is dribbling it). In fact, everyone who played
scored. Even Natalia got decent playing time and got a couple
all miss the good old days of last season when the starters
would sit out the last few minutes of each game since the
win was in the bag cheering on the bench. I don't know that
we've really seen that but maybe one time this season. We
got to see it a bit tonight. Watching LJ and Sue make fun
of Suzy trying to lead a fastbreak up the court kind of makes
all the pain of being a .500 team fade away a bit. Well, not
really, but it's a good sign nonetheless.
refs still sucked, but at least they were making nutty calls
on both sides and weren't just sticking it to the Storm. The
female ref tonight, Barb Smith, was kind of freaking me out
a little. She was laughing and smiling at everything, especially
when the players were giving her crap for the calls she made.
What was up with that? Another trend that I've been noticing
about the refs that I've commented on a little previously
is that they seem to be letting the other teams get away with
yapping at them much more than the Storm players. We see the
other players "conferencing" with the refs easily
twice as much as the Storm do and then have the refs turn
around and give those players a call on their next possession.
It's almost like clockwork. Tell the refs what they are doing
wrong, get a call next time down the court. Maybe Coach Donovan
needs to tell Sue and Lauren to complain more to the refs.
It works for the other teams.
crowd was MIA through the first 30 minutes of the game. Foam
Finger Guy was missing and we see the results — a flat
crowd with no energy. The people who sit around him may not
like him, but tonight's game showed to me how much we need
him to lead the crowd. People didn't really get going until
the Storm started to pull away in the last half of the second
half. It was the deadest crowd we've had this season. Maybe
the team's malaise is wearing off on the fans. If so, it's
too bad because they need us to be lifting them up more now
final thought for this game — it was great to win
and hopefully the Storm have learned their lessons about carrying
the momentum from one good game into another. We also had
really good games against Connecticut and Sacramento... only
to get spanked in the next game (or games). Saturday at LA
is as big a game and opportunity as the Storm have had this
season to really start to turn the corner and to start clawing
their way back into the playoff race. I'm confident that they
can win. Are they?
amusing ticket misunderstanding took place in the seats right
behind us. Two women were sitting there and were challenged
by 3 young girls who claimed to have tickets for the same
seats. Ushers were involved. At one point, the two women made
the assertion that these seats were their season ticket seats
and they had been sitting there all the time. Angie and I
looked at each other with a "Whaaaa?" look since
we'd never seen these two before. They then leaned forward
and asked us if we were in the right place. Riiiiight. The
girls won and the women disappeared. The girls then started
trying to talk to the players and didn't get that the players
weren't going to respond. Newbies.
didn't have our normal announcer, Steven Kilbreathe. The new
guy didn't do a bad job, but we want Kilbreathe. It's just
not right with anyone else.
did Brick with the Meganator during the SASS free throws,
but let's face it — not effective. I mocked Wendy Palmer
Daniels once in the quiet space between her free throws and
she missed. Maybe I need to do more of that. Besides, I think
I am making Suzy deaf in one ear.
I got a pregame high-five from Coach Boucek (and we won, coinkydink?
I think not).
Locke's computer took one for the team on an errant pass from
the Silver Stars. He also was giving Elise a noogie early
on in the game. I saw it out of the corner of my eye and didn't
get my camera up in time to get a shot. It was funny.
almost had our game on blood incident with Betty this time,
but the blood wasn't hers. She had some blood on her left
forearm and the refs made her come off to get it attended
to. When she got to the bench and the trainer went to check
her out, they just wiped it off and Betty said, "I told
him it wasn't mine." Ick.