score: Storm 76 Lynx 60 (W) (17-13)
Watch | A jazz singer who did a fairly straight
forward rendition, except for a couple spots where she wanted
to start scatting. Also, to the people in the suite behind
us who were yelling and partying during the anthem, you could
get shot for that in red states.
Psyche | Pure, unrestrained venomous anger
at the Confusion of Refs (tip 'o the hat to Queenie).
Highlight | Let's see... LJ blocking everyone,
Sue flirting with a triple double, Izzy and Lovelace getting
in each other's faces, LJ's potty mouth unleashed as she goes
for a double double, Tanisha with 3 steals, everyone plays
— everyone scores, Coach Donovan gets her 100th win.
You pick the one you like.
| Microsoft sponsored shooting thing (no,
I'm not receiving any money for writing "Microsoft").
Keyword of the Game | BOOOOOO... oh, you're
calling a technical on the Lynx Asst. Coach even though it
is halftime? You still suck, but we'll quit booing you.
game changing play wasn't an Izzy three or an LJ block, or
even one of Sue's stop and pop jump shots. There were lots
of those three plays, but the one that I think pretty much
ensured a Storm win happened with just a couple minutes gone
off the clock when Tanisha dove into Vanessa Hayden, who was
already on the floor, to get a loose ball. Hayden went out
and didn't return to the game. She was holding her right arm/shoulder
in an odd position that might have been a dislocation or a
severe sprain. Whatever it was, one half of the Lynx's post
power team was gone and the Storm defense was able to focus
in on Ohlde. The Storm played a great second half and were
in complete control, but it might have been a different story
had Hayden been in the game.
that's basketball. They were without Hayden and we were without
Betty. Tanisha didn't purposefully hurt Hayden — she
did foul her and got away with it, but that's the game.
Storm started the game with a lot of energy and intensity
on defense. The forced a couple of shot clock violations and
pressured the Lynx into several bad shots. The Storm were
able to jump out to a quick lead, but allowed the Lynx to
keep the game close by committing turnover after turnover.
Then the Storm's shooting dried up and it seemed like we were
stuck on 26 for several minutes. If the Lynx had been able
to take advantage of the Storm's dry spell, the game might
have been more of a nailbiter. Fortunately for us, the Lynx
couldn't hit a wall with a howitzer either.
not going to rant about the refs. We had Roy and Darla and
some imp named Eli who apparently really wants to impress
Roy with how many bad Roy-like habits he's learned. It was
bad. Missed calls. No calls. Horribly wrong calls. Mostly,
it just pissed off Lauren who then turned on the juice and
took over the game. I will say one other thing about the refs.
Apparently, the Lynx weren't too happy with the Evil Ones
either. The Lynx assistant coach was yapping at them as they
left the court at the end of the first half, while the now
traditional boos rained down. Eli, the Imp, decided he'd heard
enough yapping and gave the Lynx coach a T. It was kind of
funny — once people realized he'd called a T on the
Lynx, they grudgingly quit booing, but not completely.
Storm came out in the second half and ran away with the game.
I remember looking up at the score and all the sudden we're
up by 14. Angie had the same reaction. The Storm simply had
all the energy, were hitting their shots including some killer
threes from Izzy and LJ, and were shutting down the Lynx on
the other end. The only drama seemed to be whether LJ would
get a double double (she only had 4 points at the end of the
first half) and if Sue could get a few more rebounds and get
into triple double range (she was sitting at 7 points, 5 rebounds
and 7 assists for awhile and finished with 9, 5 and 9).
course, other dramas erupted here and there. Izzy and Stacey
Lovelace got into a mouthing-off and gesturing stand-off that
earned them both technicals. In a previous play, Izzy had
been hammered by Lovelace and Williams (I think) and didn't
get a call (the boos were plentiful on the replay for that
one). A couple of plays later, Lovelace got a rebound and
Izzy reached in and tied up the ball. She also tried to rip
the ball away after the whistle which Lovelace didn't like.
There was language, posturing, teammates intervening, Tamika
Williams trying to joke about it during the jump ball after
the dual technicals. Fun was had by all.
doesn't seem to care for the Lynx too much. She was jawing
at them constantly. She did give Lovelace a little "no
hard feelings" hug near the end of the game, but that
was after 35 minutes of extremely physical play and lots of
trash talking. Luckily, the refs didn't seem to hear some
of LJ's choicer expressions or she would have been paying
for a technical as well.
of LJ, she put on a show in the second half. As I wrote above,
she only had 4 points in the first half, but went to town
in the second. It wasn't like she was doing it against one-on-one
coverage either. Every time she touched the ball while she
was even close to the paint she was instantly double teamed.
It wasn't like those double teams were just standing there
either. The Lynx are one of those slap happy teams and they
were all over LJ. Could be the reason she was getting lippy
with them. She cranked up her performance and went to the
basket regardless of how many defenders she had draped on
her. On defense she was swatting shots away like she was playing
tether ball. She would have had more than 4 blocked shots
if a couple other ones hadn't been negated by fouls called
on those plays.
other superstar, Sue, had another all-around great night.
Like I said, she ended up with a great stat line and I was
hoping that Coach Donovan would have left her in just a little
longer so she could have at least gotten a double double.
Once the score got in the high teens to twenty range, I knew
Sue wasn't going to take another shot. She is the only player
that I've seen who really chooses exactly when she is going
to score. If she wanted, Sue could probably average close
to 20 a game. Instead, she takes shots pretty much only when
the team is struggling on offense or when she can pound the
nails into the coffin for the other team by hitting one of
those backbreaking threes. She doesn't go out looking to shoot
the ball, so when the Storm are in control you can bet that
Sue won't be shooting. I can understand what she's doing,
but it would have been nice for her to get that 10 and 10
did fairly well again in place of Betty. She still had some
poor judgment turnovers — bad passes or over dribbling
and allowing the defender to steal the ball — and she
is a bit of a foul magnet, but she made up for that by playing
solid defense and hitting her shots. This has been a great
opportunity for her to grow quickly and adjust to the WNBA
by having more playing time, and it has been good for those
of us who haven't been too sure about Tanisha to begin to
see what Coach Donovan saw in her. She's fearless and has
a nose for the ball. She's willing to attack the defense and
can hit outside jump shots. She does dribble dribble dribble
too much, but she seems to be doing it less each game.
had a solid game and was either pushing the ball up the court
and attacking the defense or hitting her super high arcing
threes. She also plays a fearless game, but is under more
control than Tanisha (or Betty at times). Izzy loves to fly
down the court and catch the defense one-on-one or one-on-two
and is always looking for that seam or defender who is turned
away. She doesn't force things and smartly backs off when
she is too outnumbered. I really love to watch her do her
was reportedly suffering from a minor injury (a muscle sprain?),
but started anyway. She didn't have a big night and spent
a lot of time on the bench in foul trouble. This gave Suzy
and Simone a little more playing time. Suzy didn't put up
a big game. Simone again made the best of her few minutes.
I think that maybe Coach Donovan played Simone too much last
year. She's been much more effective in short concentrated
burst of playing time. Tonight, she hit a couple shots, got
a couple rebounds and got an assist. The crowd loved it.
our bench did a decent job tonight. They scored 20 points,
10 rebounds and 7 assists. Of course, you'd like to see more
of everything and the first half drought the Storm suffered
through came when the bench was in, but we're not seeing the
single digit no rebound kind of nights from them as a group.
was a good and timely win for the Storm. They are on the verge
of clinching a playoff spot and in command of the 2nd place
spot over Houston. Looking back at where the team was at the
beginning of the season, I don't think anyone realistically
had the Storm in this position at the end of the season. I
honestly thought we'd be fighting for the 4th spot and lucky
to be in the 3rd. As it is, the Storm is legitimately in 2nd
and has their first round playoff fate in their own hands.
It may still come down to the last game of the season for
final playoff positioning, but I think the Storm are in great
shape and look like they are playing with a lot of confidence.
sounding like a broken record, but it only gets tougher over
the next eight or nine days.
Donovan, with this win, is the first woman coach to reach
100 wins and is the fourth coach in WNBA history to reach
that total. After the game, the team came back on the court
with a big bouquet of flowers for Coach D and all gave her
a hug. They then stood off to the side while she was interviewed
by David Locke, horsing around. Simone got a thunderstick
and was whapping everyone on the butt with it.
groups and individuals were highlighted during the game including
the UW Husky women's volleyball team (Nicksports must have
been happy), Rashard Lewis and Jamal Crawford were here for
some charity thing, the Gold Medal winning women's basketball
team in the Master's Division of the World Championships held
in Canada recently (thanks to CK for the correct info), and
a young Olympic Gold medalist who competed in a wheelchair.
one timeout, they played a clip from the Simpsons showing
people in the stands at a sporting event. Cheerleaders were
on the field throwing t-shirts into the crowd. Homer took
off his shirt and painted a bullseye on his stomach. The clip
ended and Doppler came out to of course throw t-shirts into
the crowd. I'm pretty sure, but if they had played that clip
for another few seconds, we would have seen Ned Flanders'
wife falling to her death off the back of the grandstands
because Homer went for a thrown t-shirt. I'll be honest, I
was a little disturbed that they picked a clip leading up
to one of the few deaths on the Simpsons to rile up the KeyArena
all the way from England!, was here with her mother and will
be here for the remainder of the Storm home games. Welcome
tried one of the "Chicago" hot dogs from the concessions.
Hmmm. While I appreciate the effort in offering more than
just warmed up Costco dogs, I'm not sure about the "Chicago"
dogs. One thing I can be sure of — that pickle relish
was the most unnatural color of green I've ever seen in a