score: Storm 86 Liberty 66 (W) (11-9)
Watch | Very slooooow, and twangy. Not in
a good way.
Psyche | This is fun-ish.
Highlight | The Storm guards finally figuring
out that, hey, we have one of the best post players in the
league and even when she's double-teamed she can still get
her shot — let's try getting her the damn ball for a
Keyword of the Game | You win some, you bruise
some (or blowout your knee some).
because it was the last stretch that stuck with me from last
night's game, I'm going to start this off with the negatives
rather than the positives. The Storm can get away with this
kind of stuff against a team like the Liberty, but would get
blown out of the building against a good team... like the
ones who have blown us out of the building already this season.
anyone can say, "We won by 20 and were up by 30, how
can you possibly complain about this game?" Here's how:
was the last starter to come out of the game and sat down
with 8:26 left in the fourth quarter. From that point on,
the bench managed only 3 points with one of those points being
a technical free throw. One basket — a jump shot from
Ashley Robinson — in 8 and a half freakin' minutes.
The only other points came from Barbara Turner in the last
thirty seconds, which don't count since she's no longer a
should this be such a big issue? Look at it this way: the
Liberty bench was better than our bench. If that doesn't send
cold chills down your spine then you're not paying enough
attention to what's happening on the court.
all thought it was bad after that game against the Mercury
when the bench went 4 minutes without scoring and the team
missed a chance to break their record high score. That game
was on May 25th. Apparently, the bench has not improved since
then. Tonight, they were given almost a whole quarter to play
as a unit and only managed one field goal and a technical
foul shot. I don't care that the game was basically over before
the beginning of the final quarter. I don't care if it was
8:26 of garbage time. They were out there to execute the offense,
protect the ball and maintain the defensive strategy against
the Liberty. They failed on all three counts. The Liberty
scored 14 points, held the Storm to 3 and forced 10 Storm
turnovers, including 7 steals. 7 STEALS. Up to that 8:26 stretch,
the Storm had 8 turnovers total and the Liberty had 4 steals.
At the end of the game, the Storm had 18 turnovers and the
Liberty had 11 steals. Unbelievable.
other major blow to the Storm came during the same 8:26 debacle
period was when Shaun Gortman went down with an injury that
looked like a dislocated knee. One person who had a clear
view as Shaun was helped off the court said that her knee
cap looked like it was on the side of her knee. If it is that
bad, this could be a season-ending injury. Gortman hasn't
been getting a lot of minutes, but she was one of Coach Donovan's
defensive specialists. This will put a lot more pressure on
Barbara and Izi to handle the opponent's small forwards and
2-guards. Hopefully, it isn't serious and Shaun will be back.
the positive side of things, our starters totally dominated
had a huge game including a career-high 14 rebounds (which
is a bit of a surprise — I would have thought her career-high
for rebounds would have been higher) and almost hitting a
double double in the first quarter. LJ actually got the ball
on a consistent basis and took the most shots of any Storm
player — 15 — and racked up one of her better
scoring nights of the season. Betty was huge in the first
and second quarters with her scoring and was very strong with
her rebounding. Sue had an average statistical night but again
seemed to hit the big shots to really drive the nails in the
coffin for the Liberty. All 4 of these players did all of
this in well under their normal minutes of playing time. Barbara
was the only starter who didn't do much tonight and hit her
only shot at the end of the game.
good news is that during the first three quarters, the team
looked like they were having fun. I'm hoping that they've
worked out the cobwebs from being off for so long and will
come back on Sunday for a full 40 minutes of focused basketball.
They're going to need it against the East All-Star team...
I mean the Connecticut Sun.
off, the Betty / Loree Moore double technicals. It was during
a N'Garsanet free throw right at the end of the second quarter.
Betty was out at the three-point line guarded by Moore. Moore
was bodying Betty even before the free throw went up. As the
N'Garsanet started her shot, Betty started running in for
a possible rebound. Moore was on her the whole way. The two
of them looked like they were attached as they fought down
the lane and towards the basket — they were pushing,
elbowing and maybe more importantly jawing at each other the
whole way. The got tangled up and I think Betty ended up on
the floor (I could be wrong about that). As she and Moore
headed back up the court, Betty looked like she was really
challenging Moore verbally — the "Bring it on,
b****" type of friendly comment. Moore responded and
they both got T'd up. It was kind of fun.
City Rollergirls in the House! The RCRG made their KeyArena
debut and I'm sure found some new fans. Pregame, the Rollergirls
were up on the concourse promoting their bout
Saturday night and their upcoming
tournament (Saturday, 9/2 at KeyArena — tickets on sale
now!) during Bumbershoot. During halftime, they showed
part of their intro video (which after going to 6 or 7 bouts
so far was the first time me and Angie got to clearly see
and hear the video) and then acted out the legal and illegal
hits they do during a bout. They had to do it sans skates
unfortunately, but they looked like they were having fun and
the crowd seemed to enjoy seeing them.
look-alike sightings: Coach Judge Judy and Howard Stern. Judge
Judy was sitting in the first row right behind David and Elise.
I'm not sure it actually was her — someone from
that section will have to confirm it. Someone dressed like
Howard Stern was out during the Ride-the-Train timeout. I
don't think anyone was fooled by that one — not
even a little bit.
celebrity sightings — Jenny Boucek was sitting in section
107, about row 9 on the aisle. She didn't look very pleased.
SFiCL, aka Houston, aka Peg, was also at the game and will
be here through the day game next week. Yee haw.