score: Storm 91 Liberty 54 (W) (12-12)
by | Queenie
at least I'm sure the Seattle fans enjoyed it. Lord knows
someone had to.
I'm seriously convinced that Blaze has a yen for Sweet Adelines-
either she wanted to be one when she grew up, and she was
tragically turned from the calling because she just didn't
have the voice for it, or it's her secret turn-on. Whatever
the reason is, it's a harmless vice, and the groups tend to
do a beautiful job on the anthem. However, seating them in,
essentially, the rafters at a game with less than 50% of the
tickets sold is tacky beyond all belief. They were up in the
300s, the highest level sold. Even if it's center court, that's
just not on.
Crowd ambiance? We don't have that anymore, not until they
start throwing t-shirts, and I've noticed that they're doing
that later and later in the game- I think someone's noticed
that during blowouts, people leave as soon as the t-shirts
are thrown. Personally, I wouldn't want those people hanging
around to the end of the game; I think those are the boo-birds,
and if I were in charge at MSG, I wouldn't want boo-birds
hanging out at the end. It could get ugly. Of course, I also
have issues with playing the rally song when down 39 points,
but I recognize that it, just like everything else about my
gameday experience, has been commercialized.
Keyword of the game? Substitute. Substitute announcer, substitute
Maddie (surely I wasn't the only one who noticed the body
language was all wrong), and lots of time for the sub players.
(Except for Seattle, who has very few sub players, and lost
one when Barbara Turner got hurt.)
I had a bad feeling about the way this game was going to go
when Betty Lennox opened up on fire. I figured she'd be streaky,
so maybe we'd have a chance with LJ and Bird hurting, and
Burse benched with the shoulder. Of course, then Lennox hits
her first few shots and Sherill can't do a thing to stop her.
Mmmm, feeling of impending doom. Also, LJ played amazingly
well for a woman who looked like going off the ground hurt
like the devil. There was very little elevation in her jump
shot, and she was kicking out her feet unusually after the
release. She's got a surprisingly soft touch for a big player,
I must say. Leaving Bird alone is, of course, a terrible idea,
because that jump shot of hers is beautiful, but in a different
way from LJ's soft touch. Not too much with the fancy passing,
though, not tonight. Tiffani Johnson set one amazing screen
for her on a coast-to-coast play that bloody well better make
SportsCenter. I miss seeing open court Screens of Death. TJ
was hustling more than most of the Liberty players, which
is a sad state of affairs indeed. She was the starter who
drew the short straw on being the starter running with the
benchies. Turner demonstrated a peculiar love of dives early
in the game- worked for her, too- but got hurt later on a
real fall. It looked like she hit her tailbone- mucho ouch!
I think I'm in love with Izi's jumper. I love me those high
arching rainbow shots, especially when they're three-pointers.
It took me the longest time to notice her scoring, and then
suddenly I turned to my boyfriend and said, "When the
hell did Castro Marques put up 23?" She got a little
fancy at times, though. Ashley Robinson had one monster block
that I think later resulted in a shot clock violation, absolutely
stuffed… um, someone… clean as a whistle. Of course,
she later threw a shoulder into Cathrine Kraayeveld, which
did not make me a happy camper. I'd forgotten how much I liked
Edwige- she was with the Liberty for a while, you know, before
she was –Wade. I like her speed, I like her court vision,
and I don't really mind her distributor mindset. Tanisha Wright,
on the other hand, didn't impress me. Erin got a lot of her
points on her, and also defended her well, and really, what
does it say about your offensive skill set that Erin Thorn
can successfully defend you?
Seriously, though, if I hear one more denigration of Erin
Thorn on any of the message boards I frequent, I think I'm
going to resort to violence. Save it until after Becky comes
back and she returns to scrub status. Right now, she's our
only consistent scorer, and for long stretches seemed to be
the only Liberty player who gave a flying about the game.
Loree, of course, was our leading rebounder again, and at
one point snatched one away from Cathrine, who at times seems
to think that this rebounding thing is beneath her; however,
she has GOT to lay off the fancy dribbling. Sherill=ball hog.
She took a lot of ill-considered shots on breaks where she
was outnumbered, or simply didn't have the angle. I think
she has about as much faith in the rest of the squad's chances
of putting the orange-and-oatmeal thing in the round thing
as we do, and feels that she has to do it herself. She needs
to ease up on that a bit, and stop trying to be fancy. Barbara
had one of her better games as a Lib… which doesn't
say much, considering that she had 8 and 5, while her presumptive
defensive assignment, Johnson, had 9 and 4. I honestly cannot
remember a damn thing Shameka did. Not.a.damn.thing. Iciss
looked lost, but Christelle looked fiery. Why isn't she getting
more minutes again? The eternal question on all Liberty fans'
minds when looking at the front of our bench and the end of
our bench. Kiesha is way too fond of the sideline by the press
table. She spends an awful lot of time over there, either
attempting to hassle the opposing point guard or being hassled
herself. She also seems to like looking for her own shot.
It was very nice seeing Ashley Battle get extended playing
time, especially against a couple of her college mates. She
reminded us that we didn't hire her for her shooting prowess,
but for her toughness on the glass and her dogged defense.
Again, minutes? It was very nice to see Ambrosia play- she's
so enthusiastic. I wish she'd look for her shot in her minutes;
today she kept passing out, although she was in position.
She had a nifty steal within a minute of coming in. I think
I like her, so long as she learns how to be confident on the
offensive end. Perhaps pairing her with Erin, instead of putting
her in when Erin leaves, would work better, unless Patty's
afraid of being countermanded.
Some very classy moves by the Storm. I think Donovan was aware
that with all the injuries, she was going to have to play
starters even in the midst of an utter blowout. I also think
she ordered her team to slow it up so as to not run up the
score. Granted, part of it may have been so she could figuratively
look her former coach in the eye without shame, but I think
it was mostly because Donovan is old school and smart. I have
a lot of respect for her.
While I'm thinking of classy things by Storm folk... I had
gotten bad placement in the madness of autograph hunting,
stuck behind someone else, and I really wanted Izi's. She
was on her way out, having signed for one side of the tunnel,
and I called her name. She came back and not only (eventually)
signed my card, but signed for those of us on the other side
of the tunnel. And her signature was definitely worth the
trouble. A lot of the ladies stopped, Birdy especially. Props
to your team.
The refs were letting a lot of things go, especially traveling.
Some rather ticky-tack fouls, I thought, and some blatant
mistakes- a foul before the inbounds is FTs and the ball,
hello? I also think Iciss running down one of the Seattle
players (I'm remembering high socks, a double name, and a
single digit jersey, but that only brings it down to Izi or
Edwige) should have been a flagrant. Running players down
is not cool. But really, I shouldn't have expected any less
from Lisa Mattingly.
Fashion report: Janell looked best in a white blouse and a
brown skirt; for some reason, the skirt looked like something
out of AD's collection. Wendy was in pink, I believe, and
she looked very well put together- she's out of the scooter,
back in the boot. Shaun was in a tank top, slightly wrinkled,
and unflattering pants. AD was wearing... something... patterned
Still looking on the bright side, I got to meet several charming
Stormfans- the infamous Brrrrrrringy and the infamouser Mini,
flipper, and someone clad in lots of Betty Lennox gear. I
had many cards for Mini, some of which I hope she shares when
she gets home. Mama Brrrrrrrrringy and kate brought signs
supporting the Seattle Storm. I like them. They're shiny.
I also got a load of cards from a friend who was looking to
unload her non-Liberty stuff, which means I now have enough
Kedra Holland-Corn rookie cards to possibly trade with God
for world peace, or at least a Katie Feenstra auto (the only
way I can get it without utterly shredding my dignity).
I'm trying very hard not to think about the 37-point margin
of defeat. Trying hard. Trying… oh, frell.
by | BrrringIt
fan's phrase of the game |
Win yes, but by how much?
We met Queenie on the way in. She gave Mini a ton of player
cards. So nice and generous (and much younger than I had imagined
from reading her mature and insightful posts over the years).
She also clued us in on where to stand for maximum player
interaction. Both teams come on and off the court through
a tunnel at center court behind the scorers' table. The fans
are allowed to hang out near the railing until the Nazi ushers
shoo them away. I must say, the only rude people we encountered
in this city of 10 million were MSG ushers. They weren't just
insistent, they were obnoxious. I'm sure after the game they
reported to their second jobs at Riker's Island.
On the concourse, we saw two very familiar-looking, very tall,
lovely ladies in Storm shirts. I approached them and we chatted
about the team. We said we were from Seattle and they said
they were from Pennsylvania but the Seattle coach is their
sister. Ah. I told them Seattle has taken Anne to heart and
we love her. They said, "So do we, but we have to. She's
family." Charm and wit run in the family along with the
Met Kate (WNBAtalker), flipper and bettyrules inside. There
were actually quite a few Storm fans (not just Sue fans) at
the game. This became very apparent at intro time. We all
stood and clapped and cheered and whooped it up for each of
our players. Sue got a bigger reception than any of the Liberty
players. The Liberty fans just sit there. In fact, they never
stand up at all until t-shirt time and when they decide to
leave early (please note any reference to Lib fans like these
does not include our dear friend Kate. She and seatmate Vicki
stand and act like fans as we define them, much to the dismay
of the sedate fans around them).
JB and Shaun are in civvies. Turns out, so is Kelly Schumacher.
We knew they were without Becky for the past 5 games, but
this is sad. I'm feeling sorry for them and the lovely Lib
fans around me. To paraphrase Queenie, "not a Liberty
fan, but a fan of Liberty fans."
As Queenie mentioned, the anthem was performed by the Sweet
Adelines. More sopranos in this bunch than the ones at the
Key last week.
We were seated among a high school girls basketball team.
They weren't into the game other than some comments. "That
#22 needs to pass the ball." "The big blonde can
do EVERYTHING." "How tall IS the coach? OMG, she's
wearing HEELS!" The one behind me seemed most in touch
so I asked her a question a Lib fan would know the answer
to. She said, "I dunno. I'm a Sue Bird fan." Of
course you are. I would have rather had hardcore Lib fans
around us to help dissect the game and the team, but we did
that later at Club 31 with Kate and Vicki.
There are no prompts from the announcer or sound guy. No fan-originated
chants. When the Storm got possesion, they would play the
"Green Acres" theme song. Why? If it was supposed
to throw them, it obviously didn't work.
The Libs kid dance troupe is called the "Little Torches."
They did a routine to "Hand Jive" from "Grease."
The boys in t-shirts and blue jeans and the girls in poodle
skirts. Very sweet and refreshing.
There is no fan energy in this building unless t-shirts are
being thrown. How sad for their players. On our worst night
in the Key, we have 10 times the energy of the MSG crowd.
How they must pine for the glory days of T-Spoon and the 2000
The Storm got off to a quick start, with Betty and LJ lighting
them up early. B-Money had 12 points in 10 minutes.
When Shameka Christon went to the line after a 15-0 Seattle
run, Mini wanted to yell "BRICK", but I felt sorry
for them and convinced her to just say "brick" instead.
It was just as effective.
1st Quarter: 30-8 Storm
The Libs younger adult dance team is called the "Liberty
Torch Patrol." They did mostly cheerleading-type acrobatics.
The women had bare midriffs, but at least they had the abs
for it. No "muffin tops" here.
A-Rob has the sweetest "get that sh!t outta here"
block. Made me think of JB.
Izi has her shot back.
By the middle of the second quarter, the entire bench was
out there doing their Keystone Kops routine. But that's OK.
They were doing some nice things in the second half, so the
practice is doing them good.
Halftime 50-23 Storm
Halftime show was a talent competition for a $250 arts scholarship
sponsored by Hallmark. Three girls, aged 12-13 singing and
playing violin. Very nice. One of the singers won.
Chatted with Nancy B. She wanted to know what we've seen since
we've been in town. She laughed when she saw my jersey.
In the 3rd quarter, Barbara Turner went down hard on her right
ankle and it looked like she rolled it. They walked her out
of the arena a few minutes later. She returned to the bench
with 5:12 left in the game on crutches.
Izi found her shot.
A funny thing they do on the jumbotron with the players is
they have three of them act out a scene from a movie and the
audience (by applause) votes on the best performance. They
did the "You had me at 'hello.' scene from "Jerry
Maguire." Becky Hammon was hilarious and won easily.
Third Quarter: 65-40 Storm
The Libs have a third dance team of men and women 50+ called,
"Timeless Torches." They came out and boogied to
Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll." They were
very energetic and fun.
Edwige has an amazing ability to read the floor. I was mentioning
this to Mini just after a particularly sweet pass/assist at
our end when she stole the ball at the other end and darted
back up the court for a layup. "Dunk it! yelled the girl
I had a feeling Izi was having a good night then I looked
up and saw she finished with 26 points, which turns out is
her career high. Go Izi!
Final Score: 91-54 Storm
Apparently, the worst loss in team history. "We're going
for the number one draft pick," said Kate.
I held up my "Seattle Loves the Storm" sign several
times before and during the game. Tiff saw it when we were
near the tunnel and gave me a sardonic smile and said, "Thank
you." When I held it up during timeouts, just about every
player saw it and pointed it out to each other. They almost
all reacted with sad little smiles. I hear DL gave the sign
a shoutout on the broadcast. Most Liberty fans were sympathetic
about what they termed the "arena situation." Most
said the league would be worse off if the Storm moved away
from its fan base.
After the game, we saw the Lib/Storm fans we met last year
in Minnesota. They were down near courtside and we were going
up the stairs and the Gestapo was herding us out so we could
only wave to them and show them our sign. They waved back
and gave us thumbs up.
At Club 31 after the game, Becky Hammon and her family were
there and Shameka Christon and her husband came in.