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7/28/06 vs Detroit

Final score: Storm 67 – Shock 77 (L) (14-13)

Attendance | 9686

Anthem Watch | Didn't see it.

Fan Psyche | All pumped up with no where to go.

Game Highlight | Unfortunately, what would have been on a continuous loop replay on ESPN (if they actually showed WNBA video) was something we're glad we didn't get to see again.

Halftime | Dogs!

SF.O Keyword of the Game | Pick your expletive.

Game Photos

Disappointing. This game was disappointing.

No LJ in the second half (considering that she's been playing through pain for the whole season already, the pain she felt tonight must have been excruciating to get her to sit out for half a game), no Betty in the late 3rd and 4th quarters, Janell out for the season, Wendy out for the season, Shaun out for the season, Sue hobbled by sore feet and what looks like an abdominal injury (she keeps clutching the same area on her left side after exerting herself), and now Cisti out with who knows how serious a concussion after getting stepped on and then kicked in the face by freakin' Braxton.

Even with all of that filling up the injury list, the Storm still had opportunity after opportunity to take this game. It was frustrating for us to watch — I can't imagine the level of frustration the players must be feeling.

I'm not sure what's really the sad part though — that the Storm are running out of players to field a decent team or that Detroit was so bad even with their starters playing most of the game that they really barely beat us.

Let's face it, the Detroit Shock sucked and it was only through a huge night from Nolan and Ford being allowed to play by a different rule book (she gets such good rebounding position for a reason, you grey-shirted idiots — and while were at it, ONE, TWO, THREE — three in the key. Call it!) that kept them in the game. The second place team in the East couldn't put away a team that was missing 3 starters and half its reserves? That's something to be real proud of Detroit fans. Real proud.

From Storm fan perspective, our bench basically kept up with the Detroit starters and, as I said, had plenty of opportunities to catch up and take the game. Through the end of the 3rd and most of the 4th quarter, the Storm kept the score within 6-9 points. Because the Shock were stinking up the Key, one decent Storm run would have turned the game. The crowd was there and waiting to explode, but every time the Storm got a stop and had a chance to make up some ground, they took a bad shot, lost the ball or just let the rebound go without fighting for it.

If we could have gotten another 5 minutes out of LJ in the 4th quarter, we would have won this game.

The bright note from this game was a solid performance from Ashley Robinson. She definitely showed that she can be a presence inside with a career high 13 rebounds and several blocks (she was only credited with 2, but she had a couple wiped out because of fouls committed by other Storm players). She can certainly jump. She was pogoing for rebounds and was getting within a finger's length from the rim. Give her a run at it and I wouldn't be surprised if she couldn't dunk the ball. The only thing she needs to add is some confidence in taking the ball to the basket and scoring. She's got the hops, height and long arms — she could have been scoring over Riley and Ford if she started thinking like a scorer.

Ultimately, this is what kept the Storm down in the second half — role players whose normal job it is to go in and play defense or fill up the lane staying in their roles when it was time for them to do more. I don't think it is something that should be blamed on anyone in particular — if they don't play their roles normally, Coach yanks them from the game. Tonight, they needed to think like scorers and didn't.

So, this game was disappointing — we lost another home game which is one thing I'm having a hard time dealing with this season after the last couple of seasons when the Key was a road team's worst nightmare, we lost a game we should have won after winning 3 straight on the road including games we probably maybe "shouldn't" have won, and while we're still poised to make the playoffs that outcome doesn't look that bright simply because of the injuries we have.

Finally, this game was disappointing because even though we had a lower bowl "sell out," I was expecting more. I wanted to see the damn curtain pulled up. People came through and donated $5000 about bought 500 tickets for kids — that was pretty incredible. But where was the support for this team? 9686? Should have been 14000 or 15000 at least.

Other Notes:

The Save our Sonics and Storm group had upwards of 100 volunteers before the game helping pass out signs and sign people up for more info. That's pretty amazing.

Steven Kilbreath was our guest announcer, making his triumphant KeyArena return. After the game, he was on the concourse chatting with some people when we (there were about 10 of us or so, commiserating about the game) saw him and launched into a spontaneous cheer and applause. Seattlegaucho had a "I heart Kilbreath" sign that he offered to autograph. I think we surprised him a bit. He was a good sport as always. He was a great announcer and still has the best last name ever for someone whose job is a public speaker.

DiGiorno was in full force last night and handing out free pizzas right and left. I tell you, that kind of in-arena promotion works a ton better than inserting stuff into the big screen videos like asking the players what their favorite pizza is.

There were a ton of signs, and not just the ones we or SOS&S printed up. There were fewer "Howard Sucks" signs than I expected, which is a good thing since that ship has sailed. There were two massive signs ranting on about Title IX and stuff — I couldn't read them from across the arena (a signal that you need to do better at sign making) but got a couple shots.

Speaking of photography, man was I off my game. I kept changing my shutter speed for the seating lighting to get shots of the signs or fans and then forgetting to change it back for the court lighting for the game. I haven't looked at them yet, but I think I might have screwed up most of the second half.