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5/23/07 vs Phoenix

Final score: Storm 100 – Mercury 87 (W) (2-0)

Attendance | 6833

Anthem Watch | A wee theater girl with a big voice

Fan Psyche | We want 100! And who's guarding Cappie?

Game Highlight | LJ hitting points 99 and 100 on a pair of free throws.

Halftime | A kids dance group.

SF.O Keyword of the Game | We got your run and gun right here.

Game Photos | Scott L | Rick

So how do you beat a run and gun team?

You outrun them with bigger guns.

Our big guns — LJ, Janell, Betty, Sue and Izi — put on an offensive show and almost blew the Mercury back into their Reese's Pieces uniforms from last season.

This is not to say that the Storm dominated the entire game. The first quarter and a half was relatively close. Even though the Storm seemed to have picked up where they left off with the Comets, the Mercury were right there. The Storm were playing great basketball but were only able to build a single digit lead. It wasn't until the end of the first quarter that they got to a ten point lead. I don't think anyone was feeling anything near comfortable through the first 15 minutes or so. The Mercury are too stacked offensively and were able to hit pretty much any shot they took — so long as it was Diana or Cappie shooting the ball.

The Storm didn't really have an answer for Cappie as she lit them up for 31 points. Diana had it going early, but left the game in the third quarter after a bone-rattling collision with Izi as the two of them went after a loose ball. Also, Penny Taylor got into foul trouble and played about 2/3rds her normal minutes. Tangela Smith also got foul happy and was a bit of a non-factor.

The Storm posts, however, totally controlled the rebounding and were very aggressive with their interior offense. Janell nearly had a double double in the first quarter and ended the game with a career high 19 rebounds. A telling sign that the Storm were going crazy under the basket was the fact that they doubled up the Mercury on free throw attempts — 30 to 15.

All the starters looked sharp and comfortable. Each was impressive in different ways. Sue was very relaxed and found her shot without forcing anything. LJ was all over the place and seemed to be scoring at will. Janell didn't look like she was suffering at all from her nagging shoulder injury and owned the glass. Izi was again looking to shoot early and often and gave the Storm an opening jolt of energy. Betty had a great all around game and, in my opinion, is showing maybe the most improvement of anyone on the team except for maybe Izi. Betty's outside jumper is ON and when she drives into the lane, I think she is much more in control of herself than in previous seasons. She is dishing the ball out more often instead of lowering her head and driving into 2 or 3 defenders. She had just as many assists as Sue did with 5. One knock against Betty were the fouls — she had a couple bad fouls on Mercury guards by bumping them and riding them up the court.

The main concern about this game was the lack of bench help. Katie and Wendy had some good minutes, but Coach Donovan got zip from the rest of the bench. The biggest problem so far over these two games has to be Tanisha. Her defensive intensity is fine, as we saw tonight, but she just doesn't seem to have a firm handle on the offense. Right now, the Storm's biggest weakness is at back-up point guard and Coach Donovan's lineup rotation shows it. Sue played 34 minutes in a game that had the Storm up by 18-20 points through most of the third and fourth quarters. That's a problem and not something that can continue over the whole season. At the team meet and greet event, Tanisha said that she was now comfortable with playing the point guard position where she wasn't in the past. So far, I don't think we're seeing a big improvement. We need 15 quality minutes out of Tanisha, not a nervous 7 or 8.

Other notes:

For the first time since the first season, I was sans camera. It was nice, but I kept seeing things and thinking, "I should have shot that." One way or another, I'll have a camera in my face at the next game.

The Storm had a get-well card for June Daugherty at the Fan Info booth on the concourse for fans to sign. Hopefully, she'll make a quick and full recovery from the heart attack she had earlier today.

I really like the choice of The Donnas' "Fall Behind Me" as the song during the opening video montage. It could be a little louder... or a lot louder. Rock it, KeyArena sound guy. Rock it.

The Hip Hop Squad seems to have been dropped, allowing the Storm Dance Troupe more opportunities to perform during the timeouts.

The FSN camera crew had some kind of super extendo apparatus for one of their cameras and had it up at basket rim level. It will interesting to see the video if any of it made it onto the broadcast.

Adia, Doppler and the arena announcer (sorry, I couldn't find his name) did a little pitch at halftime about All-Star balloting. Seattle fans burned through all of the Storm's allotment of ballots last year. Seattle was one of the few teams to run out. We of course need to do it again and while writing in Izi is the right thing to do, the fun thing to do would be to vote for Barb Turner who is listed as the Storm's starting forward. I think we should for two reasons: 1/ I don't think Coach should have waived BT, and 2/ it will teach the league a lesson about developing an All-Star ballot before the season even starts or final rosters are set. So far, Izi is playing great ball and should be recognized, so it would be unfair to her to not write her in. But the smart ass side of me reallllly wants to vote for Barb. Let your own conscience be your guide.

We really like our new seats — section 103, row 3. It's a 5-seat row, so the other people in the row don't have to come out past us. There aren't any courtside seats directly in front of us and the other people around us yell and scream almost as much as we do. Very nice.

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