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6/20/07 vs Minnesota

Final score: Storm 94 – Sky 76 (W) (7-6)

Attendance | 6752

Anthem Watch | So many things to say. I hesitate to fully unload only because she seemed so earnest in her... rendition. I will say that I'm pretty sure several sections of the Patriot Act directly prohibit what we heard tonight.

Fan Psyche | Just give LJ the damn ball.

Game Highlight | That fastbreak Sue drive and kick-out to Betty who touch passed it to LJ for a corner three. That was freakin' beautiful.

Halftime | The Dunking Ushers — always a good halftime.

SF.O Keyword of the Game | LJ for MVP!

Game Photos | Scott L | Scott E

So much for the 30-point game every three games.

LJ did the domination thing tonight. It helped that Chicago had no one who could guard her. Heck, they had multiple no ones who could guard her. She was doing whatever she wanted against double- and triple-teams.

If that wasn't good enough, our bench finally showed up from training camp and put some real numbers on the board. Shyra Ely finally showed us what she showed the Coach in practice — she can actually hit a shot or two, get some rebounds and play a little defense.

The bench got most of the 4th quarter on the court. LJ went out with about 7:30 left on the clock and the score was 82-62. The bench scored 12 while allowing 14 and got 12 rebounds, and this was with the Sky big guns in the game until the last couple minutes. The only player to not score was Fluker. On the other hand, the bench also had 7 turnovers during that stretch along with 4 fouls. The Storm had only 6 turnovers before that 7:30. Improvement? Yes — after all, we've seen the end of games when the bench was in for 4-5 minutes and was unable to score at all. Enough to quit riding them about their production? No.

A little about the Chicago Sky. To be honest, I'm a little irritated by this team. They are a decent bunch and fun to watch. Candice Dupree is going to be one of those LJ/Yolanda/Diva type of dominating players very soon. Her shot is almost so easy and natural that I was left wondering why the Sky didn't just give it to her on every play and do a clear out so she could go to work one-on-one. With Perkins and Price, the Sky have a solid future core of players. For a second-year expansion team, they are poised to be competitive and will probably make a playoff run this season.

That's the irritating part. Chicago got it easy. Too damn easy. Yes, their first year was 5-29. Ours was 6-26. Okay, they had it rough for a season. But, they haven't earned anything yet. They haven't felt the pain of the cellar enough yet. It sucks that they are 6-8 and a danger to beat anyone. Sucks.

Anyway, the Storm looked sharp and together. They looked like they are getting along just fine, and if that fastbreak pass, touch pass, three isn't a sign of on-court chemistry, I don't know what is. Jayda's article about tension on the team stirred things up and looks like it had a positive effect on the team. Those kinds of articles can go a couple of ways — forcing everyone into defensive mode and causing more dissent or forcing it all out into the open and causing them to deal with their issues. It seems that there is a little dealing going on.

One last note. LJ is playing like a true MVP and is on track to have her best season ever. She is injury-free and is managing the chronic pain she'll always have. The Storm can't count on all of that every season. Now is the time to strike, take advantage of having the best player on the planet playing healthy and start winning some damn games. Tonight was a good win. Let's not waste LJ's effort and health by playing .500 basketball.

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