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7/27/07 vs Indiana

Final score: Storm 89 – Fever 75 (W) (13-12)

Attendance | 8052

Anthem Watch | A cello player. Resonant, but she seemed to want to play another song half way through.

Fan Psyche | Nice to see the bench play so well down the stretch... oh wait, that was the Indiana bench. Ours still sucks.

Game Highlight | LJ hits 4000.

Halftime | Women of Inspiration.

SF.O Keyword of the Game | Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, M, V, P.

Game Photos | Rick | Scott L | Scott E

We got to see two games tonight. The first lasted about 2.5 quarters and saw the Storm double up the Fever to the score of 70-35. The second game developed in the last 1.5 quarters in which the Fever outscored the Storm 40-19.

The first game was fun.

The second game was not.

You may ask what it matters since the Storm so utterly dominated early on and had kicked the score out so far that it didn't really matter what the Fever did. A win is a win.

I might agree if lackluster bench play wasn't the norm. Unfortunately it is. Tonight was particularly galling as the Fever bench totally schooled the Storm bench. The Indiana players never gave up on the game. They brough energy, intensity and took advantage of the extended playing time they received. You can't say any of those things about the Storm bench, with the exception of Wendy.

You would think that having her lead the bench by example would be enough. I'm sure that she's doing more than that and is actively engaged in teaching her young teammates what it means to be on a WNBA team. So far, it doesn't seem to be sinking in.

I've been more and more frustrated, as have many other Storm fans, in the way the team is wasting the opportunity Lauren has given them. She is on a whole new level this season, but her dominating efforts are almost for naught. In too many games, it seems like she and just a couple other players are the only ones who give a damn. She has been working her butt off every game and her team has been letting her down. The Washington game was only the latest painful example of what I'm describing.

Tonight, the Storm met LJ half way. The starters, along with Wendy, came to play and put a hurting on the Catchings-less Fever. But the team only came half way and let the Fever run wild late. The Storm survived this one, but they need much, much more from the bench if they really do expect to go farther than a couple games in the first round of the playoffs.

It's unfortunate that the Fever are on such a losing streak without Catchings. All it is doing is cementing the idea that she really is that needed on this team. Some people are saying that she's dropping out of the MVP race. I don't think so. She's still in it and is looking more valuable with every Fever loss. If they go on a tear once she gets back, I almost guarantee she gets the MVP.

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