score: Storm 74 Monarchs 78 (L) (13-14)
Watch | A very nervous intern.
Psyche | Please, just win a game. Please.
Highlight | LJ playing like a demon. Again.
| A kid's fitness contest of sorts.
Keyword of the Game | Sigh.
Photos | Rick
LJ does not win the MVP title, this game and all the others
like it this season will be the reason given.
She, yet again, was playing her heart out. She was working her
butt off on offense and following it up with fantastic defense.
Another 30 point game against double and triple teams —
very physical double and triple teams — along with 7 blocks.
did she get in support? Zero defense on Powell. Sloppy ball
handling that allowed the Monarchs to steal the ball 9 times.
Zero rebounding that allowed the Monarchs to get an incredible
17 offensive rebounds. 17! Matador defense which drew fouls
and put the Monarchs on the line early in the quarter.
spite of LJ's game dominating performance, the Storm lose.
it comes time for the MVP voting, all these losses will count
heavily against LJ's chances. Yes, her individual stats are
impressive and record-breaking, but is she lifting up the
rest of the team? Is she making the rest of the team better?
Is the rest of the team so bad that even with her spectacular
play they are hardly able to maintain a .500 win loss record?
Lauren the best player in the league this year? Absolutely.
Is the Storm's apathetic play torpedoing not only their own
chances for a decent playoff showing but also LJ's chance
at the MVP? Absolutely.
It's obvious that a few of the other players are frustrated
too. Sue is finally working herself back into shape and is contributing,
but seems to be having a harder and harder time with every loss.
At the end of this game as Powell was knocking down more free
throws, Sue was near mid-court with her head down and didn't
look up until after the second FT went in. She was incredulous
with Izi when Izi passed on an open jumper when it looked like
that was the play which had been drawn up. She was also irritated
with Betty after a particularly bad pass in to Janell when Sue
had been completely open and calling for the ball.
over the last few games, has also been pushing herself to
try and make something happen. It's clear to anyone paying
attention, regardless of what the pregame injury reports might
say, that Betty has been fighting a number of injuries for
quite awhile. She's played through it all and tonight was
the first time her injuries really brought her game down.
She had several ball-handling turnovers when she tried to
switch hands on her dribble and lost the ball from her bandaged
You would thing that having LJ playing as hard as she is, Sue
coming back from knee surgery and Betty finding a way to overcome
the pain she is in to contribute game after game would inspire
the rest of the team to answer with the same kind of intensity
and determination. I haven't seen it and I don't quite understand
is a hard stretch for all of us to take. The team's future
is murky at best, down right negative at worst. LJ is playing
her best WNBA basketball ever and we're still under .500.
And, the one good thing that might come out of this season
— an LJ MVP trophy — is, in my opinion, slipping
away with each loss.
and 26 was bearable, as was 10-24. Now? There's no excuse
for 17-17, or whatever mediocre record the Storm is going
to slide into. No excuse.
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