score: Storm 97 Sparks 77 (W) (17-17)
Watch | To the Venerable Francis Scott Key:
Sir, it is with a heavy heart and great humility that I respectfully
ask your forgiveness for the hatchet job this young man did
on your song tonight. We have, in our time, a "competition"
that pits talentless freaks against slightly less talentless
quasi-freaks who happen to look good on camera. This event
is supposedly "entertainment," but in actuality
its influence leads to the kind of mish-mash, R&B, get-yer-freak-on
rendition of your national anthem that we saw tonight. For
example, "and the home of" is not really one word
and it does have consonants in it. On behalf of Americans
everywhere, I am again sorry.
Psyche | Everything is right in the world...
LJ is back!
Highlight | 18-4 run to start the 4th quarter.
| $50,000 shot attempt — a granny shot
from between the legs. Wow.
Keyword of the Game | Bring on Phoenix!
Photos | Scott
Let's just jump to the good stuff.
is back and uncorked one on the Sparks. During warmups, she
was smiling and seemed much more at ease with herself and
her teammates. During the game, everything about the way she
moved, shot the ball, carried herself and acted stood in stark
contrast with how she was in the Washington game. Her stat
line documents the shift — 32 points, 50% shooting,
15 of 16 from the line, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks. Win or lose,
that was the best thing about this game.
of course did win and the Storm did it with a fantastic fourth
quarter push that left the Sparks reeling. The Storm started
the quarter on an 18-4 run and ended up holding the Sparks
to 15. It was an energy-filled display of intense defense
followed by sharply executed fast breaks and offensive sets.
If we can get this kind of performance out of the Storm next
week, we have a good chance to take the Mercury.
the other hand, if we have too much of what we saw in the
second quarter, gloom lies in our future.
Storm came out strong, but again lost focus to end the first
quarter and through all of the second quarter. They had no
answer to Sidney Spencer and her dagger-like threes or Marta
Fernandez and her drives to the basket. The two of them accounted
for the bulk of the Sparks' scoring and seemed at times to
be able to get an open shot anytime they wanted it.
is an interesting player. She's listed as a guard but is 6'3"
— easily small forward size if not power forward size.
She's very confident in her shot and knows she the Sparks'
main scorer now. One thing I like about her (involuntary shudder
for admitting publicly that I have any kind of positive things
to say about one of THEM) is that it seems she's been able
to avoid being tainted by the LA attitude — so far.
She is an impressive rookie and I think she'll be a big time
player in the WNBA as she matures and her game evolves. My
advice to her? Don't listed to Cooper. Don't listen to Mabika.
Don't listen to Thomas (whiner) and please don't listen to
the Diva. They'll whisper all kinds of things about how winning
requires that you disrespect your opponents and play dirty
whenever possible. They lie. They LIE!
Anyway, Coach again went with the short roster rotation and
didn't hit the deep bench until the end of the game when we
were comfortably up by 20. That's okay with me. Every extra
minute that Ashley and Katie are on the court will only pay
even bigger dividends down the road.
few other observations (since I'm not really doing a full
was very quiet offensively tonight. She had a goose-egg until
the end of the third quarter and didn't score until a drive
with an and-one free throw. It's not that she was missing
— she wasn't shooting. It looked to me like the wrap
on her injured wrist was not as bulky as it was previously,
but I could be wrong about that. I don't think any of the
other players were hanging back, but she might have been so
that she either didn't injure her wrist any more or was able
to rest it by not pushing herself to score 20. She did, however,
work pretty hard on defense, so I don't know that the hanging-back
hypothesis really works.
came out and again got the scoring started for the Storm.
She had 12 first quarter points that again helped take some
of the early defensive pressure off LJ.
had a good all-around game. She didn't score a lot, but she
did rack up the assists. As I've commented many times before,
she picked when to shoot very strategically. Let's face it,
she could probably take as many shots as LJ if she wanted
to. Every time she flares off a screen and takes that little
running jumper from about 12-15', she hits it. But, she doesn't
constantly look for that shot. She does it when the team really
needs a little scoring boost. Maybe LJ is getting triple teamed
or the play has broken down. Sue slides past the screen and
pops that shot. Pure buttah.
continues to impress just about everybody in the building.
Talk about taking advantage of an opportunity. Janell better
heal up and stay healthy. Ashley will rightfully be giving
JB a run for the starting spot next season. Think about how
dangerous Ashley will be if she works on her jumper in the
off season or cleans up her free throws. I think she's arguably
as good or better than JB on defense. Her offense needs a
lot of work, but she's constantly improving.
watched Fluker during the Storm intros. She didn't do the
dance with the dance troupe like she used to. I thought for
sure she'd break out a couple moves, but no.
So, the topic no one wanted to talk about tonight: Was this
the last Storm regular season home game in Seattle? No one but
Clay knows the answer to that. The city is saying that they're
not going to let the Sonics out of their 2010 lease. That's
great, but it doesn't apply to the Storm. Their lease has a
yearly opt-out clause. If Bennett wanted to be a real jerk,
he could move the Storm any time he wanted and keep the Sonics
here until 2010 and run out the clock. Moving the Storm would
be just the kind of "up yours" move I've come to expect
from him. On the other hand, there is also the line of thought
that argues for Clay to sell the team to a local owner since
he and his crew have shown so little interest in the Storm.
Again, no one knows. Personally, I'm tired of the uncertainty.
If this was the last regular season game ever, at least it was
a fun one.
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