score: Storm 83 Mercury 77 (W) (7-3)
Watch | A youth group from Utah delivering
some weird cadences and tonalities. One note to the kids for
their future performances: when there are cameras on you,
try not to look so bored. It is the national anthem you're
Psyche | How does she keep hitting
Highlight | Tough choice, but I'm going to
go with the near double double from Yo and the crazy energy
play from Shyra.
| Father & daughter dancing. The
swing dance was nice. The ballroom dance... uncomfortable.
Keyword of the Game | Rebound.
few free form thoughts about the game:
this is what this team can really do. LJ gets smothered by
aggressive double or triple teams and the ball deftly swings
around the court to an open jump shooter who nails the basket.
The defense decides to guard the perimeter and LJ cleans up
inside. This was the first game we've seen where the additions
of Swoopes, Griffith and Cash have really come to complete
lead is safe against Phoenix when Taurasi is hitting like
she was hitting tonight. I had trouble getting photos of the
Phoenix shooters because they were putting the ball up so
fast once it got near the three point line. Diana was unconscious
and it really didn't matter who was on her or how much space
she had to shoot. As soon as she was a foot behind a screen,
the ball was in the air.
of our starters were great. The only dark marks in the stats
were Sue's 1-12 shooting, which she made up for with 8 rebounds,
6 assists and only 1 turnover, and Yo's 7 turnovers. Otherwise,
a near perfect performance by our starting five. Everyone
produced. Everyone hit big shots and played strong defense.
True, Diana lit them up for 37, but the rest of the Mercury
shot 16-54. Even Cappie was struggling and forcing shots.
Ely had perhaps her best game as a Storm player. She was relentless
on the boards and did what few Storm posts have ever done
— get the rebound and go right back at the rim with
authority. She was scrapping and fighting for everything and
then hitting her free throws once she got fouled. She got
an elbow to the lip or nose late in the game and went to the
locker room. If she had gotten another 3 or 4 minutes of playing
time, she would have been coming close to a double double
of her own.
Storm's ball movement was the best we've seen this season.
Passes, except for a couple during broken plays, were sharp
and purposeful — none of the lackadaisical or overly
telegraphed passes that kept getting picked off against San
Antonio or Detroit. If anything, the Storm overpassed a couple
times and got themselves into shot clock trouble. Sometimes,
it's okay to be the one who takes the shot, even on a team
of All-WNBA All-Stars.
love Swin Cash.
didn't have a great game tonight, but she connected on a couple
key baskets and hit Sue with a pinpoint backdoor pass to Sue
that caught the Mercury defense way off guard. She's settling
into her true position and I find myself not getting all nervous
and grimacing when she comes in the game. She and Shyra coming
off the bench is quickly becoming the kind of infusion of
energy that we last saw in 2004 off the bench.
at the stats, the Storm tripled the Mercury's foul shot attempts
— 32 to 10. While there were some mystery calls, that
stat is an accurate measure of from where the Mercury's offense
was coming — all perimeter. Mazzante, Miller and Pondexter
were bombing away from outside. I think Cappie only drove
the lane maybe 5 or 6 times, if that. One sign that the calls
were going Seattle's way — LJ didn't get her first foul
until well into the 4th quarter, and she was guarding Taurasi
much of the time.
was complaining to the refs pretty much non-stop. Nothing
new of course, but there was one funny exchange in which she
was complaining about LJ throwing around her elbows. D walked
away from the ref and over to LJ, said something to LJ and
LJ responded by whacking D with her elbow. D turned to the
ref and said, "See?" LJ just kind of laughed her
a not so funny elbow exchange, D and Yo got tangled up, arms
locked together, and had to be separated. I happened to get
a sequence of photos leading up to the fracas, and after taking
a closer look found that Yo had really popped D in the face
with her forearm as Diana drove into the lane. The arm lockup,
yank and harsh language was a retaliation for the arm in the
record is not indicative of how good this team is. When they
get their stuff together just a little bit more, they are
going to be very dangerous. I think they really miss Penny
Taylor, however, and without that inside presence are going
to be hard pressed to succeed in the playoffs. I think that
in a multi-game series, their soft defense and over-reliance
on outside shooting will fall to teams with more balance and
an inside game.
Storm, on the other hand, are looking very balanced and except
for more starter playing time than I'd like to see (4 starters
with 30+ minutes a game) are establishing a strong inside
and outside game. Now if they can just put together some road
wins to go along with the 6-0 home record, we'll be in great
of fathers and daughters on display — all of the time
out activities included fathers and daughters. Sue's father
was at the game, as was Ashley's father.
may just be me, but every time I see Anne Levinson, I just
want to pull her aside and say, "Thank you, thank you,
thank you," and do the "We're not worthy" thing.
had a trumpet in the stands. I was surprised that the ushers
let her in with it with as picky they can be about stuff.