score: Storm 66 Comets 49 (W) (0-0)
Watch | Pretty good except for a couple low
notes. A little slow, a little too "important" —
she was trying too hard or something.
Psyche | No Lauren and against a team
that was hot before the break? Plus Sue with jet lag? Um,
Highlight | Steal city in the third quarter
and holding the Comets to 2 points in the third for almost
| Dogs! We love the dogs.
Keyword of the Game | Defense.
like a long time since we've had one of these. I kept expecting
to hear "Cha Yo!" from all the Chinese in the stands
just say it's still a little weird to be back. Angie and I
still have jet lag. I can't imagine playing a professional
basketball game for 40 minutes against a team with possible
playoff implications. But then, we're not Sue Bird.
comes out and scores 22. We had to fight the yawns from lack
the other hand, Tina Thompson looked a little frazzled. She
was scowling and bitching at the refs like normal, but the
rest of her game was still buried in her luggage with her
Olympic pins and talking stuffed Fuwa.*
now, the news that LJ elected to stay in Australia for ankle
surgery has started to sink in and the Storm's challenge facing
them is here whether we like it or not. 8 games to play, only
3 at home, with the playoffs in the balance and a field of
Western Conference opponents all in striking range of the
top 4 spots. Enter Houston, who had a hot win streak going
into the break and looking for any opportunity to knock the
Storm down a peg.
teams came out playing poorly, although the Comets looked
worse than the Storm. The score early on was fairly lopsided,
but it could have and should have been much worse. The Storm
missed too many easy baskets and had some unforced turnovers
that kept the lead under 10. If they had been clicking even
a little more, they might have built a 15 point lead or more
in the first quarter. As it was, their rustiness allowed the
Comets to keep it reasonable and then to close the gap late
in the first. It was only through a couple last minute baskets
by Sue that the Storm started to pull away again.
was fantastic tonight. She definitely shook off any Beijing
fatigue to really take complete control of the game tonight.
Maybe it was because she didn't play <i>that</i>
much in Beijing while Tina had more time on the court and
was really getting banged around in the post that Sue was
able to recover more quickly than Tina. Whatever might have
been going on, Sue came to play and Tina came to make faces
at the refs.
rest of the Storm looked like they had to fight off the jet
lag as well. The one area that they seemed to show the most
energy was rebounding. Even with Snow and Lyttle on the court,
the Storm dominated the rebounding across their roster. Everybody
was getting into the act, except Sue. Six of our players had
5 or more rebounds. That's pretty damn good and it led to
second chance shots and fastbreaks.
Storm also were able to pick up their team defense in the
second half and really close down the Comets. The Comets made
just two baskets in the third quarter and picked up the rest
of their points on free throws. They were held to two points
until Ajavon hit a free throw with 1:13 left in the quarter.
We had 3 steals, a block and 10 rebounds in that stretch of
time. My friends, that is a great example of solid team defense.
True, the Storm's offensive output wasn't completely on track,
but defense like that gives the team time to work out the
good news on offense is that everyone got something on the
board. True, Sue's 22 made up for a lot of missing scoring,
but the rest of the scoring was relatively balanced. A couple
more chippies going in and we would have had several people
in double figures. Against a tougher opponent (and Connecticut
is next at the Mohegan), those chippies had better fall.
that the Storm has this one under their belts, I'm feeling
a little better about this season-ending stretch. The time
will come when we no longer have LJ for real. If the Storm
make it to the Finals, she may be ready to play. I'm honestly
not confident she'll be back next season, for a lot of reasons.
The Storm need to figure out how to play and win without LJ,
not only to make sure this season is a success but also to
position themselves for the future. We've got the talent,
we've got the opportunity. The playoffs are looming and I
am confident that we will be in. I think the Storm are too.
Storm are on track to set a new home win record. We're 14-1
now, which ties our home win record set in 2005 (we went 14-3).
With Minnesota and Atlanta left, I think we might pop at least
15 wins. That's pretty damn cool.
was a little weird to be back at a Storm game. When we were
watching Team USA last week, we kept wanting to yell "Go
Storm." Now I kept wanting to yell "U S A."
Storm had a DJ scribble scratching on a couple turntables
above the player tunnel. I think he messed up the kids for
the Doppler train by playing the train song earlier in the
game than the Pavlovian-minded children are conditioned to
hear it. It threw them off their training, I think, because
there were a lot fewer kids for the actual train song when
it finally came.
LJ auction had some great stuff in it, including her shoes
from the All-Star game. I was sorely tempted, but knew I'd
be outbid. It was hard to resist.
— the Chinese name for the Olympic mascots. We actually
did buy a talking stuffed Fuwa, by mistake. We got a pack
of the things for some kids and when we took them out of the
box to stuff them in our luggage, they started going off.
Every time we touched one, it went off. I hope the TSA agents
didn't freak out when our bags came down the conveyer belt
talking in Chinese.