score: Storm 66 Silver Stars 53 (W) (7-4)
Game Blog | Pelton's
E | Rick
What was that? Was that really a KeyArena crowd going crazy
because Lauren Jackson hit a free throw. A free throw? Lauren
honestly didn't notice that LJ was putting up a goose egg
until near the end of the first quarter. I was checking out
the game stat board at the end of the arena (on the video
ring above the suite level) and noticed that once again it
wasn't working correctly. The Storm stats seemed to be correct,
but it was still listing the Sparks' stats from the last game.
Then LJ's stat line went past. Huh. 0 points, 2 fouls and
2 rebounds. Stupid board. Broken again.
it wasn't broken.
not only didn't have a basket in the first quarter, she wasn't
even getting the ball in her hands. I'm sure San Antonio will
take all the credit for shutting LJ down, but I think they
were simply in the right place at the right time. I watched
her closely during the halftime shoot around and she was bricking
everything. Badly. Her shots didn't have their normal arc.
Everything was either hitting off the back of the rim or going
wide. I normally don't put much into how well a player shoots
during the warmups, but with LJ today you could tell all the
misses were frustrating her.
think someone on the Silver Stars noticed LJ's mounting frustration
because Riley, Young and Perp... pop... pep... Buescher went
after her hard in the third quarter. They had been doubling
her early in the game, but it wasn't anything that LJ doesn't
see on a regular basis. In the third, they seemed to get a
lot more physical and break LJ's composure. It kind of worked.
She popped Riley in the face with an elbow that was about
as blatant a foul as I've seen LJ commit. She didn't even
try to argue it. While they did get under LJ's skin, the Silver
Stars aggressive play also landed Riley into foul trouble
and she eventually fouled out. That seemed to take a little
of the pressure off LJ and she started getting the ball and
taking shots. Still, she only hit that one free throw and
one field goal.
if that were all of the story I think every one of us would
have expected this game to be another 30-point debacle. LJ,
thankfully, wasn't the whole story.
Storm brought their league-leading defense and smacked the
Silver Stars around for a couple hours. It was almost too
bad that LJ was having such a bad game on the offensive end
because it pulled attention away from the great defensive
game that the team as a whole was having.
Storm were vastly outrebounding the Silver Stars which is
surprising given that the Stars have players like Sophia Young,
Riley, Mattera (Feenstra) and Porp... Pep... Buescher. The
Silver Stars got so fixated on stopping LJ that they stopped
boxing out anyone else. While LJ was fighting through her
miserable third quarter, the Storm were holding the Silver
Stars to 7 points.
Storm took advantage and with Swin and Sue hitting big shot
after big shot started to pull away. The way this game had
been going — let's face it, the Storm weren't lighting
up any offensive records during the third either — any
real lead was going to be enough to win the game.
has really picked up her game lately. She had a game awhile
back where she missed a ton of free throws. I think she either
heard about that from the coaches or took it upon herself
to fix some things because she's back to being money at the
stripe. She had the best all-around game for either team,
scoring a double double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
also had a good game, although she didn't put up the same
kind of numbers as Swin. I'm really liking Camille's game.
She is developing into a perfect role-player — she knows
she's not the first, second or third option, but she's very
active and makes herself ready to get a block, rebound or
steal and is looking for those quick inside passes for lay-ups.
Wee was another notable player today. She didn't light up
the stats, but she had several big plays that either kept
Seattle in the game or helped push them forward. She got tied
up with Sophia Young under the Storm basket late in the third
or early in the fourth — when the Storm were starting
to pull away — and was able to win the jump ball and
keep possession for the Storm. Young has a crazy leaping ability.
It's how someone her height can contend so well for rebounds,
but here was Pee Wee beating her for a jump ball. A small
play, but pivotal at a time when the Storm were building their
lead. Another big play for her was a shot clock beating circus
shot that again kept the Storm momentum rolling. She only
had 8 points, but they were highly efficient and timely points.
think Tanisha is finally in the right spot. With the guard
rotation that Coach Agler has worked out, T still plays the
point on occasion, but only for a play or two at a time. The
Storm can mix up their guard match ups on the fly depending
on game situations and put whoever is best suited at the 1
and the 2. Tanisha, I think, is doing much better now that
Pee Wee is here and we have a second veteran point guard.
T's turnovers are down, she's taking better shots and making
better decisions and is playing stronger defense. I've found
myself cheering for her a lot more than I used to.
is still a bit of a head scratcher is why the bench is getting
so little playing time. Why isn't Janell or A-Rob getting
time relieving LJ, especially during a game like this one
in which LJ is having so many problems? Both of them match
up well against Riley and Young — they have the height
and reach advantage. Why not put them in to take some of the
pressure off LJ? I thought they and the other bench players
had performed fairly well early in the season, so I don't
get why they aren't being used now. Our starters are all averaging
30+ minutes a game. That can't continue, can it?
hope LJ can chalk this game up to her mulligan for the season
and get back to her league scoring leader ways. I don't know
that the Storm could pull off a win like this against many
teams, great defense or not, with single digit scoring from
was Kid's Day and Doppler's birthday, so there were mascots
from other teams at the game. Normally, the other mascots
are all WNBA critters. I think we saw another sign of the
WNBA's budget tightening in the fact that while we had San
Antonio's Fox and the Mercury's Scorch, we also had the Mariner's
Moose and the Trailblazer's Blaze. That last one illicited
a mixed response from a few in the crowd. I'm not sure Seattle
fans are ready for the Trailblazers to take advantage of the
NBA-void up here. Scorch was actually pretty fun to watch.
I missed some of the game because I kept finding myself watching
Scorch mess around with the crowd.
of the mascot activities was them giving Doppler presents.
One was a silly string gun which Doppler brought up into our
corner to hose down the crowd. All I could think of was "Not
the lens!" Luckily, I wasn't the main target and only
had to pull the strings out of my hair.
anthem. If you've noticed, I've stopped adding all the little
factoids I used to put at the top of these game reports. Most
notably my Anthem Watch. After doing it for several years,
I felt like I'd said my piece and decided to let it go. In
a perfect world, Pat Wright would sign the anthem every time.
Today, the Storm had a young lad with an electric guitar perform
the anthem. He obviously has skill, but I know guitars can
be played faster than that. I've seen it before. The problem
with doing the anthem as an instrumental is the song is kind
of repetitive. Add on doing it glacially slow and you have
our anthem performance for today's game. Double time it kid.
Gregoire was at the game and got a big cheer. Interestingly,
Angie and I were at the opening Sounders game and Gregoire
got booed big time. I guess Storm fans are a little more democratic
than soccer fans.
refs were off their game. I don't necessarily mean they missed
calls and such (because really, they're refs, of course they
miss calls), but they seemed to be having some communication
problems. There were two or three instances when they couldn't
agree on where the ball was supposed to be inbounded. I kind
of got the idea that they kept forgetting who the head ref
was or something. The players had to point out to them a couple
times where the ball was or where it should be brought in.
This was a veteran group too. Very weird.
opening video montage has been hit and miss. They used Tina
Turner's "Take you Higher" as the music, a song
used to great effect a few years ago during the intros. It
fell flat today. Part of it is that the video has more audio
of its own and it was drowning out the song. By the end of
the song, no one was clapping along. It actually kind of sucked
some energy out of the crowd instead of the other way around.
Thing is, I actually like the video they have. There seems
to be a fine line with the intro song/video combo that either
pumps up the crowd or leaves them flat. I don't think they've
used the same music game to game this season.