score: Storm 81 Sky 86 (L) (8-5)
Game Blog | Pelton's
E | Rick
Why did I have to go on and on about our home record in my
last Gameday report? Did I jinx it?
was a tough loss, not because it was such a nail-biter all
the way through, but because the Storm outplayed the Sky in
just about every way except for one.
Storm outrebounded the Sky handily, an accomplishment the
Storm should be proud of considering who the Sky has in the
middle. The Storm shot and made more free throws. They committed
fewer turnovers. They had more assists. They had more steals.
They had the same number of blocks. The Storm hit one fewer
baskets overall than the Sky — 30 to 31.
the difference was the threes raining down again and again
and again. The Sky shot a jaw-dropping 12 for 19 from the
three point line. Who does that?
Storm's biggest and really only failure tonight was not adjusting
to the Sky's perimeter shooting at the half and defending
better out there. Partially due to the Storm's aggressive
defensive switching and very successful execution of their
interior defense (they held Fowles to single digits and the
Sky to only 24 points in the paint), the Sky's guards kept
finding themselves wide open for threes. The main culprit
was Toliver. At some point, even with an eye on denying the
inside, don't you have to start staying home on the perimeter
the Sky with playing a very smart game and keeping their composure
under pressure. They took the best defense and offense the
Storm could throw at them and answered everything every time,
usually with a three-point play. Neither team was able to
build much of a lead, and a peek at the box score shows that
there were 20 lead changes. Without checking for the details,
I want to say that this was the Storm's tightest game so far
really sucks about this loss was that the Storm played better
than they have for the last few games. Janell, Pee Wee and
Katie came off the bench and hit 6-10 for 19 points. T had
a great stat line with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists.
LJ's shot has started to come back. Swin did well. Camille
had trouble against the bigger Sky centers, but was still
able to do the little stuff she's been doing. Other than Sue
who was bricking everything, this was actually a strong all-around
offensive game from the Storm.
frustration mirrored where LJ was at in the San Antonio game.
At one point, and I can't remember the last time I saw her
do this, Sue went in for a shot and missed. She got knocked
around pretty well, but there wasn't a call. She was talking
at the ref the whole way back and then threw a blatant foul
on her player out of frustration. Coach Agler pulled her immediately
and sat her down. She really lost her cool and didn't get
crazy thing is that the team was loose and having a lot of
fun during the pregame shoot-around. They looked relaxed and
ready to play. I don't know if they underestimated the Sky
or as I wrote above just weren't adjusting to how the Sky
started the game, but the Storm got caught and the Sky were
able to find the creases in the Storm defense. And, they were
able to get Sue off her game. If she had been able to hit
even a couple more shots, or even hit her free throws, it
might have been enough to withstand the Sky's three onslaught.
I'm not blaming the loss on Sue by any stretch, but her play
was the only real dark spot in an otherwise solid Storm outing.
said it before and every time I see her I have to sit back
and awe at her. Sylvia Fowles is spectacular. Even with a
sore knee, she was a monster inside. The Storm kept her from
scoring easily, but she was still a force that dictated how
the Storm played. To make things even more unfair, the Sky
now have Nan Chen, the center from China's national team.
She only had a few minutes, but she looked as good as she
did during the Olympics. The only players who really gave
her trouble in Beijing were Sylvia and Lauren. She's now Syl's
teammate and Coach Agler had LJ guarding other players, so
Chen was able to do her thing against the Storm. If she stays
in the WNBA, she could become a dominant center very quickly.
also can't find anything critical to say about Candice Dupree
(well, maybe the whole "Candice" thing — that's
a negative). She is a natural and looks comfortable shooting
from just about anywhere on the court. The Sky have a bright
future and might make some noise in the playoffs this year
if they can keep Fowles healthy. I hate to think that they
might have the Storm's number.
Storm Assistant Coach Carrie Graf was at the game, sitting
with fellow Aussie Ryan Rowland-Smith from the Mariners.
was a Tacoma vs Seattle shooting contest at the half and the
Tacoma shooters were hot. The girl who was shooting threes
nailed 11 in 45 seconds. Even the arena announcer wanted to
sign her up.
crowd seemed a little sparse again. We had a nice roll with
solid crowds in the lower bowl. Maybe having so few home games
to start the season helped pump up the attendance at those
games or something. We need more people.
showed a second Storm History video clip, covering the 2001-2002
years during which we drafted LJ and then Sue. They ended
it with an interview clip of someone asking Coach Dunn if
she was going to take up any of the trade offers she was receiving
for Sue after that year's draft. Her answer? A quick and emphatic,
"No." The crowd loved it.