score: Storm 90 Mercury 101 (L-1OT) (12-8)
Game Blog | Pelton's
E | Rick
frustrating was this game for you? For me, it was excruciating.
the things that have been going wrong for the last few games
went wrong again tonight, only this time it was against a
team that won't let some last second heroics get in the way
of a beat down.
made the mistake so far this season of not putting much into
Phoenix's record. Their history is one of little or no defense,
weak rebounding and weak interior play. Yes, they could run
other teams off the court, but when it came down to grinding
play they couldn't always keep up the run and gun. I had some
small hope that the Storm could do just that, especially after
the Merc's jaw-dropping loss against Atlanta.
not so much.
the Storm stayed with the Mercury for most of the game. Yes,
the Storm held Cappie and Diana under their season scoring
averages. Yes, Sue and LJ both eventually got their scoring
on track and Tanisha dominated the first half and ended up
with a new career scoring record.
I could not shake off the feeling all night that the Mercury
were toying with the Storm. It didn't really matter what the
Storm threw at Phoenix. They were unflappable. They continued
to execute their offense with maddening ease at times. And
they took immediate advantage of any Storm turnovers.
the game, I was talking with someone and predicted that if
the score was within 6 points under three minutes to go, the
Storm would lose. If it went into overtime, the Storm would
lose. If the Storm didn't take care of the ball, they would
three came true.
hardest stretch to watch was during that super critical stretch
in the fourth quarter when the Storm finally started to play
with a purpose. They started getting key defensive stops and
had chance after chance to score only to end up turning the
ball over. At maybe the 7 or 6 minute mark, the Storm had
the momentum swinging to their side. They started getting
fouls called on the Mercury. They were getting the rebounds
and finally getting down on the floor to fight for loose balls.
Their inability to score, to execute their offense wasted
all those chances. The best they were able to do was hit a
couple desperation baskets in the closing seconds to tie the
game and force a third home overtime in a row.
I said, the Mercury were unfazed. Cappie and Diana were actually
laughing and dancing around a bit. Then they put the pedal
to the floor and blew the doors off the arena.
of their ability to go crazy was due to how tired our starters
were. Coach Agler was still playing his shortened roster when
Katie went down on her left knee in the second quarter to
not come back. Suzy was dressed to play but didn't even take
part in the shoot-around, prompting someone near me to wonder
aloud, "I she hurt or has she just given up?" They
didn't announce an injury during the pregame injury report,
so who knows at this point. Add to that Ashley Robinson whose
biggest contribution this season was that new nail polish
color at a local beauty salon and you've got a grand total
of 7 active Storm players.
Mercury, on the other hand, are about as deep as they've ever
been. And that was before Penny came back.
swear that the Mercury used the second quarter of this game
solely to get Penny some concentrated playing time. It got
to a point where she got the ball on every play and she was
taking advantage. She was posting up and hitting from outside.
You could almost see the rust falling off as the quarter wound
I got the feeling that Cappie and DT were both holding back
early in the game to get the rest of their teammates into
a solid rhythm. This was them getting their mojo back after
that disastrous game against Atlanta. For Seattle, this was
almost a playoff game. For Phoenix, it was a warm-up game.
Tonight at least, they looked damn formidable.
this point, I have no doubts that the Storm are going to make
the playoffs. As long as they stay in second or third place,
I'm confident that they will make it past the first round
(finally!). Phoenix will be in the Western Conference Finals.
Can we beat them in a three game series? I don't know. If
it happened right now, I'd say no. The job before the Storm
for the rest of this season is to get their offense figured
out, because they are going to have to be able to execute
on every possession against a Mercury team that has the WNBA
Finals in their sights.
got some big time love for her efforts tonight, including
a new multi-person "TANISHA" sign a few rows up
behind the scorer's table.
got to see the Jet City Jumpers dog relays, always a fan favorite.
was at the game, throwing out t-shirts, jumping out for the
Doppler Train and doing her best to get the crowd going.
mega-legend Bill Russell was at the game, although he was
sitting up in the cheap seats. Give the man a seat upgrade
for crying out loud.
need some designated "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" cheer
starters. The guy that used to sit up behind the basket on
the Storm end of the arena isn't there anymore and it's been
hit and miss in his absence. He had his timing down with LJ's
free throw routine. Those trying to get the cheer started
tonight were off and one had it going while LJ was in the
process of shooting the ball. Not cool. Actually, one cheer
attempt from our area was kind of funny. Someone in our section
yelled out the "Aussie" x 3 at the same time someone
on the other end of the arena did it. No one at our end did
the "Oi" x 3 answer, but the other end of the arena
did, so it sounded like she started it and the other side
of the arena finished. It was funny.