score: Storm 78 Mystics 68 (W) (16-11)
Game Blog | Pelton's
E | Rick
so during the huddle between the first and second quarters,
I imagine this is what Coach Agler said to his team:
played a great first quarter. Except for a few butterfinger
turnovers, you executed the offense better and more consistently
than you have in maybe the last 8 games. You attacked early
in the shot clock before the Mystics were able to set up their
defense. Everyone was moving without the ball and when you
got into mismatches, you smartly took advantage and scored
at will. Oh, and you had great rhythm with your three-point
shooting. Your defense was really good and you have ended
the quarter with the Mystics wondering what the heck just
he takes a deep breath, and continues...
that all worked so well, I want you to now do the exact opposite.
I want the offense to stall and I don't want any looks at
the basket until you are well into single digits on the shot
clock. I want a lot of standing around and I really want a
lot of perimeter passing and dribbling. Look, we have a 14-point
lead. There's no reason to push ourselves unless we really
being facetious, of course, but the difference between how
the Storm played during the first and second quarters was
a little jaw dropping. Coach Agler got his bench into the
game more than we've seen since the beginning of the season,
which contributed to the team's slow down. I also don't think
the Storm honestly play that well with a lead. Unless they
are being pushed, they tend to lose their urgency.
bench did get significant playing time, which is something
I think we've all been wanting. The upside is that the starters
get some rest and the benchies get to work themselves into
the system. The downside is that the benchies are still working
themselves into the system. A-Rob, Suzy and Ashley W all got
time and each looked rusty and out of sync. Again, to be expected
given their lack of playing time, but it's something that
has to be fixed soon.
Storm maintained about a 20-point lead through most of the
game. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the Storm's
desire to coast took over. The starters were on the bench,
LJ had a heating pad on her lower back and the bench players
were running out the clock.
Mystics had other ideas. You have to give Washington their
props. They never gave up. Their stars were ineffective and
the Storm seemed to be taking it easy while continuing to
maintain that lead. With a flurry of threes and several cuts
through the Storm defense that led to easy-looking layups,
the Mystics fought back to within 14 points. There was enough
time left on the clock that Coach Agler was forced to take
a timeout and bring in the starters.
don't know about the rest of you, but I was starting to sweat
about the score as well. The Mystics were playing with more
confidence and the Storm offense had almost complete stalled
out. With our starters in, the Mystics were driven back and
the lead was extended back to that 20-point level quickly.
The starters were in for maybe 3 minutes, did their work and
came back out. The Mystics kept pushing, but the clock was
against them and they just didn't have enough time. The 10-point
spread at the end was as close as they got.
was a mixed-bag kind of game. We saw some high octane Storm
play in the first quarter and in some short bursts in the
second and fourth quarters. We saw consistent defense throughout
the whole game, except for a few plays here and there (mostly
on Storm defensive switches when one of the defenders didn't
stay with the Mystics player she was supposed to switch to)
and for that stretch in the fourth when the Mystics made their
and Pee Wee both had strong performances off the bench. Without
going over all the box scores from the season so far, I'd
bet that the 26 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks with only 4
turnovers and 8 fouls we got from the bench was their best
production so far. Everybody got a chance to get out there
and play through some mistakes — meaning Coach Agler
resisted the urge to sit players as soon as they did something
off the game plan.
was a good win against a decent team. Let's face it, the Mystics
just beat the Mercury and did so relatively handily. The best
thing about this game was that we could finally see that they
are moving in the right direction. They are getting better,
are getting back to the style they played with at the beginning
of the season.
only real nagging issue is LJ's health. She was visibly uncomfortable,
but refused to take it easy when she was on the court. It's
great that Coach Agler is using more of the roster, but he
also couldn't leave her out of the game. The Storm have been
on the edge of greatness all season. No LJ means we slip off
that edge for sure. With her, the Storm are at their best.
We need their best every game the rest of the way.
were invaded by women's sports figures tonight. It was billed
as Women's Sports Night, but it just as easily could have
been Role Modelpalooza. There were area college athletes,
other professional athletes like the Seattle Majestics (Angie
and I vow to go to one of their games next season), the Rat
City Rollergirls, a NASCAR driver and a hydroplane driver.
There were also Olympians a plenty, including Force 10 Hoops'
own Ginny Gilder, an Olympic Silver Medallist in Rowing. All
of them were introduced at halftime in the "first annual"
parade of sports stars. I hope the Storm do continue this.
It was very cool and one of their best theme nights.
Hibbert was at the game. She walked in front of us during
the game and I though she might have been Hibby, but I was
like, "Nah, that wasn't her." I should have said
something, because I it was indeed her. When she was introduced,
LJ and Suzy were giving her some guff from the bench. It was
had the new Meganator working pretty well. I think I can accurately
count one missed Mystics' free throw for sure as a Meganator
casualty. Langhorne took the first 2 foul shots for the Mystics
and it was quiet enough that my 19" megaphone-enhanced
"Brick!" was loud and abrupt enough to make her
flinch. The Mystics were only 19-31 on their free throws.
I'd like to think some of those were misses due to the bricking,
but I'm only going to count that first one.