WNBA Playoffs, Round 1, Game 3
score: Storm 64 Sparks 75 (L) (1-2)
Game Blog | Pelton's
E | Rick
don't have a good track record on writing game reports for
the last game of our many first round playoff exits. I'm usually
too pissed off or depressed to take the two hours or so I
usually need to write these things. Here we are again, out
in the first round at the hands of The Diva, the Sparks and
the refs. I'm pissed off and a little depressed, but I'm writing
Storm were just never in this game. Between their own miscues
(which were many), the Sparks' constant pressure and the refs'
inserting themselves into the game, the Storm were never able
to get any kind of momentum. They never got any kind of rhythm.
I don't think they were able to hit more than two unanswered
baskets all game long.
the things that went right in Game 2, failed in Game 3. In
Game 2, the Storm were able to consistently convert Sparks'
turnovers into points. They were able to use their defense
to slow down the Sparks' offense and create their own scoring.
Tonight, that didn't happen.
fastbreaks ended in bad passes or losing the ball into the
stands. On those few occasions when they got to the basket
on a fastbreak, the Storm flat out missed the baskets. More
often than not, the Sparks would then fly back down the court
and hit a basket. The
Sparks answered everything the Storm did and usually got a
three or an and-one for every two points the Storm made.
if their own issues weren't enough, the Storm also had the
refs to deal with. Whether those calls were correct or not
(and lots of them weren't), they took Tanisha out of the game
in the first few minutes of the game. She had three fouls
before the end of the third quarter and wasn't much of a factor
the rest of the way.
Tanisha neutralized, the Sparks were able focus on Sue and
shut her down. Without our guards leading the way, the Sparks
ran away with the game for three quarters because the Storm
couldn't do anything to stop LA's inside game.
the beginning of the third quarter, the Storm were down by
16. I started doing fan math — okay, all we need is
to cut it down to 10 before the fourth quarter starts, just
chip into the lead a little at a time.
think most everyone was doing the same calculations, because
the crowd tried to urge the Storm on. We were on any opportunity
to cheer, any time it looked like the Storm were about to
break something open. But like I said, every time the Storm
got a stop or two, they weren't able to convert and the Sparks
would just turnaround and increase the lead.
the math wouldn't stop. Okay, we're down by 18 and we just
need to cut in by a couple baskets and make it a game. Okay,
we're down by 20 — it's looking grim but it can still
happen, we just need a couple baskets.
Storm finally started to make a push, but being down by 18
with only 5 minutes or so left makes even the most optimistic
fan math falter. The Storm got it down to 9, but no further.
a game of it wasn't the goal and it isn't any kind of consolation.
Winning one out of three minus our all-world superstar isn't
a moral victory. I can guarantee you that every player on
the Storm roster wanted to beat the Sparks, send Leslie out
to pasture with a foul taste in her mouth and kill the first
round monkey that has taken root on all our backs.
got Sue back next season. Tanisha, Swin and Camille all deserve
to be back. LJ is a huge unknown — will she be back
or not?. Pee Wee has retired, so we're once again in need
of a capable back up point guard. Suzy, Janell and the Ashleys
are all questionable. I think JB wants to start, but that
won't happen in Seattle I think. For the rest, I think Coach
Agler will have to make some hard decisions about our depth
and the lack thereof.
is a disappointing end to what had been a promising season.
The Storm had a stranglehold on second place in the West and
third place overall for most of the season. They had three
players in the All-Star Game. Tanisha finally came into her
own and became a legitimate fourth scoring threat for the
team. The Storm had one of the best conference records in
the league and one of their best road records. There was a
lot to be happy with this season, but all of it came to naught
with yet another first round playoff bounce.
of big names in the crowd: Lenny Wilkens, Sheryl Swoopes,
Mayor Nickles (he wasn't introduced because I'm sure he would
have gotten booed) and Jenny Boucek.
think we've turned on Betty. She was getting boos even during
the game. Why boo her and not the real villains? Maybe Storm
fans have finally turned a corner and will stop clapping for
Seahawks' Blue Thunder drum line performed for halftime.