score: Storm 80 Sky 60 (W) (22-2)
Score | Jayda's
Game Blog | Live
from Press Row
E | Rick
L | Annie
be honest. Even though the Sky is one of the two teams that
has beaten the Storm this year, I wasn't really all that nervous
about this game. The Storm have been playing with a drive
and determination that wasn't there earlier in the season.
They have a clear, short-term goal in front of them —
home court advantage throughout the playoffs — and they
are going to keep pushing until they achieve that goal. Then,
off to the bigger, long-term goal.
that's for later, right now the Storm have to deal with a
player who, in my opinion, is one of the more exciting players
to watch in the league. I have my non-Storm favorites out
there, but not many. Sylvia Fowles is definitely a favorite
of mine and I was excited to not only see her play tonight
but also to see how the Storm would defend her. I think one
of the reasons they lost that game in Chicago earlier this
season was because they didn't defend her for a complete game
and she was able to score and to get her teammates involved
as well. Then, they were able to hold out against the Storm's
normal fourth quarter comeback for the win. Fowles presence
is something that few other teams have in the league and I
think she is able to force the Storm posts out of their normal
style of play.
all of this was going to pan out was revealed in the first
few minutes of the first quarter. The Storm came out playing
the same kind of smothering defense they used to come back
against the Mercury in the last game. In fact, it felt like
they had just taken a short breather between quarters and
picked up right where they left off.
game plan against Fowles was to pick her up as far away from
the paint as they could and then instantly double team her
as soon as she got the ball or as soon as she started to move
towards the basket. LJ and Camille were the primary pair on
the double teams with Swin coming to help as well.
was interesting that Coach Agler started with Camille as the
primary defender on Sylvia, but it made sense figuring that
whoever was on her the most would be picking up a lot of fouls.
Camille got her first one 10 seconds into the game. By the
half, both she and LJ had three each.
the Storm posts paying so much attention to Fowles, of course
that would leave other Sky players open. Not so much. The
rest of the Storm defenders were playing great team defense.
They were switching and rotating quickly enough to cut off
any non-Fowles drives to the basket. I don't think I remember
any Sky inside scoring of signifgance until ARob came in later
and Fowles started to attack. The Storm were forcing the Sky
into long range jump shot after jump shot and then fighting
for all the rebounds.
was worried that Camille and Le'coe would be at a big disadvantage
against Fowles. Not really. Camille put together a great first
quarter, even with the early fouls. She hit a three along
with a couple other layups, got a monster offensive rebound
even though she was surrounded by powder blue jerseys and
had a steal. Le'coe did have a major brain fart that lead
to an easy Sky basket — she inbounded the ball and then
didn't keep her eye on the ball and when Sue (I think) got
trapped and tried to pass back to Le'coe, it went right past
her and into the hands of a Sky player for an easy basket.
Other than that, she was a force on the rebounds and not shy
to take her shots. She also used all her "assets"
to box out Fowles on a couple occassions.
Sky really seemed a little shell shocked and not sure what
to do with Sylvia essentially getting shut down. Looking back
at that Mercury game the other night, the Sky looked like
the Storm in the first half of that game — a step (or
more) slower to the ball, not playing as a unit on either
end of the court and unable to match the other team's energy.
The Storm out-hustled, out-jumped and out-everythinged the
Sky and were running away with the game early.
of this gave Coach Agler the opportunity to play the bench
and he started at the end of the first quarter when he brought
in ARob for LJ. Through most of the second quarter, he had
bench players in with one or two starters. Svet and Le'coe
got a little more than their normal minutes. Jana and Ashley
both got some extended court time and were both productive.
I know, I've been down on ARob for quite awhile, but I'll
give her due for the game she played tonight.
only took two shots. One that looked good, in rhythm and confident,
the other not so much. She had three blocked shots, one of
which was gigantic. She only had a couple rebounds, but she
also had a steal and no turnovers. If she could only get her
shots to consistently be less rushed and do the same other
little things she did tonight, she would be a fine bench player
and probably get a more consistent 10-15 minutes a game.
had a similar game, minus the scoring. Coach Agler had her
at the small forward spot much of the time she was in and
she was able to really control her Sky counterparts through
her size and speed. I think other teams see her "I'm
about to fall asleep" look and assume she's slow or lazy.
She isn't either one and is able to be very disruptive on
defense. She had two steals and four rebounds. Not bad at
Storm slowed down a bit in the third, seemingly taking their
foot off the gas a bit. They were still playing their defensive
strategy and forcing the Sky into a lot of jump shots. Those
started to fall and the Sky were able to keep the Storm from
increasing their lead. The Sky kept the rest of the game fairly
even, but never put up a real threat and stayed between 24-20
Storm bench was able to maintain the lead and get decent court
time. Anytime the Storm can win by 20 while Sue, Swin and
LJ all have less than 30 minutes of game time is a good, comfortable
win. The fourth quarter was a bit of yawner to be honest.
That's fine. We got all the drama we needed from that Mercury
game the other night. I'll be happy with some nice comfortable
wins for awhile.
thing about Christi Thomas, a former Spark who has bounced
around a bit and is now coming off the bench for the Sky.
I really don't like her one little bit. She was playing as
nasty and dirty as she was with the Sparks and there was really
no need for it. None of the other Sky players were acting
like that and there was nothing coming from the Storm players
that might deserve retaliatory physical play. She was just
being a brute for the sake of being a brute. Once a Michael
Cooper acolyte, always a Michael Cooper acolyte. Feh.
anthem was sung by an acapella group called the Match 4s (from
the Washington State Lottery). They only had 3 members. They
were called the Match 4s. 3. 4. I'm not sure where the conceptual
breakdown happened, but they might think about getting a fourth
August 5th game is going to be the annual teddy bear toss
night. Bring you bears and try to hit the refs. That's what
I always do.
Storm will be presenting a special 10th anniversary jersey
to LJ during the August 7th game. It will be up at the fan
info desk on the concourse for fans to sign or leave messages
a timeout, a fan got a chance to shoot a half-court shot for
$10,000. He tried to overhand throw it and failed utterly.
He didn't even try to run up to the line or anything. Amateur.