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Final score: Storm 80 – Dream 70 (W) (25-4)

Attendance | 6042

Box Score | Jayda's Game Blog

Submitted by | Bbfan1960

This without a doubt was the strangest Storm game I have ever attended. We started out with two straight turnovers and I thought that team that lost to Tulsa had returned. No one was focused on offense and when Agler substituted the entire bench I figured we were in for a long night. At the time I had assumed the starters would return after a couple of trips down the court and not sit out the rest of the half. Looking back it was really funny watching Sue, LJ, Swin ,T and Camille on the bench. Their body language was like a bunch of schoolkids sent to stand in the corner and think about what they had done. The bench played with the focus the starters lacked.

Although she is a non factor on offense Arob was a monster on the defensive end. She blocked or altered several shots and totally intimidated every Dream player that came inside. Lacey ran the point with confidence and did not seem nervous at all considering how little court time she has had this year. I think there are advantages to playing the bench as a unit because they are familiar with each others’ game. I wish Abby had played more because she is really fun to watch. She had two good offensive scores and is a stone cold bruiser on defense. Izzy was having a pretty good game for Atlanta until she drove down the lane on Abby. It wasn’t a dirty play and was close to a charge on Izzy but she hit the ground like a rock. While she was laying on the floor being attended to, Abby glanced at her for a brief second with look that reminded me of the scene in Rocky IV when Drago knocked out Apollo Creed and said “if he dies, he dies.” Izzy may have hit one more shot the rest of night, but she was totally knocked off her game.

After seeing this game I am convinced that picking up Abrosimova is what elevates us from a really good team into a great team. She is the consummate professional that led the second unit to come back and make this a game. I might be as bold to say that had Phoenix signed her, they may have clinched by now and we would still be fighting for playoff contention. She did make one mistake though when she made what would have been a perfect lob pass to LJ that bounced off of Arobs hands out of bounds. Some plays one cannot make because of who will be catching the ball. With only bench players we erased a ten point deficit to lead by one at the half.

One funny thing to note is during warm-ups at the beginning of the game Swin and LJ were the last ones to come out of the locker room to warm up and before the second half they along with Sue came out a few minutes before everyone else to warm up. It’s interesting to watch how players act when they are in situations they aren’t used to. Near the end of the first have Sue was sitting with her leg nervously shaking like she wanted to get back on the floor, Swin looked frustrated and LJ was sitting back with her legs crossed just chilling. I was really surprised to see the regular starters begin the second half. This was good to see because on years passed AD would bench people to “send a message” but Agler understands he has a professional veteran team and his substitution decisions are based solely on trying to win a ballgame and nothing else.

The third quarter was when the officials decided it wasn’t going to be Swin’s night. On a couple of drives she was hammered across her arm but got no call. There was no consistency to the officiating at all. Swin would get touch fouls at the other end and just couldn’t establish any rhythm at all.
Starting the fourth we were down by three. One thing that helped us down the stretch was that Atlanta’s shot selection was awful. Ironically, this helped their offensive rebound numbers because the shots were so bad the rebounds were long ones. McCaughtry forced shot after shot and we cranked up the defense and that was pretty much that. Offensively, it was the same story, Sue hit key baskets to get us going, everyone hit their foul shots, and LJ’s threes put it out of reach. It did not feel like we had won by ten. It was good to clinch home court throughout by earning it at the first opportunity instead of backing into it. Now I need to cheer for Atlanta to win the East so I can see a championship series game.