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2010 WNBA Playoffs, Round 1, Game 2

Final score: Storm 81 – Sparks 66 (W) (2-0)

Attendance | 8326

Box Score | Jayda's Game Blog

Game Photos | Scott L

Submitted by | storminsf

That, put simply, was a very satisfying win. It was definitely worth the 6/7 hour drive down from SF - had to leave the house at 4:30AM, but made it right in time for Storm intros! And, as scowl noted, the seats were pretty awesome. I've always dreamed of sitting right behind the Storm bench, and that was probably the closest I've ever gotten with only one row in between mine and the bench. I could hear the encouragement from our benchies, particularly Arob, Agler yelling out his assignments, and LJ repeatedly asking for gum among other things.

Some people have noted Agler pulling Wright early and apparently she's a bit banged up right now as Brian pointed out to us after the game. In the last game, I noticed her grimacing sometime in the 3rd/4th quarter with Sue hovering over her, but I never saw a particular play or her favoring any particular body part. Brian also called for the bike today to be brought out by the bench, which never happened anyways.

Since everyone has seen the game, here's some of my observations. We definitely got off to a rocky start and most of it seemed based on our turnovers and mistakes. We had some awful early offensive possessions where LJ didn't even touch the ball. But the second quarter was where everything was clicking particularly with Swin catching fire from 3pt land and scoring 14 of her 16 pts. It opened this a lot more for LJ to get those touches inside. Svetty brought some nice energy off the bench except she got called for carrying twice! And, I saw the first one coming because she pretty obviously carried it before crossing the halfcourt line and I mentioned it to my seatmate and of course, 2 seconds later, she gets called for the carry. It's something with that weird high dribble, but I definitely rather have her making a play to the basket than trying to run a play, that's what Sue's for. Speaking of Sue, she didn't get her first break until a little into the 4th quarter. For a while there, I thought she was going the full distance until we kind of broke the game open and got that nice cushion. But, Sue seemed still in her funk the first half. She only took 2 shots and was getting clearly outplayed by Ticha who was actually scoring with ease. I mentioned she was scoreless and she needed a much better second half effort and of course, she delivered, and those 2 dagger 3's were beautiful. LJ was LJ all night, Swin as mentioned had that big 2nd quarter, and Svetty, Jana, and LeCoe got good minutes off the bench as usual. I especially love LeCoe's crazy spinning 3 pointers and Jana's smooth stroke.

Some other funny moments during/after the game - Brian was trying to sub Svet in but was trying to hurry to make it during the break in play and shoved and almost dragged her to the table while poor Svetty was half trying to yank all her warmups off until Michael Price finally said she couldn't get in anyways in time - then Brian finally let go Also, the other Storm fans around me were calling for Brian to put Arob in and Arob bashfully smiled and said, "Nah, we want to win". .haha. .hope she gets a more contributing mindset. And, finally, Sue and LJ seemed quite estatic and relieved to finally get LA off their backs and were particuarly happy when finally coming out to a nice ovation from our Storm contingent.

I have to say that all the Stormfan contingent there today was just awesome and into the game the entire time, particuarly my new friends with the green/gold wigs who were well equipped with multiple signs, thundersticks, and a full Storm banner. We actually went to wait by the Storm bus after the game, but Sparks security was being a bit annoying and had us stand pretty far out. But it was nice cheering the players as they boarded the bus. Arob and Abby came out to say hi and even Agler came out to say thanks and gave us all high fives. He is definitely one cool coach! And, Adia walked by and even caught us on the flip cam so I don't know if we may be making a quick cameo sometime.

All in all, it was a successful trip and glad to see us advance. Phoenix is going to be an epic series and the Storm have to win so I can finally come up to the Key this year for the finals! Go STORM!

 

Submitted by | NewSocks

Well I haven’t done one of these in a while, so I figured I would give it a go.

Dirty and I stayed the night in the JW Marriot at LA Live across the street from the Staple Center. We marveled at the fact that when first started coming to the games since LA has been playing here, the place where this LA Live marvel is now, used to be a big empty ugly lot. And now, it’s wow!

We have such a long way to come down to get to LA and the decision to come early paid off. We got to sleep in and were well rested as opposed to having to get up at 5 a.m.

We were meeting Sic-ko and her girl MJ before the game. We all walked on the red carpet, (ok, the bits that were hanging out in front on the sidewalk) for the Emmy’s on our way to Staples. Just think, tonight, Angelina Jolie will be saying, “I can’t believe I’m walking on the same carpet where the Storm fans walked yesterday.”

When Dirty and I got to Staples, we pretty much stopped short. It was about 30 minutes before the doors were going to open and there were NO Sparks fans there. That is NO exaggeration, and can be confirmed by the nearly 20 Storm fans that had gathered by the time it was ready to go in. There were NO Sparks fans. I didn’t see any of them gathering until about 10:55, and then there were only about 10 of them. Unreal.

It was really nice to see a lot of green fans who were there ready to get loud for the Storm. Usually we are a sea of 3, but this time we had a lot of back up and it was fabulous. Forgive me, but I am horrible with names and I don’t want to get them wrong but it was cool seeing all of you. Probably the best sign one of them had with them was a sign that said, “Start rebuilding; it’s over!”

One of our owners, Lisa Brummel came by and had the hugest smile on her face. She said that she and Dawn would be the only two there but were happy to see such a large contingent of Storm fans there.

As we tried to get inside, the scanners went down and we had to wait about 15 minutes before we could get in. Once we got to our prime seats there weren’t a whole lot of players still on the court. Missy welcomed us and was surprised that Storm jerseys and shirts and signs and wig wearers just kept coming down. She WOW’d a few times.

We talked to Millie and wished her a good game as she walked by. I had her sign my BRICK megaphone (Thank you, Scott).

We had Svetty sign the megaphone and I told her to watch out for Tina Thompson and the chicken wing. She said, “And Delisha’s”

We talked to Tanisha, wished her luck asked how she felt and she said, “good; better.” We talked to Jana and asked if she was excited, she said, Yeah. (Strong silent type)

Then I made my normal game pilgrimage of taking around all the extra Storm stuff that I have and handing it out to the fans in LA who are there to root for the Storm but have no Storm stuff. I gave away 3 water bottles and 3 t-shirts and 3 foam fingers. I was going to give a Swin Bobblehead to this family who is always at the LA games and root for the Storm, but as luck had it, they made it to Seattle and were there for the Bobblehead game.

Speaking of the Bobblehead, we got Swin to stop and sign her bobblehead, well my bobblehead well you know what I mean…which is exactly the way the conversation took place. She’s beautiful, by the way, in case you hadn’t noticed. Sic-ko asked her, you know why you have the bobblehead? Swin asked, “Why?” Sic-ko said, “Because you’re kind of a big deal.” Swin laughed and said, "That’s right, I AM kind of a big deal” It was cool.

Then, as Sic-ko and MJ went to get beer, I went back out with my goody bag and was looking for more Storm fans. The owners from the Sparks walked by and over to the one of the Storm owners and offered them courtside tickets for the game. The politely and respectfully declined, saying that they were good right where they were which was about 4 rows behind us, and still behind the bench. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Not that there would have been anything wrong with taking the courtside seat, but to stay with the team was just dead cool. I really like Force 10. How totally lucky we are to have such an awesome ownership group.

I summoned up all of my courage and went and introduced myself to Lisa Brummel, one of the owners. I thanked them for keeping the team in Seattle and for all of the stuff that they do. Then she started asking me questions about my fanship (is that a word?), like how I became a fan etc. I felt like I blurted it all out in one run-on sentence, which I probably did, but told her my fan history which had them oohing and ahhhing and made me feel the most wonderful. I also asked them if they knew how the Storm were directly/indirectly responsible for so many relationships, be they friendships, relationships, partnerships, marriages. We talked for quite sometimes, and I felt I should leave them, but they just asked more questions, lol. Lisa finally asked me for my email address and said that if they had a surplus of some of the giveaways, she would try to send some down for me to distribute to the fans wherever we go. How cool!!

Ok, so onto the game….

The players looked up into the stands and you could see it in their faces how amazed they were to see so many Storm signs and fingers and fans.

The players went to the half court circle and Sparky ran out there and was messing with LJ. He was flexing on her, doing Karate Kid posing on her. She was good natured about it and just smiled at him. I thought if it would have been Doppler doing it to DMJ she would have probably kicked him in the doodads. All players shook hands except LJ and DMJ.

The jumbotron/scoreboard was gone. There were some really big video screens, both of which were out of my line of sight. There was a scoreboard that was across the court which I had to squint at. I don’t know what was going on with all of that, but it was a major pain in the rear.

We got the tip and then the turnover.

DMJ’s first point involved a double dribble, traveling, and a thrown elbow, all of which the bench animated for us.

I had told Dirty that the one person I feared in this game was Marie Ferdinand who I call Ferfy. I said if Ferfy makes her first shot, her confidence and aggressiveness goes through the roof. If she misses she is a mason; bricks everywhere. Well, she made her first shot. She also ended up being a slap-happy defender as if she went to the DMJ school of defending.

T makes a free throw so we can sit down.

Oh, oh… listen to this. This place was empty. EMPTY, I tell you!! Why did it sound like it was full of fans? They had canned fans coming in over the speakers. At first, with my crappy hearing, I thought I was having a distorted hearing day, which I have. But it sounded like jet noise. Like cover your mouth and make that, “and the fans go wild” noise…but do it really LOUD. That is the noise they had coming in over the speakers. That is really sad, because that place used to be so loud that it was second only to Key Arena.

I’m smiling at how many of you actually put your hands up to your mouth and made the noise, lol.

T didn’t play long in the first quarter; it seemed to be after she missed a defensive assignment that Agler put her in. T went to the end of the bench, and after a while, Agler yelled to Tom, the trainer, where is the damn bike? Tom said it was around the corner, in the tunnel. Agler told T to go get on the bike. After a while, Agler looked over there, and then asked Tom, why isn’t that thing closer, and Tom said because they won’t let me move it closer.

The game was pretty even at first and my big fear was LA coming out on gang busters and going on a big run and building up a big lead. When they have those things going, it is when DMJ gets nastier and the fans get nastier, and you start having nightmares of people in onesy track suits. Well, when LA got up 12-4 and they had the crowd fired up and made us take a timeout, I started to get a little unsettled. We were making things difficult on ourselves with too many moves or spins or unselfish passing that resulted in a turnover.

Ferfy was at the line for a FT. Someone in the crowd said, brick. But in Scott’s honor, I had to come off with a whole-hearted BRICK and although, it didn’t work, I felt like I did my duty.

We had Sparky the dog come past us quite a few times. He tried to mess with us, but we told him there was nothing to see, move along.

You could see the players coming to the bench with scratches all up and down their arms. This would get worse as the game went on. Scratches on necks, a poke in the eye. Svet got scraped by someone’s shoe as they came down and it was stinging and bruising so she got it wrapped.

We heard the crowd coming up with a robust attempt at BEAT THE STORM, and I thought good for them…until I saw it was Sparky holding up signs prompting it.

How did the ref’s miss so many traveling calls?

The one thing that I am noticing now is that we are totally talking to each other. The players on the floor are talking the entire time, telling each other to pick up a switch, asking for help, the bench is calling out when someone gets free. During timeouts, the players are talking it up to each other, giving and taking advice. Millie gave a motivational speech that should have been backed by music.

LA went on another run and was closing in on us again. Then LJ flipped her ON switch on and by 6:23 in the 2nd quarter, you could almost see the deflation of the sails in LA’s boat.

LA, being LA kept poking at it and it got to the point where their stuff started working. Even their broken plays started working out and they could score off of those too. Anytime they do stuff that gets the crowd going and motivated is dangerous.

I pride myself in the fact that around 3:15 left there were like 7 seconds left on the LA shot clock. I stood up and counted FOUR, THREE, TWO, SHOOOOT IT, and Frerfy threw up and brick with 3 seconds left on the shot clock. I got a thumbs up from Nancy D for that one, lol.

Jana got in and hit a big 3 and on the next time out everyone else was clapping and smiling and Jana was just standing there. ARob went over and said, “come ON Jana, get PUMPED UP, and pushed her shoulders and Jana ended up shoved into the chairs on her butt” Pretty funny.

Almost halftime and I am still marveling at how empty this place is.

Swin’s foul on TT when they got their arms locked up scarred the crap out of me, because from our angle, how someone didn’t dislocate something it a miracle to me.

Sic-ko called for ARob to go in and ARob’s face was priceless.

TT crumbles to the floor on a solid, legal, Sue Bird screen…. Solid acting Tina…but the Emmy’s are being held across the street.

Millie’s scoop shot was a thing of beauty and she seemed to hang in the air for a long time on that one.

The delay of game call on Seattle was stupid. The ball fell into Svet’s hands after a made basket and she just caught it and threw it to the ref. It was a stupid call. We therefore expected, and got, the make-up call later on the other end.

There was a play were a bunch of players hit the ground and everyone was helping everyone else up. Svet went to go help and ended up running into an arm of a player trying to help another player up and I really thought that it was going to go to blows there. Smack was being spoken and hairy eyeballs were being dealt.

There was another play where TT took like two swings on Svet and Svet just threw her down. I’m glad we have someone on our team who just isn’t going to take any crap. She is not afraid or intimidated.

I think my favorite play was LeCoe’s 3 ball, which LJ was yelling at her to SHOOT it. LeCoe (who should be LeCool) is so cute when she gets the ball out there, it’s like, oh hey let’s see if I can make this.

There was a breath taking give and go with LeCoe and Svet that was just unreal. I firmly believe that those two players, and now a bit more you can include Jana, are the difference this year. Take out one player, and we are not helpless.

LA made a few runs and got close a couple times. You can never discount that team and until I looked up and saw it was under a minute did I allow myself to breathe the victory breath.

Weird moments, Sic-ko got stuck at the top of the tunnel and was not allowed down with her beer until almost the 4 minute mark of the 3rd quarter. It wasn’t as if there were no dead balls, they just wouldn’t let that group of people down. Ah, the price you pay for a beer!

Notes

The owners really impressed me. They came down and talked to the fans quite a bit. At half time right as the game was starting, one came down and took a picture of the bench with their phone and if was if the team hadn’t a care in the world. We met Dawn Trudeau after the game. Her husband spoke to Dirty. Dirty had the bag of left over stuff I couldn’t give away and Mr. T commented to him about it. They ended up talking for about 10 mins and Dawn talked to us a while too.

Jen Gillom. Great cheerleader. Seemed more interested in seeming coy on camera. Not a great coach. I hope they make a change there. LA needs to be a better team because we need that rivalry. It’s healthy.

There was a negative lady who was behind us who just made us uncomfortable. She told me after the game she was going to steal something out of my bag just for spite. Um…ok, good thing we didn’t need to see how that ended up for her. She went on to say that she thought that that was the last game that LA would play in the Stable. She said that they were not making the rent, and that was one of the biggest crowds they had all season (Really??). I asked if it was because they had no LL or CP in the game? She said she didn’t know. She said that she was worried about the whole WNBA league if the NBA actually went on strike in 2012 when the CBA ends. All extra money will be spent trying to keep the NBA stuff in order and they won’t worry about the WNBA. She was enough so negative that she was ruining my victory buzz so we moved away from her.

That’s all I have. We were glad to represent!