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Final score: Storm 63 – Fever 51 (W) (5-6)

Attendance | 5232

Anthem Xtra Notes | None

Anthem High Note | Very nice

Anthem Style | Traditional, and I want to say that it is nice to see that not every young female singer feels the need to emulate Christina Aguilera

Fan Noise | Loud, but still needed the announcer guy to prompt the cheers

Signs | Eh, nothing of note

Fan Psyche | This is the same team that lost to Portland and Utah???

Halftime | Little girls playing hoops

You know, this is all so much easier when they win.

Like most of the games this season, the Storm came out strong and owned the first few minutes. Unlike many of the games so far this season, the Storm were able to sustain that control and pace through most of the first half. They shot up to a 20-point lead and kept it there for a good part of the game. The Fever whittled away at the lead towards the end of the game, but never got closer than the 12-point margin in the final score.

It's kind of hard to believe that both teams were on the wrong end of a back-and-back, and that the Fever won last night playing very well and the Storm lost last night playing fairly poorly. The Storm looked like they had had a couple days rest, or at least were in a good playing groove - and we know that's not really the case. The Fever looked tired and uncoordinated at times. While both teams had some butterfinger plays, the Fever looked more ragged by far.

The main reason the Storm did so well tonight is Kamila Vodickova. I don't know if she was channeling mystical energies from the Summer Solstice or just got a good batch of Gatorade, but she was a monster in the first half. She was hitting everything short and long. She was aggressively rebounding and taking it right back up to score. It was an amazing offensive display, and it was great to see it come from Kamila. The last two seasons have been rough for her either because of reduced playing time or chronic injuries. Both are thankfully in the past and she is finally able to play the way she has wanted to play all along. With Kamila becoming a strong scoring threat, we are edging ever closer to that magical time when the opposing team won't know who to concentrate their defense on - Lauren, Sue, or Kamila. And if Semeka, Amanda or Felicia get their groove on - look out.

Speaking of Amanda - Great Googly Moogly! Let me be the first to welcome you to Seattle. Here, have a permanent starting spot on the roster. Please, make yourself at home. 8 points, 2 steals, 3 rebounds, 4 assists - and you are one of the big reasons Tamika Catchings only scored 11. We may miss Sonja's superior defense, but if Amanda can defend this well AND produce this well (and consistently) offensively, she's a keeper. I have to go on. Her aggressive play is just what we need. She is yet another player (like Felicia and Adia) who is unafraid to fight for rebounds, take it into the paint and either take the shot or dish it out to an open player, and she can apparently shoot the 3. Amanda - you are winning over some fans in Seattle big time.

Sue looks like she might be getting her shot back. She didn't take a lot of shots, but she hit all but one. More importantly, she was taking shots that were more in the flow of the game. Let me explain - the last few games, it has seemed that she has held back somewhat and ended up taking shots when the play had fallen apart or towards the end of the game when it was already too far out of reach. Tonight, she seemed to be more comfortably in the flow and took what looked to be Sue Bird shots - shots on her terms not ones she has been forced into.

Lauren was more of a defensive force than on an offensive one tonight. She missed a lot of shots, but made up for it with some great blocks and rebounds. She also had a handful of assists, which I don't think the Storm are usually looking to her to produce. A little after the middle of the second half, she picked up a foul and got fairly upset about it. On the way back down the court, she was scowling at the refs and I was sure she was going to commit another quick foul. But, she kept her cool and played out of the situation. That may have been because the Storm were up big, and she just let it go or because the Fever really didn't have a strong inside presence and she wasn't tested again. Either way, she kept herself in the game.

Takeisha "Big Dog" Lewis got some time tonight and almost made the most of it. She of course ruled the defensive rebound area for the 6 minutes she was in, ripping the ball out of the air and making sure no one else had a chance to get it. For being such a nice easygoing person off the court, she can be downright nasty on the court. She did miss 2 free throws and committed a bad pass turnover, but I think those things will be overcome with time and experience. She's just got to stay with it and she'll get a consistent chance (I hope)

On the other side of the coin, something might be brewing on the bench, and I don't mean a double tall mocha latte easy on the foam. Jamie Redd seems to be in the dog house for some reason. She got zero minutes tonight, even after she had some success coming off the IR a few games ago. Is she hurt again? Did she do something to make Coach Dunn mad? Anyone got any good answers?

SPoG - Kamila. Yeah, that was a tough one.

Notes:

The great Bill Russell was at the game, sitting courtside in what looked like Howard Schultz's normal seats. Angie asked me at one point if Howard was there, and I looked and was like, "Holy crap - that's BILL RUSSELL!" She gave me a confused look. I said "BILL RUSSELL. 11 NBA championships. One of the greatest players of all time. BILL FREAKIN' RUSSELL." She was like, okay. Just about then they shine the spotlight on him and announce him to the crowd, who responded with a halfhearted standing O. All I can say is, get off your butts people - it's BILL RUSSELL for God's sake!

Two Tennessee fans sat in front of us tonight, sporting Volunteer Orange and booooing for Semeka every time she did anything. Balancing them out were the two UCONN fans sitting behind us going nuts every time Sue did anything. We were able to keep the Blue and Orange separated and acted as a kind of NCAA DMZ. Actually, they were all cheering for the other's alums fairly equally.

Thanks to all of you who signed the "From Seattle with Love" book for Sonja. Yes, we are becoming enamored with her replacement, but she's still the first player the team ever had and we will miss her. We will have the book again at Sunday's game, so stop by the Green Room before the game, at the half, or come by our seats if you would like to sign it (sec. 113, row 18, seats 1 and 2).