score: Storm 66 Mercury 57 (W) (2-3)
Watch | The nervous Girl Scout version.
Psyche | We're supposed to win this one, but
they just wouldn't go away.
Highlight | Lauren Jackson in the second half
- en fuego!
| Did we have a halftime? I was too busy ripping
into a root beer float.
Photos | Game
Photos (Scott Larson)
at the Storm season schedule, there are very few games that
I would consider the Storm as the heavy favorite. As the early
going in the league has shown so far, the former doormats
are coming alive, the former powers are on and off and the
only sure bet is that the conference standings are going to
be a merry-go-round. Without being too brash, I was personally
counting Phoenix as one of the very few teams the Storm should
beat, and do so handily.
others at the game agreed with me, with the qualification
that hopefully the Storm aren't notching the Mercury up as
an easy win. Confidence is a good thing, but over-confidence
will bite you every time. Just because the Mercury got their
heads handed to them in their last game doesn't mean that
you can take them too lightly.
the Storm were ready for the Mercury and while the Storm didn't
play as dominating a game as I thought they would, they still
found ways to keep the energetic Phoenix players at bay and
overcome the big shots Harrison and DeForge kept hitting.
Every time the Mercury would get the game down to 6 or 4,
the Storm would adjust and push it back to 10 or 12. I think
that you could say that the Storm laid back a little bit and
weren't as forceful this game as they were against the Monarchs.
But, they also worked through that and found a way to keep
the lead and win the game.
do have to give some credit to the Mercury coaching - they
were prepared for Lauren and were successful in keeping the
ball out of her hands during the first part of the game. They
were fronting her, double teaming her and keeping her farther
out of the block than she normally plays. But while they were
having some success limiting LJ, they had no answer for our
new scoring machine, Sandy Brondello. Sandy found ways to
score and keep the Seattle offense producing while the Storm
worked out how to get LJ involved. Later in the game, once
LJ began to assert herself, Sandy backed off offensively and
picked up her defense.
was simply a monster in the second half. It was great to watch
her hitting from just about everywhere on the floor. Her outside
shots forced the Mercury posts to get out of the key and gave
Lauren more room to work. She was also the beneficiary of
some great passes from Sue and Sandy. Shortly after the second
half started, they announced that LJ had become the youngest
player to reach 1000 career points the WNBA. She is amazing.
can't remember anyone else having a stand-out game. There
were some great individual plays: Sun forced a turnover on
an inbounds pass that the Storm converted into a score. Adia
was her normal self on defense and had a blocked shot and
a couple tipped passes. She played Lisa Harrison much of the
time and while Lisa did hit a couple big threes she didn't
get anywhere near the paint thanks to Adia. Sue again didn't
score much, but she was driving hard to the basket and, more
importantly, didn't seem to be in much pain from the knee
injury or even limping. Kamila got most of her points in the
early part of the game while the Mercury were keying in on
LJ. That's really about it - tonight it was definitely the
was Fire Appreciation night and a couple bus loads of Portland
fans were in attendance. They were equal in their applause
for the 4 former Fire players on the court (Alisa and Tully
for us, Stacey Thomas and Tamicha Jackson for the Merc). Spot
the Fire Dog, excuse me... The Portland Puppy made an appearance
and was enthusiastically by the Portland fans. I understand
that someone somewhere still owns the Fire name and copyrights
even thought the team is defunct, but did they also copyright
"Spot, the Fire Dog?" Let the dog have his name
for crying out loud. And while we're at it, why not let him
do some of his high-flying stunts and jams? He may be out
of work, but the Dog can fly.
noticed a big purple couch across the floor from the visiting
bench before the game. Odd, but whatever. The big purple IKEA
couch, as we soon learned, is where the seat upgrade people
now get to sit. I want a seat upgrade to the couch. Can you
imagine kicking back on a cushy couch with a cool beverage
watching the game from courtside? Yeah, me too.
again, the KeyArena scoreboard equipment was acting up. No,
the game clocks were fine tonight, but the stat board and
the score display were screwy again. Baskets kept getting
attributed to the wrong team and quickly corrected on the
main board. On the two end "boards" - really part
of the arena video ring just above the luxury boxes - were
mostly non-functional. They normally rotate between team stats
(blocks, rebounds, assists and steals) and the player stats
for the current 5 on the floor. Tonight, only the score was
working. They other stats came in and out. This may not be
the Sonics and apparently not as important an event, but it
is still a professional sporting event and we all paid money
to be in the building. We expect the equipment to work.
decided to not discuss the officiating any more. You should
just assume that the WNBA refs at any given game are horrible.
I'm not going to waste any pixels on them, unless they are
extraordinarily bad. It's truly ridiculous (see above note
about the equipment working, being at a professional sports
event and getting one's money worth).
particularly disturbing thing Angie and I are more aware of
now that we have moved closer to the bench - the pregame EBay
autograph mob. Tonight, a person who wanted to sit in her
ticketed seat was told by the red shirt that she needed to
find another open seat somewhere else because it was in the
"autograph zone." Excuse me? Since when does the
Key have an official "autograph zone" that pushes
aside paying customers in favor of the jerks who muscle everyone
aside for their precious Sue Bird signatures (complete with
authentication photograph!)? The same group of autograph whores
are there for each game and make sure that they are the ones
who get the few signatures that the players give out instead
of the kids and other fans who try to get in. Does anyone
really think these guys (and it is all men who are doing this)
are seriously collecting this stuff for themselves? And now
they have precedence over season ticket holders for the seats
at the bottom of section 113 before the game? Bull ****ing
a more positive note, Hoopgrle and Lilpost were talking to
us before the game and I noticed the root beer float in Hoopgrle's
hand. I was transfixed, mesmerized even. The subtle interplay
between the soft vanilla swirls and the carmel brown eddys
of root beer, the slowly rising cream-colored foam that continually
threatened to spill over the cup's lip, the promise of cool
satisfaction - I had to have one. I did. It was good. I have
to go towel off now.
notable Sonics made an appearance at the game - Ray Allen
(for the first half anyway) and former player and championship
head coach Lenny Wilkins. Coach Wilkins received a big round
of applause and a half-hearted standing O. Makes you wonder
what he's up to in Seattle.
window flag giveaway was pretty cool and were in great abundance
on Mercer as we left the game. We stopped at a grocery store
on our way home and saw a car sporting the new flags pull
in near us. They apparently drove down 99 and hit about 40
MPH - the flags started to come off the plastic posts. Note
to self - don't try them on I-5.
note for tonight - the Mercury away jerseys are U.G.L.Y. ugly.
If ever there were three colors that should not be used together,
it is the three on the Phoenix jersey. Yeeikes.
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