score: Storm 92 Sparks 56 (W) (15-11)
Watch | Goosebump time.
Psyche | "...and we were here to see
Highlight | LJ, LJ, LJ!
Photos | Game Photos
feel like I should just copy and past the first two paragraphs
from the Gameday for the Sting
game, except that Lauren didn't score another 20/20. She only
scored a new personal WNBA best with 34 points, set a team
record for scoring 22 points in a half (and she did it in
about 12 minutes of play), hit yet another double double with
13 rebounds and set a new WNBA record for most field goals
in a game with 17 (she shot just under 74% for the game).
I usually try not to throw out a lot of stats since I'm not
a sports reporter and focus more on writing from a fan's perspective,
but LJ's performance was simply incredible and I just have
to marvel a bit at what she is capable of. As someone in our
area said, "That was amazing and we were here to see
first half was definitely the Lauren Jackson show, but it
also seemed headed for one of those endings that end up on
the news highlights with the opening line, "Her career
high wasn't enough..." (a nod to Seattlegaucho for that
one). While LJ was destroying the nonexistent Sparks bigs,
the rest of the Storm were doing the same thing we were -
sitting back and watching the show. We were all celebrating
and the Sparks were busy keeping themselves in the game. As
out of control as the second half got, the Sparks were right
where they wanted to be at the end of the first half - down
by only 3.
were able to do that by playing disruptive ball and getting
the Storm, except for Lauren, out of their flow. Coach Cooper
was digging deep into his bag of tricks tonight. He chose
the opposite basket to start the game - meaning they started
on offense with the basket in front of their own bench instead
of the more normal option of ending the game in front of your
own bench. I'm sure this was a ploy to play a little head
game with the Storm and to make them uncomfortable. Look at
it this way, by reversing the floor he had the Storm playing
the direction they would as if they were on the road. A minor
thing and I don't think it worked, but it was an interesting
move nonetheless. (FYI - The visiting team has the option
to pick their starting basket - normally everyone does it
the same way).
also, perhaps out of necessity but it was again an interesting
move, played "small" a lot and had Mwadi Mabika
playing against our big players instead of at the 2 or 3 position.
She was going up against Kamila, Lauren and Simone much of
the game on both ends of the court. During the first half,
I think this did catch the Storm off guard a bit and Mabika
was able to disrupt the Storm offense. In the second half,
the Storm adjusted and took advantage of her smaller size
the Storm end of the court, Coach Donovan went to the bench
early and often. Both Kamila and Sue looked uncomfortable
in the first half. Kamila looked dead tired and winded after
just a couple of minutes. Sue was also in and out more often
than normal. She didn't look to be limping much, but she did
get her left hand bent back or something and airballed a three
right after it happened. The good news is that Simone, Rita
and Tully all came in and played very solidly. Simone, who
cut her hair rather short, may be the one player who has benefited
the most from Coach Donovan's teachings. She has more speed,
more control of her body and the ball and seems more determined.
Rita has been really coming on lately. I think winning at
Connecticut did something good for her because she is playing
a lot better and their is less of a "drop off" at
the point when Sue goes out (at least for home games...).
Tully is Tully, and it wouldn't be a game if she wasn't on
the floor or getting body slammed over the scorers' table
(called a flagrant foul by the way).
great sign that the team is feeling good - they were passing
the ball around very well and were finding the open person
with a lot more ease than in some past (road) games. True,
this was LJ's game, but in the second half the Storm matched
the Sparks' score for the game - we scored 56 points in the
second half alone. This happened because the Storm were relaxed,
turned up their defensive pressure and played together as
a cohesive unit. It was truly fun to watch.
good news is that the Storm won and did so with authority.
It looked like the Sparks might make a game of it for a while.
If they had lost by only a few points, it would have almost
been as good as a win for them. With no Milton or Leslie,
for them to stay with and "barely" lose would have
given them some hope. By being crushed, the message is that
without their star they are just as good, or bad, as every
other WNBA team. One of the funnier things that I see Storm
critics say on other sites and forums is that the Storm have
2 good players and a bunch of mediocre players at best. If
that is true, then what can you say about the Sparks? They
lose one or two players and straight to .500 ville. Every
team in the league has 2 or 3 great players and a supporting
cast - even the *cough* former *cough* WNBA champs.
was the night for the out-of-town Stormfans Forum members
to descend on KeyArena. NewSocks, Trinity and husband, GoShorty,
and Storm Fan in Comets Land all got to experience the Storm
goodness tonight (joining the other 113 Stormfans regulars
Sass, Jezzie, Leighway, BirdJack Vodka, Me, Angie, Seattlegaucho,
Brrring It, Storm 2004, Vodichkova_Rules, Hamster, Numero_10
(I think, haven't met yet), and probably others I'm forgetting
- 113 is the place to be). New Socks made up a big batch of
her special Diva weaves and handed them out. It was too bad
that She Who Must Not Be Named didn't make an appearance.
The Storm bench did see and seemed to appreciate the weaves
though, so mission mostly accomplished.
note about our absent nemesis - one person (Awase, I think)
said that she had just read that more fluid was drained from
the Diva's bruised knee, and the fluid had blood in it. This
sounds more serious an injury than the Sparks are letting
on. At least one news report listed her as perhaps missing
the rest of the season. I honestly hope not. I don't want
to give Michael Cooper or any other chuckleheads any excuse
for losing when it eventually happens. When the Sparks get
knocked out of the playoffs, if it happens without the Diva
playing I can guarantee Cooper will come out with an "asterisk"
statement for whoever wins the championship.
thought we might be in for another long scoreboard/time clock
night. Right before the opening tip, the main scoreboard read
"19:12" on the clock. I'm sure Cooper would have
liked the game to be shorter, but come on now.
seat mate was sporting a new Storm jersey tonight - #1 Mrs.
Doppler. The big red guy was suitably taken aback when she
showed it to him. I'm thinking restraining order..
team poster is super cool. We tried to grab some extra for
the unlucky who couldn't make the game, but someone stole
the ones Trinity and hubby had, so we gave them our extras.
MVP chant made several appearances, including during LJ's
postgame Q&A with David Locke. She was embarrassed and
rolled her eyes. She's so cute!
"we're not worthy" bow got going as well (mainly
in 113 - Stormfans central).
couple (yes, that's an understatement) bad calls I need to
point out - isn't it a new rule that once the ball has left
the shooter's hand, touching the shooter's hand/wrist/arm
is no longer supposed to be called as a foul? I thought for
sure that this was a new rule change for this season. I could
be wrong, but if not there were at least 3 of those called
tonight against the Storm and the Sparks. As I and many others
have stated in the past, we just want consistency and for
the actual fouls to be called.
is looking pretty mobile for just having surgery to repair
her ACL. She was sans crutches and was walking around about
as well as one could with a Robocop-style leg brace on. She
also got the best segment in the "Inside the Storm"
video. The question tonight was who would win in a game of
horse - you (the players) or Coach Donovan? Adia answered
fairly strongly that she would kick Anne's butt, then busted
up and qualified her answer with something about post moves
and losing if they played under the basket.
of Coach D, the Free Anne Donovan Fund got off to a good start.
If you are interested in contributing to help pay for Coach
Donovan's recent $1000 fine (earned after the last Sacramento
game), you can add to the fund by visiting us at the game
on Friday in section 113, row 9, seats 1 and 2. You can also
mail in your contribution (the address is in the Forum thread
under News Items at the top of the list).
isn't it fun to win?
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