score: Storm 75 Shock 67 (W) (6-3)
Watch | Missed it, but I'll play the odds
and guess there were lots of extraneous notes and mispronounced
Psyche | It always sucks to be playing
5 on 8.
Highlight | Sue hitting a late 4th quarter
three to seal the deal.
| A bunch of local CEOs getting plaques
from the March of Dimes for raising money, and then they got
lots of face time with Governor Gregoire who just happened
to be sitting courtside.
Keyword of the Game | You call that
E | Rick
game was one that had me both very nervous and confident at
the same time.
Storm's offense was able to find ways again and again to maintain
a 10-ish point lead through the second half and answer every
time the Shock put together a mini-run. It was impressive
to see the Storm keep their composure in the face of Detroit's
overly physical style of play and deluge of horrible calls
from the refs.
the other hand, the Storm's weaknesses were on full display
— poor rebounding and not much bench support. I know
it has to be a sign of confidence in each other's ability
to shoot the ball that after every shot the entire Storm team
starts running up the court, but at some point they need to
realize the team as a whole is missing 50-60% of their shots.
More often than not, an opportunity to rebound is more likely
than a made shot. The Shock understand this and got 13 offensive
rebounds. The Storm got 2.
Shock also got a ton more out of their bench than the Storm,
but I think the way Laimbeer runs his rotation really stretches
the idea of starters and bench players. Three of his "bench"
players got more playing time than his "starters."
If you look at time on the court instead of technicalities
like when the player entered the game, the Storm's 6th-9th
players (Ashley, Tanisha and Shyra) played the Shock's 6th-9th
players (Ford, Sanni and Powell) even, minus some rebounds
(which is all Ford is good for these days).
Swin and LJ were all three just short of playing the full
40 minutes. I want to think that Coach Agler kept them on
the court so much to keep the lead and to run the Shock, who
were on the second half of back-to-back games, into the ground.
A short-term way to win games, but effective tonight. As always,
and we face this every year, our stars are going to need a
break and the bench is going to have to take on more responsibility.
is also the angle to consider that LJ is going to miss 5 games
before the Olympic break. That's 20 pts and (hopefully by
then) 10 rebounds that will disappear. I would think that
Coach Agler would want to have the bench fully integrated
and able to produce for extended minutes on court. He seems
to be more interested in getting as many wins as possible
now so tat we have a cushion for that stretch, even if it
means forcing our starters into 38+ minute games. Who knows
what the plan really is, but I would be much happier to see
at 3 or 4of our bench players getting 12-15 minutes a game
instead of 4-8 minutes (if that).
of that aside, the fact that the Storm found ways to keep
the Shock, and when I say the Shock I really mean Katie Smith,
Kara Braxton and Plenette Pierson because the rest of them
weren't doing much, at arm's length. Each of our big time
players came up with big time plays in the fourth quarter,
none bigger than Sue's three pointer with about 2 minutes
left in the game.
Shock were chipping away at the lead and had it down to as
little as 6 — plenty close enough for a couple rebounds
and quick Katie Smith threes to really ruin our Saturday night.
The Storm stuck with it, however, and hit jump shots to break
down the Shock's zone defense and then were able to drive
and get to the line.
Cash, Sue, LJ, Yo and even Tanisha all hit baskets in the
last few minutes to preserve and ultimately build the lead
back to 12. Katie Smith started taking it upon herself to
force the refs to make even more calls in Detroit's favor,
but it wasn't enough to get the Shock the win.
won't go on too much about the refs, except to say that there
were some almost comically bad calls — almost comical
only because of the level of absurdity. That's the thing about
this newfangled video technology — we can see the play
over and over on a big glowing screen and review just how
wrong the refs were.
Christine Gregoire along with a Washington Supreme Court justice
were sitting courtside. People also saw Darcy Burner sitting
a couple rows behind the Storm bench.
disappointing attendance continues. People keep saying it
will pick up once school is out. This was a Saturday night
game, there's no reason to not bring the kids and we still
barely broke 7K.