score: Storm 74 Lynx 81 (L) (1-1)
Score | Jayda's
Game Blog | Norwester's
| Scott E | Rick | Scott L
kind of at a loss on how to start this, which apparently was
the same situation the Storm found themselves in at the start
of this game. They were at a loss on how to start. The Lynx,
on the other hand, knew exactly what they were doing.
don't think there has been any Storm team that has allowed
an opponent to get out to a 22-0 point lead to start a game.
I checked the media guide, but it doesn't include stats on
worst game start, but I have to think if this wasn't the worst
it has to be close to a record for the worst.
stood until the clock read 2:57 left in the first quarter.
LJ hit a jumper to momentarily slow the Lynx onslaught.
the game, someone described it this way: The Lynx played the
way the Storm normally do at home. The executed plays. They
played with intensity and determination. They attacked the
paint. They fought for every rebound. They found not just
the open shooter with the best available shot.
wasn't even the one person we all thought would be the biggest
threat, Maya Moore. She was basically uninvolved through the
first half. No, the Minnesota players doing the most damage
were well known quantities — Rebekah Brunson and Lindsey
completely dominated the first half of this game. She was
everywhere, on both ends of the court. If you were able to
separate yourself from the total debacle that was the Storm's
effort, you had to appreciate Brunson's game if only from
a pure basketball standpoint. She was great. The Storm stank.
the end of the first quarter, Coach Agler rotated in Katie,
Tanisha and Ashley. Finally, we got some life out of the Storm.
These bench players did their job (to an extent) — they
brought energy, they started scoring and, more importantly,
started to put the brakes on the Minnesota attack.
have to give credit where credit is due. Ashley Robinson came
in and went right at Brunson. Between her defense on Brunson
and Katie shutting down whoever she was guarding, the Storm
bench produced some defensive stops. It allowed the Storm
to keep the Lynx lead from ballooning into truly absurd levels
(let's face it, it was plenty absurd for the lead to be in
the 20-26 range to begin with).
Storm started to get a little offensive traction in the second
quarter to the point that it looked like they might be able
to get the lead down to under 20 by the half. But even their
good opportunities kept coming up empty. Katie drives to the
basket and gets fouled, but misses both free throws. Ashley
gets the rebound off the second miss to extend the play, but
instead of producing any points, the Storm turn it over. On
another play, Sue maneuvers around a screen and has a direct
line to the hoop along the baseline, but instead of taking
the open shot she passes out to a perimeter shooter for a
three that clanks.
time the Storm got a little something positive going and would
get the lead down to 19 or 20, the Lynx would come right back
and kick it back up to 26. They ended the quarter on another
mini run and the Storm were lucky to escape the half only
down by 26 and not 30 or more.
there at the half, the fan in me knew that if the Lynx could
outscore the Storm 50-24 over a 20 minute span, the Storm
could do the same in the next 20 minutes. Yes, it would require
a complete breakdown by the Lynx and for the Storm to totally
transform their collective mental space. Highly unlikely given
the momentum of the first half, but not impossible. We've
seen the Storm come back in the past. They know they can do
it. We know they can do it.
it only took a couple of possessions at the beginning of the
third quarter for us to see that there was no magical transformation
in the locker room. The Storm came out and showed a little
more energy, but they came away empty on their first two trips
down the floor while the Lynx were still hitting everything.
The lead got up to 30 and the game looked like it was heading
down hill fast.
most disheartening thing was seeing LJ's body language. To
me, it was clear she was not only understandably frustrated,
but giving up on the game. Coach Agler saw it to and pulled
her after just a couple minutes into the quarter. Still, the
quarter wore on and the difference between the two teams continued
to be stark.
Lynx were in a great rhythm. They were getting the looks they
wanted. Their shooters were smooth and confident. It looked
like they were running a shooting and rebounding drill.
Storm were struggling for everything. Nothing was easy. They
were getting jammed on inside moves. Their jumpers were contested
and they looked done.
Storm could only manage a little headway into the lead, again
getting it down around 20-21, but then Maya Moore started
to get involved. She helped push the score back up to 25 to
end the quarter.
the Storm start the fourth quarter down by 25. The game looks
all but over. That's when they decide to wake the hell up.
They get a couple defensive stops and Sue Bird threes, and
all the sudden the lead is down to 19. The crowd, which to
their credit has been trying all game to get the team going,
really starts to make some noise. With 7:55 on the clock,
the Storm are down by 19 and playing with some passion and
keep chipping away. With 6 minutes to go, it's down to 15.
With 3:55 to go, it's down to 12.
refs, up to this point, hadn't been much of a factor. Now,
of course, they make their presence felt and start calling
fouls on the Storm that negate great defensive stands by giving
the Lynx free throws or another chance for a possession.
Lynx start milking the clock and through a couple shot clock
violations, work it down to the point that it is almost out
of reach for the Storm even if they made no mistakes the rest
of the way. Of course, they do continue to make mistakes.
They get a shot clock violation on the Lynx and then miss
a shot or turn the ball back over to the Lynx. The lead stayed
at 12 for far too long before the Storm were able to chip
away at it again.
just about 2 minutes to go, the Lynx hit a basket and push
the lead back to 14, basically sealing the win. Through fouling,
stopping the clock and getting quick scores, the Storm do
get within 7 points with about 40 seconds left, but there
just wasn't enough time left. The Lynx had the clock on their
side and used it like a sixth player on the court.
Storm played one good quarter out of four. They blew the doors
off the place in the fourth, outscoring the Lynx 35-17. If
they had started their run even mid-way through the third
quarter instead of waiting until the fourth, they might have
had a better chance to pull out an epic comeback. Give them
credit for not giving in and chalking the game up as a loss.
Coach Agler could have pulled the starters and sat them for
the entire fourth quarter. In any normal situation, you would
have expected a 25 point fourth quarter lead to mean extended
the Storm didn't quit. Coach Agler didn't sit the starters.
Neither did the Lynx. They knew that the Storm would eventually
wake up. Minnesota might have relaxed a little bit at the
end, but their starters were in and playing hard during that
Storm 35-17 blitz.
is there any good to come out of this loss?
can guarantee Coach Agler has some material to work with during
the next Storm practice.
could look at it as being good that this happened so early
in the season, kind of a "get it out of the system"
kind of loss. The Storm know what they have to work on and
given their experience and attitudes, they will do what it
takes to not have another performance like this.
sucks that the home win streak ended — 18 regular season
wins in a row and 22 overall (including the playoff wins).
I don't see any silver lining to this fact. It just plain
sucks. I wanted another 17-0 home record this season. But,
it does show just how hard it is to achieve that when any
team on any night can have a game like the Lynx did.
Storm got some good production out of their bench, if not
in stat numbers than in energy. That is exactly what the Storm
needs moving forward if they do intend to compete for another
championship. Katie was great. Ashley had flashes of brilliance
(I just wish her shot would go in more often). Le'coe came
in strong like always.
the beginning of this game was one of the ugliest 20 minutes
any of us have seen from the Storm in a very long time, but
no one I talked to afterwards was all that upset or worried.
The Storm ended the game well and I think that will carry
over to their next game. I kind of feel bad for the Indiana
Fever. They are going to feel the full force of the Storm
response to this game.
great Brock Huard and Seahawks great Walter Jones were at
group of Army recruits took their oath on the court before
not a fan of the revised get the fans ready video before the
game. They have Shelly Hart and the Dance Troupe kids doing
the instructions, which is fine, but they cut it with video
clips of the team dancing or Doppler doing stuff, and it comes
off a bit choppy. I think the fan reaction to it has been
kind of tepid.