A win is great, but this game lacked the excitement I expected. Picked up seats from the Storm ticketeXchange and got 2nd row behind the visitor basket for $13 each. Amazing how little it costs to get right up next to the action. A few minutes after I sit down I realize where I am sitting as the Foam Finger Guy strolls in and sits down right in front of me. I know I am in for a loud night.
The Storm get an unfortunate boost in the first minute of action when Lynx center Vanessa Hayden gets her shoulder smashed by Tanisha Wright in a scrum over a loose ball. It is sad to see any player get hurt, but I side with the no call here. The ball is on the floor, the players job is to get it, and you choose to put your body on the line to do so.
Good signs abound in the early going with aggressive play at both ends from Tanisha and Izzy...this will be key to winning on the road and that is something the Storm need to do in the post season. If they hold on to second place, they are still likely to have to face Sacramento without home court advantage should they advance. With the loss of Margo Dydek for a few weeks, I am not so sure the Sun make it all the way to the finals, but if they do they will own home court this year. Zara, Suzy and Simone also come in off the bench with confidence and fire. This needs to carry over on the road as well.
JB picks up 2 early fouls, but AD leaves her in long enough to put up some more points and then subs in Simone???? Is Batgirl on AD's bad side? Since when does Simone get the nod over Suzy right out of the chute? She contributes right away, as she always does.
Darla and Roy are calling the game, tonight. We get to see the "experience" they bring to the game early as Darla calls a travel on Amanda Lassiter which Roy reverses. Apparently Roy thinks it is OK to dribble toward the basket, jump up with the ball, land and then take a jump shot. Hmmmmm....
The half looks like it is going to close out on a high note, but Sue's buzzer beating three pops back out after going in. My wife turns to me and says, "Don't they play two halfs in the woman's game?" I nod, and she says, "It's already half over?" That half did go by quite fast. A Minnesota assistant coach picks up a technical foul from one of the refs (couldn't see him through the stantion) as he is putting on his jacket. I don't know what she said, but her body language looked like she was just asking him a question. Either he had a quick trigger finger, the boos of the crowd were getting on his nerves, or she had very poor word choice. Anyway, the Lynx must be sweating, they are down by seven and LJ only has 4 points. You KNOW she is getting close to 20 by the end of the night, and Sue hasn't really been that aggressive yet. Someone other than Ohlde needs to get it going.
The half time free throw contest takes more than half the break. The girl sitting a row or two behind me finally makes the last shot for a $100 at the team shop. No entertainment here, wonder if they are saving up for the playoff entertainment or we are just stuck on a tight budget for the Storm's immediate future.
The Storm come out from the break on fire. They continue to play solid defense and execute well in the offensive sets. The game is essentially over after 5 more minutes. Ohlde is the only player having any success for the Lynx. She gets better every time I see her. She has a great feel around the basket, and even hits a midrange jumper on the angle.
Sue and Lauren put in solid, consistent play throughout the 2nd half. Neither one does anything spectacular, or really draws attention to them, but Sue is filling up her stat sheet and Lauren is walking away with a double/double and 4 blocks. More importantly, Izzy finds her shot and puts up double digits in the second half alone. JB is in foul trouble the whole game, and still manages to score, draw fouls from the Lynx, and grab rebounds every time she is in the game.
The game ends up being unremarkable and not too exciting. The crowd doesn't even get fired up other than when Izzy and Lovelace (glad to see her held in check this time) get into it and draw offsetting technicals. I like seeing a little fire from the Brazilian...the Storm will need that. No one seems able to get the MVP chant started before AD takes LJ out of the game. By the end of the game my 17 month old son is mimicing the Foam Finger Guy and raising his hands in the air...saying "drib, drib, shoo" and stomping his feet. I think I have a long term seat mate in the little guy. He loves being at the game more than his 6 year old brother ever did. He is shaking, waving and screeching trying to get Doppler's attention (he never does). He also keeps trying to get the blimp to come closer. When the blimp guy lowers it to take it out of the arena it comes right over our heads.
AD is, as expected, humble with regard to being the first woman to 100 wins. She gives credit to her players, her staff and thanks the organization for the opportunity. I love her looking forward to 100 more wins "hopefully" in Seattle. I can't imagine they don't re-sign her at market value. Without any real big players in the COTY running, perhaps AD wins it this year.
Magic number of 1 and High Definition on ABC against Sacramento at 1pm this Saturday. 4 games to go!!!