Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Monarchs Reign in 2005

A strong second half start from 2005 Finals MVP, Yolanda Griffith (14 pts, 10rbs) leads the Sacramento Monarchs to victory in the WNBA's first best of 5 finals series and brings the first professional sports championship to the city of Sacramento.

Connecticut refused to give up in this series, and they took this game to the wire, capitalizing in the waning minutes off of Sacramento's inability to execute offensively. Unfortunately Connecticut lost their cool in the last 1:24 and it cost them their chance to take this series back home to Mohegan Sun to try and leverage the home court advantage they worked so hard to earn this season. Taj McWilliams-Franklin launched an ill advised three and the Sun started fouling like the game was down to 30 seconds.

Still, the fact that they managed to fight every game to the last few possessions given that they really and truly did not have Lindsay Whalen available demonstrates their heart and their depth. 2006 teams best be wary of these Connecticut Sun. Lindsay is their engine...she moves the ball up court keeping teams on their heels, and she gets to the free throw line anytime her team finds their offense sputtering. She couldn't play her game though, not with a fractured bone in her leg, and a sprained ankle to boot. Having seen what they did without her, I am not as sure that Sacramento wins this series as I was before it started.

Yo, Yo, Yo Baby

I am so happy for Yolanda Griffith. She is such a class act, and she earned every square inch of this championship and this Finals MVP award. I hope she comes back next year...but she could walk out on top if she wants to do so. What a performance. I even had my 18 month old son chanting Yo, Yo, Yo on Sunday. I wish I had been able to watch this game with him as well, but duty called me to the Bay Area. I actually missed the whole first half of this game...I will have to watch the recording tomorrow. I will take a look at the numbers and take some time to think about the rest of these two teams tomorrow, probably posting on Thursday morning.

Another Season Ends

That is it. The last game is played. Another season has passed by. It was a tough one for Storm fans coming off the 2004 Championship run, but it leaves us with a lot to look forward to in 2006. It was awfull hard watching the purple and silver confetti fall and seeing someone other than Betty, LJ or Sue accept that MVP trophy. I hope the players were watching. I hope they felt those pangs even more than we did. I hope they are ready to come back and fight their way to green and gold confetti falling down on 17,000 screaming fans in Key Arena this time next year.

We must now suffer through the longest offseason in pro sports (if it isn't really, it sure feels like it). We have some new drama this year with the expansion draft coming up to put the first players into the new Chicago Sky's uniforms, but that will only leave us wanting more. Thankfully college hoops and the NBA are getting closer, the ladies' male counterparts hit training camp at the end of October.

If you are a Storm fan, then do check out the Sonics if you have not seen them already. Howard Schultz and his management team have made the conscious effort to build a team that embraces responsibility and sportsmanship as well as talent. They overachieved last year with teamwork and effort while teams with arguably more talent struggled due to lack of teamwork and work ethic. Neither the team nor the fans present the family like atmosphere found with the Storm and its fans, but they play an exciting style of basketball and they will be defending their Northwest Division Title this year. Check them out, and I'll see you there.

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