Sunday, August 06, 2006

One Away

Who gave us the magic numbers of 3 and 4 for Phoenix and San Antonio. I did the math myself last night when David Locke declined to comment on the clinching of the playoff spot. Indeed, Phoenix has 14 wins and 4 remaining games meaning they could win out with Seattle losing its 3 remaining games to have a mere 17 wins. That would give Phoenix the 4th and final spot. Even if Houston lost all three of its remaining games and moved Phoenix into third, Houston owns the tiebreaker with Seattle and would get the #4 spot. Of course that could never happen since Seattle and Houston can't BOTH lose the last game of the season since they play each other. We need one more win or one Phoenix loss to make the last game of the season not be a MUST win. If Phoenix were to win out and Seattle lose to Detroit and San Antonio, they would have to win next Saturday's game to get the fourth slot, have 18 wins and use their season series lead over the Mercury to edge them out of the playoffs. The Mercury face Minnesota, Houston, San Antonio and Sacramento. At least two of those teams SHOULD beat them, but the Mercury choked last year and let LA beat them out for a spot. We will see if they push back this year. The Storm, however, CANNOT let someone else determine their post season fate.

Anne Donovan passed Michael Cooper on the all time WNBA coaching wins list last night to secure sole ownership of the number 3 slot with 120 wins.

pd_swanson from Rebkell dropped the coaching win information for me over at Rebkell.

Including Saturday's games:
Van Chancellor -- 210-108 (.660)
Richie Adubato -- 132-111 (.543)
Anne Donovan -- 120-109 (.524)
Michael Cooper -- 119-31 (.793)
Dan Hughes -- 95-119 (.444)
Bill Laimbeer -- 87-66 (.569)
Mike Thibault -- 85-46 (.649)
John Whisenant -- 75-40 (.652)
Cheryl Miller -- 70-52 (.574)
Suzie McConnell Serio -- 58-67 (.464)

The game was a little sloppy last night with 23 Storm turnovers, but the energy in the building was perhaps at its best of the season. Fortunately the Storm rebounded very well at 59%, getting 13 points on the fast break, 19 off second chance opportunities and hitting all but 4 of their 34 free throws doubling up the 15 from Charlotte.

Izi and BT managed to hold Sheri Sam below her 10.2 ppg season average, allowing only 8 rather than the 23 she scored on them in Charlotte.

Tangela Smith and rookie Monique Currie were the only scores in the starting lineup, but the Sting got excellent production from their bench with Kelly Mazzante doubling up her season average and just missing her career high 18 by dropping 16 points, 12 of which came from behind the arc where she only missed one shot all night. Janel McCarville did her damage down low, putting up a new career high of 17 points (former high was 11) and blowing past her season average of 3.9 ppg.

The Storm dominated from the inside out, with both LJ (2o pt, 11 rb, 2 bs) and JB (23 pt, 13 rb, 1 bs) posting double doubles. Betty Lennox provided the perimeter scoring and penetration, at times looking like her basketball hero Allen Iverson. Sue Bird played a solid game which does NOT show up in her box score. Izi was solid as well, with her defense being key, again, not a box score item. Edwige Lawson Wade may become the Tully replacement we have needed. Her full court defense is putting pressure on the opposing points while Sue rests, she is VERY aggressive on the ball in the half court, and she has a sweet jumper when she takes the shot. She was 2 for 2 from the field last night, had 2 assists a rebound and a steal, but her defense was just solid. She is only shooting 40% from the field for the season but, subjectively, I believe that has been climbing of late. She is not missing much and I credit that to good shot selection.

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