Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Katie Busts Out

Those of us who looked at Katie Gearlds college career numbers and listened to the heapings of praise from training camp viewers knew this day was coming. It has been brewing steadily over the previous three games as Katie became more and more prominent in top performers lists I do for each game, and yesterday in front of family and friends at the Chicago Sky game it has finally happened. "Hello WNBA, my name is Katie Gearlds and I can shoot the ball."

First Quarter
Things did not look too good for the Storm as the game got underway. The Storm started bleeding and gave up a -12 run to start the quarter. Replacing Lennox with Gearlds and Burse with Palmer slowed the bleeding down, but when Ashley Robinson stepped in for Lauren Jackson the Storm put a solid +5 run in to close the quarter.

Second Quarter
Anne broke out the rumoured big lineup in the second quarter with LJ at the three. It took replacing Palmer with Burse to make that lineup work, however and the Storm manged a +1 run with LJ at the three. They continue to play well after Ashley sat and they went to a more standard lineup until Sue got her first rest of the game. They dropped off immediately and even with Bird back in 67 seconds of game time, they floundered at -5 until LJ sat and Ashley returned with a strong +6 run to close the quarter and bring the Storm within 2 points after being down by double digits most of the half.

Third Quarter
The Storm took control of the game immediately in the third quarter with a +8 run in the first 4.5 minutes of the second half with Janell Burse stepping up her game as LJ found herself in foul trouble. The Sky came back forcing a -3 run with LJ and JB on the bench, but Burse and Jackson came back for another +6 run. Sue and JB sat out the last three minutes, but Tanisha, Katie, Izi, LJ and A-Rob held their lead closing the quarter up nine points.

Fourth Quarter
With a nice lead to start the quarter the Storm played with confidence and poise, with Bird, Gearlds and LJ anchoring the squad to make a +11 run over the first 7.5 minutes of the final quarter. The reserves took over at the 1:51 mark and managed survive a -8 run to close out the game simply because of the strength of the twenty point advantage created by the core unit.

Best Shooters

PlayerFloor %eFG%
Katie Gearlds85%117%
Iziane Castro Marques61%71%
Sue Bird60%50%
Janell Burse58%83%
Lauren Jackson51%39%

Best Individual Rating

Katie Gearlds229.91
Iziane Castro Marques137.75
Sue Bird118.22
Janell Burse115.57

Best Plus/Minus

Katie Gearlds+20
Sue Bird+17
Janell Burse+11

Most Effective Lineups

Bird-Gearlds-Castro-Jackson-Burse: +7
Bird-Lennox-Castro-Palmer-Burse: +6
Bird-Lennox-Castro-Palmer-Robinson: +5
Bird-Lennox-Gearlds-Jackson-Burse: +5

Random Thoughts
A Key Arena style comeback ON THE ROAD! While I'm not quite old enough to be any of the player's Dad (technically maybe I am, though I would have had to become a Dad younger than they are now), they made me feel like a proud father for their gritty performance yesterday. They gave me enough basketball lift to not really be bothered by the Cavs failing to win their first NBA Finals home game and to forget for the moment that the Sonics still have yet to hire a head coach. I love that they came on even stronger in the Third Quarter with their best player on the bench in foul trouble.

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