Thursday, September 11, 2008

Game Thirty-two: Storm @ Monarchs 9 September, 2008

This was a win I wanted, and that the team needed if it really wanted to maintain first place. Unfortunately, the Monarchs wanted to win this game more in this case than the Storm.

Clearly the Storm wanted a win. They fought valiantly in the face of a gimpy Sue Bird and the abscence of three starters to injury. Despite all of the adversity, the Storm almost walked away with another win because of the scoring of Tanisha Wright, Katie Gearlds and Yolanda Griffith. In the end, though, the lack of a healthy, star player in the game in the waning moments secured the loss.

I can't blame the loss on Tanisha Wright's 8 turnovers as Wright clearly is blaming herself or many fans are blaming her in the forums. Yes she made the turnovers, but Sacramento has historically played amazing perimeter defense, especially in Arco Arena, and Wright is simply not a fantastic ball handler. She is a capable ball handler, but this defense gives great ball handlers fits, it is expected to be deadly to those less than great. Tanisha was great at what you needed her to be great at. Sue Bird, a player many consider the best point guard in the league, had four turnovers in this game. A few of Tanisha's turnovers came at inopportune times, but this is really the first time T has had to play this role in game of this magnitude against an opponent of this caliber. She put up points, something sorely needed when you are essentially down three and a half starters. I admire her personal commitment, but I hope she walks away from the game viewing it as a challenge to attack in her game, not a failure in what has been a spectacular season for her. She should take it as a challenge to improve and a learning experience to make her stronger the next time she is in this situation.


Storm
Most Effective Shooters


Player

True Shooting Percentage

Effective FG%

Floor Percentage

Points

Ashley Robinson

100%

100%

100%

4

Katie Gearlds

78%

75%

55%

17

Yolanda Griffith

69%

63%

63%

16

Camille Little

55%

55%

37%

12



Katie Gearlds played extraordinarily well, shooting 50% overall and hitting 5 of 6 three point shots with nary a turnover in the game.

Top Ratings

PlayerOffensive RatingIndividual Rating
Ashley Robinson200.00181.22
Katie Gearlds154.17152.12
Yolanda Griffith128.52122.39

Raw Plus Minus
Katie Gearlds: +2
Camille Little: +2
Yolanda Griffith: +2
Kelly Santos: +1
Tanisha Wright: 0
Kristin O'Neill: -1
Shyra Ely: -4
Sue Bird: -8
Ashley Robinson: -9


Most Effective Lineups
Bird-Wright-Gearlds-Little-Griffith: +11
Wright-Gearlds-Ely-Robinson-Griffith: +2
Wright-Gearlds-Ely-Little-Griffith: +2


Monarchs
Most Effective Shooters

Player

True Shooting Percentage

Effective FG%

Floor Percentage

Points

Aquonesia Franklin

83%

83%

62%

5

Nicole Powell

75%

71%

48%

20

Kara Lawson

67%

58%

60%

19

Rebecca Brunson

55%

60%

50%

12




For the third straight game the Storm were lit up by opposing shooting guards. I say again that this is how important a healthy Swoopes is to the team's perimeter defense.


Top Ratings

PlayerOffensive RatingIndividual Rating
Aquonesia Franklin147.68142.97
Kara Lawson141.56121.62
Nicole Powell117.61108.99
Ticha Penicheiro102.7982.82
Rebecca Brunson100.1089.15


Raw Plus Minus
Chelsea Newton: +8
Nicole Powell: +6
Laura Harper: +4
Adrian Williams-Strong: +3
Crystal Kelly: +2
Aquonesia Franklin: +2
Ticha Penicheiro: 0
Rebecca Brunson: -3
Scholanda Robinson: -4
Kara Lawson: -5


Most Effective Lineups
Franklin-Newton-Powell-Harper-Williams: +9
Penicheiro-Lawson-Kelly-Powell-Brunson: +5


It is impressive to me that the Franklin led lineup sparked their run against the Storm starters, with Ely thrown in. The Storm had three lineups during that span, the starters, the starters without Wright and the starters without Gearlds. It was spurred by two bad passes (Wright and Ely) picked off by the excellent Monarchs defense.

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