Thursday, May 20, 2010

2010 Game 2 vs. Lynx

Top Performers

NameFloor %eFG %TS %Points+/-
Camille Little66%54%72%18-1
Swin Cash57%68%109%24+3
Tanisha Wright55%100%101%9+10
Sue Bird52%38%50%8+3
Lauren Jackson48%53%56%18+6

NameFloor %eFG %TS %Points+/-
Rashanda McCants56%50%63%10+3
Monica Wright49%53%56%190
Nikki Anosike60%56%52%13-1

Top Lineups

Bird-Wright-Cash-Willingham-Jackson: +9
Bird-Wright-Cash-Little-Jackson: +3

This game was a bit of an odd one.

I was late to the game despite my Tee Ball game being cancelled by the weather. It was a late game on a school night with testing in the morning, so I decided to go to the game without the boys and had to wait for my wife to get home and relieve me of parenting duty for the evening.

I arrived midway through the first quarter and the score was tied with the bench on the floor with Bird, Cash and Jackson. The Lynx made a huge push as soon as I sat down, with McCants, Houston, Whalen knocking down shots putting the Storm down 7 by the end of the quarter.

Coach Agler started the second quarter with Wright handling the ball , within a minute, though, both Bird and Lacey were on the floor with Alison at the small forward slot. The bench saw som action with at least one bench player on the floor from the 2 minute mark of the 1st quarter until the end of the half. After the initial defensive melt down with the introduction of the bench leading to a -7 hole, the bench held Minnesota to a draw for the first five minutes or so. At the end of the quarter the starters with Willingham in for Camille made a push and went on a +5 run.

The first half, outside of the push at the very end, looked very stagnant. The Storm weren't playing horribly but they weren't playing well. They would get a stop but blow the scoring opportunity at the other end leaving them unable to make up any ground.

The second half did not get much better. Agler had the starters play all but 2:27 of the 3rd quarter, but things looked pretty much the same with defensive mis-steps at one end and sloppy execution on offense at the other end preventing them from gaining any real ground against the Lynx.

In the fourth quarter, however, Agler went with a UCONN lineup in the backcourt with Bird, Abrosimova and Cash on the floor with Willingham and Robinson. Swin started to find a groove and when Lauren Jackson and Tanisha Wright returned to the lineup things started to click. With just under five minutes remaining Little joined the rest of the starters and the experienced team closed out the game with focused defense on the perimeter and aggressive offense attacks. Cash was brilliant in the quarter with key efforts leading to choice baskets by Little and Jackson to seal the deal. Camille hit a three to give the Storm a lead and Jackson used an offensive rebound and putback to lock it up.

It is easy to see how the bench is struggling defensively and the offense just has not found its groove. However, if Swin Cash continues to play with this kind of aggression the offense should open up much more quickly. Willingham got some good looks at the basket (as did Lacey) which should start going in as she gets more floor time. Defensively she looked much better than she did in the first game of the season. We will see how fired up she gets taking on Phoenix this weekend.

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