Wednesday, May 23, 2007

From the Mailbag ...

Letters, we get letters, we get sacks and sacks of letters. Letters!

Mitch from Seattle asks:
A few questions from a longtime Storm season ticket holder in the wake of Saturday's comeback... I'm sure you're already all over the one question: what's the largest second-half deficit a team has come back from in WNBA history? But I also wonder if anyone has also kept track of the largest second-half turnaround in WNBA history. From greatest second-half deficit to final score, the Storm made up 35 points.

Oh, and is there any rational explanation for what just happened? I mean, not only did the Storm look just awful for a stretch before and after halftime, but that collapse was entirely reminiscent of the way Houston had humiliated the Storm the previous two seasons. I'd like to think I'm a discerning pro basketball fan, and I just did not see that run coming.

Mitch, I'd like to think I'm a pretty discerning fan too, and I didn't see that one coming either. What happened? From a strategic perspective, I think the best explanation is the Storm figured out how to contain Ashley Shields by trapping her off of pick-and-rolls and forcing her to her weaker left hand. Sue Bird executed that gameplan brilliantly over the last 15 minutes and Shields struggled in that stretch.

The crowd also has to be given a huge amount of credit. KeyArena was huge during the run and never really got too quiet even when the Storm was down by 22 points. Iziane Castro Marques really gave credit to the "sixth man" when asked about the 44-9 run yesterday.

Beyond that, I think it's one of those things that just came together. You can't ever predict a run like that because all it takes is the Comets putting together a couple of buckets to derail the whole thing. That's what makes a run like that so special and so fun.

In the comments of my last post, Sheila asked:
I heard LJ say in an interview recently that because the Korean league was not playing next year due to the Olympics, that her contract is null and void. Is this not true? I'd hate for her to lose out on an opportunity to make some cash in Russia.

This was my understanding as well, but Bird said the situation was a little more complicated in terms of contracts. In her blog, Jayda Evans reported LJ is close to signing a deal with Spartak, so apparently this is not an issue.

Jayda also reports the Korean WKBL will not be allowing foreign players next winter, while I reported the league is shutting down. It occurs to me I have seen both explanations, and I'm not sure which one is correct. The only evidence I can find online indicates the league will not play, though those stories come from Australia. I'll try to get to the bottom of this one.


Anonymous said...

hey do you know hoe much lj's jersy went for in the auction? i would have killed to have it after that game!

Anonymous said...

So, hi, I'm from Korea. I'll try to explain the situation with the WKBL as best as I can.

1. There is no rule disallowing foreign players next year. However, the league (which is split into a summer season and a winter season, up until this year) will not be accepting foreign players for its summer league this year.

2. From next year, apparently the WKBL is going to scrap the summer/winter seasons to go with one long season running from about April to December. There will be a short break during the summer sometime, but it's one season. Since LJ was contracted for three winter seasons, which traditionally lasted from around January to April, I don't know how that will work out.

3. The 2008 Beijing Olympics may screw up a lot of schedules. So far, there hasn't been anything announced though, since Korea hasn't actually qualified for the Olympics yet.