Sunday, August 26, 2007

2007 Season Ends for Storm

PHOENIX - We really believed. When the Storm rallied to tie the game at 85-all, it looked like a miraculous comeback was well within the team's reach. Alas, Diana Taurasi and company destroyed that vision. Taurasi's three-pointer seemed to be worth even more points, it was such a shocking turn of momentum and came from so deep. The Storm never recovered.

The nature of the WNBA Playoffs is that a defeat comes very suddenly; two games, in this case, and the season is over. It's hard to process right away. There were so many highlights to the seson, including Lauren Jackson's play all year long, but the ultimate result was the Storm falling short of what it set out to do.

The next couple of days, including exit interviews, should allow us to put the season in better perspective.

When the Storm blew out Phoenix on May 23, my big question was whether the Mercury had enough grit after losing Kristen Rasmussen and Kamila Vodichkova. I would say that over the last two games Phoenix has conclusively answered that question. Turns out Kelly Miller has more than enough scrappiness to cover the entire team.

It's more than Miller, however. The Mercury may not be physically tough, but there is a mental resiliency provided by Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter, amongst others. Phoenix answered every Storm run over the two games in this series and wasn't rattled even when the Storm rallied from 22 down to tie the game.

Based on this series, the Mercury has to be considered the clear favorite in the Western Conference Finals against either Sacramento or San Antonio. How far could Phoenix go? There's no reason to believe the Mercury can't win this whole thing.

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