Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sue and LJ, Champs Again

Congratulations to Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson and their Spartak teammates and coaches. With a remarkable Game 4 performance on the road, Spartak claimed its second straight Russian Superleague Championship, defeating CSKA Moscow 101-63 in a game that was all but decided by halftime.

As you might expect, Jackson powered the Spartak offense, scoring 30 points on 11-of-14 shooting and grabbing five rebounds. Bird was uber-efficient, making all six of her shot attempts in adding 13 points. Diana Taurasi was 2-of-10 from the field but took on playmaker duty, handing out nine assists. And Spartak got great production from its bench, Tatiana Schegoleva scoring 20 points and Tina Thompson 19.

The disparity in the final numbers between these two great teams is striking and reveals the tremendous defense Spartak put together. CSKA was limited to 31.3% shooting, while Spartak shot 53.5% - 60% from downtown. Becky Hammon was held to six points on 2-of-9 shooting, Maria Stepanova was 1-of-11 from the field in scoring five points and even leading CSKA scorer Ann Wauters needed 13 shots to score 14 points.

The victory caps a second straight double-championship season for Spartak, winners of both the Russian Superleague and the Euroleague.

The best news is that Bird and Jackson are ready to return to Seattle. We should know more about their itinerary by tonight's game, but they should be back in time to get a few days of practice before Opening Night next Saturday.


Online ZenDoc said...

Wow and then some! Lauren, Sue, Diana, & Spartak team just annihilated Becky Hammon's CSKA team. I mean that was a total destruction. That must have been a little humiliating for CSKA. Oh well, I'm certainly glad our girls won and are coming home. It'll be great to have them back in practice and for the home opener.

Bret said...

Wow, I love it, because everything Sue and LJ touch turns to gold. Unbelievable!
I'm also happy because they will be back soon and I'm really excited to be able to see them again. Can't wait.
The only catch is they'll be exhausted from playing all year and from jet lag. Good thing they're tough & young. GOOD LUCK!

r093005 said...

Diana is an amazing playmaker and she would be my vote for MVP of the Spartak-CSKA series. It was great fun watching her play alongside Sue and LJ. Great chemistry. Too bad Diana can't play for the Storm.

Online ZenDoc said...

r093005, Diana Taurasi is a great, great player - no doubt, but would you really give the MVP to her over L.J.? I know that Lauren had 2 monster games, but I didn't see the stats for the other 2 games. Certainly in the deciding 4th game L.J. had a huge game and Diana didn't do much that game.

I know that Diana usually does better than Sue when they play together, but she's always been more of a go-to player than Sue, although Sue certainly can be. And no one's more go-to than L.J.! Unless Lauren had 2 bad games in this series & Diana had 3 amazing games, I don't see why Diana would be the MVP.

Did you actually get to see these Russian championship games? If so, where did you see them? I didn't think they were televised anywhere that we could see them.