Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Breakfast With the Storm

With a special 10 a.m. start in Minnesota and the game on FSN, a group of us from the Storm offices have headed to Peso's for breakfast and Storm basketball. I ordered steak and eggs, but only because a Storm victory is not technically speaking on the menu.

I'll drop in some thoughts. The Storm is off to a decent start, tied at 13 with three minutes left in the first quarter. Lauren Jackson's absence is exacerbated today by Yolanda Griffith's absence due to a head injury. The Storm is playing super small but is getting a very aggressive performance early from Swin Cash.

End First Quarter: Love the aggressiveness of Swin and Sue Bird. They've got eight points apiece as the Storm leads 20-16 after one quarter. Don't love the turnovers - seven in all. They've really helped keep Minnesota close. The defense has been very stout aside from a couple of Anna DeForge threes, holding the Lynx to 5-of-17 shooting. And none of us here knows what's up with Vanessa Hayden-Johnson's hair.

Halftime: No Lauren Jackson. No Yolanda Griffith. Sheryl Swoopes sidelined for the last few minutes of the first half after cramping up. Yet the Storm still leads 39-30 at the half - can't complain about that. Sue Bird has been terrific, scoring 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting. This is vintage Sue going back to her rookie year when she had no choice to score for the Storm. Swin Cash has nine and is 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. The Storm is 11-3 when Cash scores double-figures, so here's hoping she gets another point. Camille Little continues to do yeoman's work in place of Jackson, scoring nine points and grabbing four boards. The Storm's team defense has been very good, holding the Lynx to 30 percent shooting.

Third Quarter: The Storm went up as many as 17 in the third quarter, but Minnesota rallied within nine by period's end. The Lynx have been the comeback kids at times this season, so the Storm has to keep the energy and focus up in the fourth quarter. Seimone Augustus has had a tough time shooting tonight, misisng 11 of her 13 shots, but she seems to be getting it going. That's a scary proposition for the Storm.

Final: Whew. A major sigh of relief after some anxious moments as Minnesota had the ball down one in the final 30 seconds. The Storm played great defense to get a couple of stops (at least Sue Bird thinks there were two), Camille Little knocked down her free throws, the defense kept Candice Wiggins from getting a good look at a tying three and the Storm escapes with a win. That's very impressive given the absence of LJ and Yolanda and Sheryl Swoopes not playing in the second half. The Storm was down to nine players available, so good thing no one was in foul trouble. 2-1 would be a solid road trip even for a Storm team at full strength, so this is remarkable. A win Friday in Phoenix would mean a historic trip.


Anonymous said...

How come only 9 player ?. What was the story with Kristen not playing

Sheila said...

These women are WARRIORS. Great win. Agler is giving Lambier a run for his money as "Trader Bill". How he ever got Little for a second round pick next year is beyond me. At best the Dream is looking at a very late second round pick. I absolutely love what Little brings to this team. I wanted them to draft her last year, but now we have the best of both worlds, KG lighting up the nets lately and Little bringing a can of whoop a** to this team.

Anonymous said...

Kristen won't likely be playing in a game that close.

Anonymous said...

her 3rd 7 day contract is up again - any word on that?

Patrick said...

With Jayda on vacation we are relying on you for the updates on Sheryl and Yo's status. Work the training staff, man.