Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Postgame Post Mortem

The big thing I wanted to ask about after the game was the play with 32.4 seconds left where Sue Bird fouled Marie Ferdinand-Harris and sent her to the line with the Storm down three. Bird seemed angry after the play.

Some background. During the preceding timeout, we were able to catch some audio of Storm Head Coach Brian Agler on the radio broadcast, which was off air. It appeared Agler was ordering a foul. I was a little dubious of the strategy with more than enough time to get a stop and potentially get the ball back down three with a chance to tie.

On the inbounds pass, Tanisha Wright immediately fouled Sparks guard Shannon Bobbitt, putting the Storm at the limit. Then Los Angeles inbounded to Ferdinand-Harris and Bird applied pressure before being quickly whistled for a foul. It was possible that Bird hadn't wanted to foul Ferdinand-Harris, an excellent free-throw shooter, but it occurred to me that the team might have wanted to defend straight up after the first foul.

Bird confirmed that notion. It seems possible that the referees might have anticipated the Storm intentionally fouling and gone quickly to the whistle. Ferdinand-Harris hit both shots and the Storm was forced to try to foul the rest of the way.

Bird still seemed a little shellshocked as she talked to reporters, uncertain quite how to react to some of the big-picture questions. She did make it clear that she refused to consider the season a failure because of what the Storm accomplished during a record-setting regular season.

Sheryl Swoopes was, inevitably, asked about her future. She didn't have a firm answer, explaining that if she continued to feel good she would like to play another season. Swoopes was resolute that if she plays in 2009, it will be for the Storm.

The Storm will hold exit interviews over the next couple of days, and storm.wnba.com will have plenty more analysis looking back on the 2008 season and ahead to what is in store for the upcoming offseason.


Hannah said...

I loved everything about this season. As a starving student squirreling away money for season tickets was no easy task, but it was completely worth it. I find incredible pride in this team. Regardless of the poor officiating and the questionable offensive fouls by Leslie and others, I stand by the girls. Congrats on a season worthy of praise. I thank you for every moment from the bottom of my heart.

Anonymous said...

hey Kevin,

is there any chance of getting a link of the video up of Sue Bird at the postgame press?


Kevin Pelton said...

Still waiting on that from the league; looks like there's a bit of a video issue this evening. As soon as we get the video links, I'll pass them along.

Anonymous said...

cheers mate

best blogger, hands down (along with jayda ;-) of course!)

Anonymous said...

I think the bad sportsmanship of L.A. is soooo bad for the league's reputation, but it became evident after the brawl in Detroit the league is suddenly not so concerned about presenting a positive, family-oriented atmosphere. After the fight there and the near fight started tonight by DMJ, you would think the league would be concerened with their escalating bad sportsmanship. Stomping on the logo was as much and insult to the league and the women who worked hard for the last 10 ten years to get it where it is today as it was to the Storm franchise, fans, and players.

I LOVE our team, though! They fought hard tonight. This was a great season, and I will be back next year, I just hope most of the roster will be too.

pt said...

It was definitely a great season. I swear, if injuries hadn't taken hold I think the Storm might have been able to win it all. Congratulations on a job well done, and thank you for your blogging.

sherryl alberto said...

hi. im from the philippines and i've been following the seattle storm mainly because of sue bird. some of their games are televised here and those which are not, i watch via webcast or listen live via storm radio. im really happy with the wonderful season, wished it ended better but their run was amazing this year, even with all the injuries. im looking forward to their 10th anniversary season in 2009! hope i can already watch the games live! congrats storm and storm fans!

Anonymous said...

As a fan of the Storm, I want to thank all the players, coaches and the rest of the franchise for making it all possible. I agree that this could have been a championship season without injuries, I also think that we had a team that could have won a championship as is. I feel like the officiating was an issue and hope that future games will have better, but I don't count on it.

So I just wanted to write to say a sincere THANK YOU STORM for a AWESOME season and to let you know that we'll be there for many years to come.

Anonymous said...

Since the beginning of professional women's basketball, there have been many developments; most notably, the play and the coaching has improved exponentially -- why hasn't the officiating improved? We've seen terrible refs in almost every game, but last night took the cake...actually, it took the game. Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker can apparently do whatever they want on the court. True, Leslie fouled out, but it took at least 15 of her fouls to make 6 called ones.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU STORM! My only regret is not being able to watch you more as the playoffs progress. I enjoy coming to the games, bringing my daughter and her friends, girls and boys, to see such a positive influence in the quality of your play and the passion you bring to the court. Congratulations on an exciting season!

And thank you "10" you showed your team and community real "girl power!"

it's hard to watch the Sparks win when some of their play is dirty. The other part that bothers me is the whining, particularly rookie Candice. She and Lisa are outstanding players who are diminishing themselves by their attitudes.

Also, please look at workshops for the refs in the off-season. It is quite obvious some of them either need to brush up or look for a different kind of evening work.

Here is to 2009 - My wish is the team stay as one with little or no movement!


Anonymous said...

Did anybody notice: the only 2 times the Storm dropped a home game, the sound was broken and they missed the big intros at the opening? That's huge!

sithinfiltrator said...

I can't say enough how proud I am of the Storm this year! They had to overcome quite a lot of obstacles and put together one of the best years I have witnessed, and I was there in 2004 when we won it all. If not for LJ's unfortunate injury, I truly believe that we would have been hoisting a new banner next year. The way this team fought so hard to overcome all our obstacles made me so very proud. And I look forward to an even better "Perfect Storm" next year.


Anonymous said...

will you post videos of the team's exit interviews?