New York Liberty 77, Seattle Storm 63
Shameka Christon brings the offense, Loree Moore brings the defense, Tanisha Wright brings the spark, and the refs bring the batshit crazy.
Now I know what happens to the worst referees: they become official scorers. By all the forgotten gods, that was a debacle and a mess, what was done with that scoreboard. Almost overshadowed the game, it did.
Seriously, MSG. Don't you guys check your own schedules? Maybe, just maybe, approving a Liberty game the same night that Cyndi Lauper and the Indigo Girls are at Radio City is a sure bet that you're going to get less of a walk-up crowd than you'd like, especially in June. And that the crowd that does show up is going to be a lot more tilted towards the Long Island girl and her team than you'd like? In all seriousness, there seemed to be as much crowd noise for the Storm as there was for the Liberty, and that is not on. WTF, New York City. WTF.
You can take the girl out of Detroit, but you can't take the Detroit out of the girl. I don't know what Cash did to Janel, but I did not approve of it. And the kvetching. Oy, the kvetching. Swintayla, STFU and play. As a Liberty fan, I was worried about LJ, because I know there's no way in hell she'd shoot 1-9 again, and she did make Cathrine look awful on defense, but she seemed to be settling for a lot from the outside. Especially when Cathrine was in foul trouble, I was surprised not to see LJ go inside more. Swoopes was very quietly badass. I knew she was doing well with the steals, and that she was scoring late, but I didn't realize until I got home that she was one board away from a double-double. Yo… every time she seemed to be edging towards getting into a rhythm, she committed a foul and that was that; threw her right off her game. Bird was statistically unimpressive, but I think she's made a commitment to keeping herself in shape- physically, I thought she looked faster and better than she has in the last couple of years. As for the Storm bench, I don't know if it was because he has no faith in Ashley Robinson or because Tanisha Wright was the hot hand off the bench, but Agler went small an awful lot- there were a lot of center minutes available with Yo's foul trouble, and yet Robinson barely played. Wright is an excellent reserve shooting guard; use her as anything else at your peril. I was honestly surprised at how little we saw of Gearlds and Beck- then again, I guess if Wright is on, Gearlds is a luxury, not a necessity, but that still doesn't explain why Beck only came in under three minutes.
Sista Christon, my oh my. The long ball was going in, which meant that her game was on. And Loree brought her all-around game, too. (However, somewhere in Knoxville, Pat Summitt had conniptions when Loree passed the ball straight to Swin Cash.) Janel was solid if unimpressive, although the poor woman ended up on the floor far too many times without a call in her favor. Also, the hair. No. On so many levels. One long stripe of stringy, longer-than-the-rest, bleach-blonde hair gives me bad mental images, especially when coupled with "Whoa, Nellie!" and the piggyback ride thing from last year. MOVING ON… Essence started off well, and she was a big help on defense later in the game, but there were a couple of stretches where she still looked like a rookie. Don't get me wrong, I'd still prefer her as the starter. Lisa was red-hot when she first came in, but she exhausted it all in that one burst and wasn't very much use afterwards. Cathrine, as mentioned, got beat pretty badly on defense, but held her own on offense, and set a couple of excellent screens. Erlana is a badass, but I doubt this needs further mentioning. Oh. More badassery- the ballsiest play of the night was, no doubt, Lisa Willis attempting to guard Yo Griffith… and adroitly forcing the travel. I don't care who you are, if you're a guard, you gotta have moxie to go up against Yo, no matter how far advanced in years she is. Not the night I would have expected from Tiffany, though it wasn't like she was bad or anything. Erin barely played. While it was for the best, I was surprised at how quickly she went from starter to last player off the bench. From the looks of her face at the end of the game, I'd say I wasn't the only one. Leilani, aside from the occasional identity confusion where she gets this crazy idea that she's Becky Hammon and starts driving the lane with no rebounders in sight, is rapidly becoming… well, okay, I'm still not very sanguine about Loree going to the bench, but I don't freak out quite as much as I used to.
Patty. Sweetie. You didn't suck tonight, for the most part. I was very impressed. But seriously, if Agler's sending in Kimberly Beck, who hasn't played all fracking game, you *can* take the starters off, no, really, you can, there's nothing more to prove, unless you want to prove that you're utterly classless. Just my two cents.
The refs sucked. The sucking was more or less equal opportunity. I'll just point at the free throws for the only important differential when officiating is concerned, and shut up from there. I will say that I'm surprised Cash got as many favorable calls as she did, and that Bird didn't get as many favorable calls as players of her caliber normally get.
The official scorers sucked even more. There was one point where the Liberty were up by… well, one point. Shameka hit a three. They gave it to Seattle. And then they gave it to Seattle again. And then it took them several minutes to finally take the six points back from Seattle, give the Liberty their hard-earned trey, and then put the fouls back because the fouls had gotten all fucked up. And then the fouls got fucked up again and they didn't correct them, and the rage, it rose mightily.
Nice of Lisa's folks to make it out cross-country.
Whoever sat Kym Hampton next to a Storm fan needs to be keelhauled.
Whoever was in the Maddie suit tonight needs to never be in the suit again. There's being a jerk by taking a kid's sign, and then there's grinding on a grossly fat guy in an overstressed Christon jersey. I can haz brain bleach?
Ad-Libs, no Golden Maddie. Cathrine likes the sun (as compared to the Sun, where the only enjoyment she seems to get comes from Screens of Death). Erlana thinks of New York as a party. Erlana's a bit of a dork. I like her. Ashley seems to have spent most of the game hooked to an IV of caffeine, ginseng, sugar, and Mountain Dew, possibly cut with a hallucinogen. I don't know if hyper describes it enough.
Winning is good. Can we play better next time, though?
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
New York Liberty 77, Seattle Storm 63