Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 22nd, 2008: Phoenix at New York

New York Liberty 105, Phoenix Mercury 72

A historic day at the Garden as Tiffany Jackson and Ashley Battle are only the vanguard of a whole lot of butt-whoopin'.

This is what we've been waiting for. As I left the Garden today, in my Lobo jersey, passing people in Spoon jerseys and Wicks jerseys and the old green warm-up shirts and the old orange shirts- through all these colors, all these schemes, all these mottos, all these players, we've been waiting for something the frakkin' Utah Starzz did in their first season.

I had a good feeling about the day on the way in- the E train I was on included a baller strapping on some serious sneakers and already in uniform, with a loving partner in the next seat sharing earbuds, heading down to West 4th- but the supportive partner was a guy, and the baller was female. Of course, this meant that oh, brilliant, the Liberty managed to schedule opposite a tournament at West 4th, sheer brilliance.

And then I had less of a good feeling, because it was clear the Cagers Club was there for Cappie and not for Essence, and there were way too many #3s that weren't Tiffany Jackson, and the anthem sucked and the Mercury started off on a 7-0 run. I was so afraid Phoenix had finally found their groove and we were going to be the latest victim, because we were a team that couldn't shoot with them like Chicago or Connecticut.

Well. Um. Then Janel happened. And then Cathrine happened. And then the floodgates opened.

Where do you begin with a game like this? Cathrine of the three threes to break it open and get it rolling, who got on the boards and only missed a double-double because she was pulled? Janel, who laid a hurtin' on inside? Loree- oh, God, have we ever missed Loree, who just opened it up? Or how about the bench? How about Miss Jackson tearing it up inside? How about Ashley Battle and that unbelievable shot she made that ended with her on her ass? How about Lisa Willis's shooting and hands? How about Erlana Larkins, who hit the historic bucket? HOW ABOUT THESE LIBKIDS? Tiffany was unbelievable. Ashley played like she was saying "Fuck you, Patty!" with every basket and every stutter-step. Leilani was solid. Lisa looks like she's been learning from Loree and Ashley. Essence worked hard enough on defense that we didn’t need her offense. Shameka was the only one who didn't really produce- but can you imagine what the score would look like if she was in the groove? And I love how into the game they get for each other. Loree and Lisa were all but dancing when Ashley scored.

Taurasi was determined not to lose. Perhaps a little too determined. Maybe she got a little too into it, hence the ball spike that drew the T. I think Cappie was trying too hard to get the foul on some of those shots, because that crew wasn't calling much at all. Le'Coe Willingham was the only other Mercury player who really, really impressed me- it looks like she's put back on some of the weight she lost in Connecticut- I'm not saying this as a bad thing, because she was starting to be a true tweener, too thin to be effective in the post but nowhere near a small forward, and at least now she's got the girth to throw around. Miller was just completely stumped- stop the engine and the car doesn't go, I guess. Smith seemed to be settling for too many outside shots. Off the bench, I like Pringle's athleticism, but she still has a lot to learn- I'm wondering now if that's Farris's role more than actually playing is. Yuko Oga reminds me of a very young, very raw Michele Timms. But yeah. Defense? What defense?

"Rapper's Delight". No, seriously. White girl rapping! White girl rapping! Ashley and Lisa were into it, though. The question becomes "how much booze was involved and who drank how much?" No "Bohemian Rhapsody", but definitely a hoot.

Megan, Irish do not tan. Trust me on this one. Unless you're talking fake tan, what you're going to be working on is your sunburn.

Megan and Jess were coordinated today. I found that somewhat disturbing.

I've never been thanked for asking someone for their autograph before, but Oga did so. Phoenix seems like a nice bunch.

I'm still not sure what my favorite play of the game was. I mean, yeah, AB's circus shot, but also, Cathrine's three threes and Tiffany's two and-ones. Or the one play where Cathrine got it downcourt to Janel under the basket.

We spotted Epiphanny Prince after the game. A couple of folks hollered that they'd like to see her on the Liberty.

History, baby! History! No matter what else happens, we'll always have this.

1 comment:

Fumbling Through the Storm said...

I thorougly enjoyed your review of the game, almost as much as I actually enjoyed the game.

I have to say that Battle probably was thinking "Fuck you, Patty!" with every shot. I sat right behind the Lib bench, and the two of them were exchanging some words early in the game. All I could make out was Battle saying, "You told me to guard Mazzante!" and Coyle telling her that she didn't say that. Then, Battle gave her a look like, "Whatever" and walked away.

Any idea if the "Rapper's Delight" video can be found online anywhere? About halfway through, I realized that I should have taped it. I did get some of the Timeless Torches, purely for my own amusement.