Friday, June 6, 2008

June 6th, 2008: Houston at New York

New York Liberty 81, Houston Comets 73

A Liberty point guard with the initials LM kicks four kinds of ass- but not the one you might expect.

I feel like some sort of riddle has been posed here, such as "how many pounds of badassery can one stuff in a point guard?" Seemed to be a couple of answers on the floor tonight.

Got to the Garden pleasantly early for a change- I love a job that lets me out at 4 on Fridays for the summer- and got to see 'bout half the team coming in. Yellow is a good color for Jess, and Leilani was as cute as a button in a little blue frock.

Cut to 6:30 or thereabouts; imagine our surprise when we saw Megan Duffy dressed out… along with Leilani and Erin. Uh-oh, someone was hurt. Sure enough, Loree sat out the game with back spasms. If I'd known that, I would have nicked one of my dad's Lidocaine patches for her.

The anthem would have been much nicer if the singer could hold a note, because she had a very pretty voice. Also, seriously, people, get up on your feet and STFU. Even if you don't consider the anthem to be worthy of respect, respect the singer.

Tina's still got it. She beat the hell out of Cathrine on defense, a trend that's starting to appear distressingly often in the Game Notes Of Doom. Perhaps she's heard the criticism leveled towards her, because she seemed to be playing much more inside than I'd been led to believe. Michelle Snow seemed to be just kinda there, but she finished with 15, and I have to assume that they were on putbacks, because Houston was all over the offensive glass. Tante was strong defensively, and I think one of Coach Thompson's big mistakes was not having Tante on Shameka nearly enough. Pee-Wee started, and I thought Leilani played well against her- perhaps that step was lost somewhere? Off the bench, I was very impressed with Erica White- my, she's fast, isn't she? I got to see Houston doing a footwork drill, and she was just lightning quick. I mean, damn. I love good footwork, and she was flashing between the rungs of that ladder thing like she was going to try out for a tap troupe one of these days. Mabika is still Mabika. Not as fast as she used to be, but still decently fast, and you can take the woman off the Sparks, but you can't take the Spark out of the woman. Was surprised that we didn't see much of either Williams or Lyttle- or if we did, they didn't do much. No wonder I don't remember Lyttle- funny thing is that it looked like she was set to go in at one point, unless she's no longer #21? I dunno.

Leilani Mitchell, good gracious. Keep this up and I'll take back everything I ever said about you and do it to your face. Houston's penchant for giving up threes was fully in force tonight, because Leilani was hitting from outside- y'know, I kept wondering if Leilani could miss, and it turns out she couldn't. *beams* And Cathrine was lighting it up from beyond the arc, too, although having *all* her shots be threes discomfits me a bit. Might have had to do with the foul situation, but one can never be sure with Cathrine. She also had a monster block on either Thompson or Snow that was just totally awesome, and set some very solid screens. Ahem. Solid, refs. That means they don't move. Essence on Ajavon was an interesting matchup- Ajavon faked her out a couple of times, but then Essence made a couple of great defensive plays on her and the balance was evened out again. Shameka got clocked pretty bad on a jump ball- looked like she got an elbow in the eye or to the temple; we weren't sure if she was seeing straight, because she wasn't walking straight and she came out for a few minutes, but then she came back in and hit a three, so Coyle's gamble worked. Janel was solid- it's the hair, I tell you, because glory be, the blonde streak is gone and she no longer appears to have a racing stripe down the middle of her head. Good thing we got good play out of the starters, because we didn't get a whole lot out of the bench. Tiffany brought energy, but not particularly well directed energy. Erlana, except for one key stretch where she turned around the momentum that had swung Houston's way, looked like she was in over her head a bit. But she's a rookie. These things can be forgiven. Megan backed Leilani up, and she looked rather slow, especially against White. Lisa… maybe she was nervous because her dad was in town? I don't know. And Erin mostly got called for fouls and complained about them. Erin expresses her frustrations very openly. They can be seen from the upper deck. If you blinked, you missed Ashley; she barely played at all, and not at all in the second half. Probably for the best my mom missed the game, because otherwise there would have been a beating with a cane.

As mentioned, Lisa's dad was in town- guess this was a holdover from Seattle- and so were Tiffany's parents. Also, duh, Coach Stringer was in attendance with the staff. I think one of them was wearing the Rutgers scarf Coach Stringer had last year in the tournament, and if so, I need to find out where she got it so that I can put it on the Christmas list with the Cappie Patch Doll.

To the 53% of you who screwed up the trivia question- okay, thinking VJ inbounded to Spoon for The Shot, that's understandable; at least VJ would have been in the game because she was a starter and the starters would have been in for crunch time. To those of you who said Becky Hammon… no. Just no. You fail. I should mention in passing I do a surprisingly good Matt Devlin impression and have the entire call memorized.

To the folks in my section who got up the DEFENSE chants when the sound system didn't provide cues- y'all rock so hard. To the wet blankets in front of us- seriously, don't give us dirty looks for making crowd noise. We hadn't even started cursing at the refs at that point.

Because we needed to curse at the refs. Some of those calls were inexplicable. And then there was the one with the ponytail who felt the need to make late whistles. Considering one of them was Cathrine's… fifth, I think?… that was quite annoying.

Dear Coach Coyle: if a player is doing well, you leave her in. If a player is playing badly, you take her out and try to figure out what's wrong with her. You do not yank a player when she is kicking ass. This is what got Nancy Darsch fired. Not that I would mind seeing you get fired for the same mistakes, but that means screwing up my team, and this is a thing I do not approve of.

The Liberty have a couple of awesome t-shirts out. Can't wait to see those T-Fense tees all over MSG. The J-Mac and Cheese one… I can live without the pun. In general, though, I'd like to see more people in gear- there really don't seem to be a lot of committed fans among the folks in attendance, and that makes it hard to get crowd noise going. These kids deserve the kind of ruckus the Garden crowd used to bring. These kids deserve to have us blow the roof off. MAKE SOME NOISE!

There's always another game to look ahead to, at least when it's June, and Sacramento might be a bunch of question marks, but they're still the Monarchs. In the meantime, I'll rejoice in the victory and marvel at Leilani.

1 comment:

The Writer said...

Leilani Mitchell is a fireball of a basketballer player. If she was a few inches taller, she'd have been bumped up a round in the draft. A third draft pick isn't too much to give up... as long as we keep playing her (and she keeps producing).

Kraayeveld is seriously getting on my nerves at this point. What started off as a few bumbling incidents (from the rust) has now become something much more problematic. Blah.