Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 19th, 2009: Atlanta at New York

New York Liberty 89, Atlanta Dream 86

Shameka Christon and the Game Notes of Doom both hit milestones, but Sista Christon is more awesome than the Game Notes of Doom.


What a game. It shouldn't have been as dramatic as it was, but it was a hell of a game.

Thanks to everyone on Atlanta for stopping and signing for us. Y'all were really nice. Coco did a double-take at the card, but she didn't say anything, so now I have all possible autograph permutations of the Miller twins' rookie cards. The one fun thing about the league's habit of recycling coaches is how '98 or '01 veterans react when they see their cards. They're so startled.

The anthem would have been great except for the nonstop v-v-i-i-b-b-r-r-a-a-t-t-o-o the guy had going on. Dude, I can hold a note better than that, and I can't actually sing.

Disappointingly small crowd, but they got loud when we needed them. There was a random group of Sancho Lyttle fans in the section below us. They were socute. Note to the tourists behind me: no shoes, no service. I don't want to turn around and see your stocking feet perched on a chair next to me, all right? Your kids were cute and you really got into the spirit of things, so I have to give you that.

Does Meadors actually know what a point guard is? Really, I'm serious. It seems like she's doing her best to fuck with all of their heads. Lehning got the start in this game, but she didn't get the minutes down the stretch, even though she was playing pretty well and making things happen. It was a very sore spot that for most of the game, she was outrebounding Janel McCarville. I'm sorry, but no matter how scrappy a guard is, she shouldn't be outrebounding the opposing center. Foul trouble kept Sancho Lyttle off the floor, which was good for us. √Črika DeSouza was unstoppable in the paint- she gets into position so well that we kept wondering how the hell she was so open. That's someone whose film Kia Vaughn should be studying. Izi is still ridiculously fast and still has the range to make a game uneasy for her opponent, even if she's just about the only player on that team who has it. She nearly got into a chick fight with Tiffany Jackson, and I didn't catch what started it (neither was my mom, who was down behind the Baseline Buddy seats and saw absolutely nothing useful). She and Shameka were going at it hammer and tongs, just back and forth. A beautiful sight to see. Mique just took over late in the game and dragged Atlanta back by sheer force of will, stubbornness, and contortionism. I didn't think humans bent that way. The Dream need her to be more assertive. Someone's gotta take this team in hand, and I don't think DeSouza or Lyttle is the type to do it. (Well, DeSouza might, but there's that whole language barrier thing.)

Latta played pretty well, but more offensively than I would have expected Atlanta to want her to play as a point guard. Her dramatic antics were amusing from upstairs, but I imagine they would wear after a while, and it annoyed me that she got the benefit of the doubt bcause of them. Dear Marynell: in what universe is Tamera Young a power forward and meant only to be used to spell post players? Just because her shot and her bball IQ have both vanished into the aether, that doesn't make her a post. Michelle Snow done lost her mind- she was throwing 'bows even before she thought the only way to slow Shameka Christon down was to pull on the back of her jersey so hard she almost took the numbers off. Holdsclaw's body language when approaching her about that was hilarious; she clearly thought Snow was out of her flipping mind. It was very New York. I think I saw Coco Miller, but I could be wrong. I might also have seen Angel McCoughtry, but that might just have been Izi moving so fast she appeared to be in two places at once. I kid about that- Angel was in on some defensive plays, but I don't remember her doing much else.

Shameka Christon. Goddamn, look at this motherfuckin' small forward. 32 points, just one off the Liberty all-time high and the highest total scored by a Lib at home. And that's not enough, 'cause she tore down eight boards, too. Three blocks, too. Two steals. 2000 career points and counting. You only wish you were as awesome as Shameka Christon. Okay, so her defense wasn't the greatest, and she tended to let Castro Marques slip past her for big plays to answer her big plays, but as locked in as Meka was at her end of the court, I'm not going to complain too loudly. Janel played pretty well offensively too- those snazzy circus shots that make me want to tear my hair out were falling, and she and Cathrine were working well together (though those shots didn't always work out so great). Defensively, she wasn't stopping DeSouza, but she was doing a slightly better job of it than Kia was. Loree, hon, you are not T-Spoon. We can tell because you're not playing kick-ass defense. Lock down your assignment and we'll revisit the regeneration issue. Cathrine was streaky- she was getting boards early, then she disappeared for a while, then she started knocking down threes, then she alternated between making great plays and fucking up great plays. Essence knifed it inside early, which I think was big in building that lead and encouraging others- at least the posts- to follow her example. GO TOWARDS THE HOLE, people!

Bunny! Leilani was shooting about as well as Loree, but she matched up better with the Atlanta point guards and ran our offense more effectively than Loree did. Kia got eaten alive by DeSouza- age and treachery win every time, but especially when the age gap is a lot smaller than the experience gap. Use the force, Kia. It's called gravity, and it is a strong force indeed. Barring that, watch film. DeSouza's a low-post player 'bout your size. Tiffany's gotta watch her footwork. This isn't the NBA. Refs call travels a little more frequently. Dribble or pass, but don't just run with the ball. But she had such a nose for the offensive rebounds that saved our asses. Spencer played a long stretch that didn't look all that effective, but despite only hitting the one shot and being pretty badly burned on defense a few times, she must have done something right. I have no idea what it was, other than the one really klutzy looking steal, but she had to have done something. Ashley didn't look great, except she playd just enough defense to make a difference. I do blame her white shooting shirt for Cathrine Kraayeveld's last turnover- late in the game, every potential open shot counts, I'm dead tired because I've been playing too many minutes, and I see a flash of white open on the wing- yeah, I make that pass too.

This was not a well-coached game. It wasn't a very well-officiated game, either, but I'm used to that and none of the calls were egregiously awful. I think they let the teams get away with a lot of stuff, but the flagrant on Snow forced them to clamp down.

Coach Stringer was in the house, and I couldn't shake the feeling that they were using the wrong piece of Star Wars music to introduce her. (I know one of the folks who wondered about that suggested that maybe they used Star Wars music 'cause she's so far out there these days.) I think I also saw Octavia Blue from St. John's, though I'm not completely certain of that.

I missed the halftime show because I was on the concourse. I don't feel like I missed much.

I take no responsibility for the guy who's in love with Shalee Lehning, and I completely absolve myself of any insanity related to the woman in the Ashley Battle jersey.

Volleyball in the stands: bad idea.

So we escaped again, but I swear this team's gonna kill me one of these days.

1 comment:

pt said...

"It was a very sore spot that for most of the game, she was outrebounding Janel McCarville. I'm sorry, but no matter how scrappy a guard is, she shouldn't be outrebounding the opposing center."

At one point, Lehning was not only rebounding McCarville, but was outrebounding the Dream posts, too.

"Dear Marynell: in what universe is Tamera Young a power forward and meant only to be used to spell post players? Just because her shot and her bball IQ have both vanished into the aether, that doesn't make her a post."

Amen. Young's game has crumbled. You choose one of those mid-major players, and they need good development. Young ain't getting it at Atlanta.

"Kia got eaten alive by DeSouza- age and treachery win every time, but especially when the age gap is a lot smaller than the experience gap."

Yup.

"I missed the halftime show because I was on the concourse. I don't feel like I missed much."

Oh God, no.

"I take no responsibility for the guy who's in love with Shalee Lehning...."

OH GOD, NO!

Today's word verification: Lebram, Lebron James's half brother from Tel Aviv.