Friday, August 21, 2009

August 21st, 2009: Connecticut at New York

New York Liberty 85, Connecticut Sun 83

An old-fashioned back and forth between the city cousin and the country cousin, with drama and frustration for everyone.

Oh, my goodness, what a game! We needed for one of those to go our way for a change. What a difference two days of scouting and a coach who knows her ass from a hole in the ground make!

Lovely weather we had, wasn't it? *wrings out hair* I should have realized that would be a bad omen for the Sun. They traveled fairly well.

I'm not completely certain, but I thought I saw Jennifer Gillom and Nicky Anosike in the front row, and I could have sworn I spotted Charde Houston coming into the arena, and there was a very tall woman with copper dreadlocks leaving afterwards, and one of the text messages on Gardenvision mentioned "Naynay", so I think the Lynx were scouting. If that was Gillom in the white suit, and that was Anosike next to her, they were having fun.

Good choral anthem, though util the end it sounded like they were going for the world's record for fastest anthem. Not that I mind, I like a good brisk rendition.

Erin Phillips is crazy. I have mentioned this before, right? She and Ashley almost threw down, and that would have been a wicked awesome fight. Can we make this happen as an undercard in the offseason? Chante Black's instincts on the offensive glass continue to impress me. I'd love to watch her develop. Kiesha Brown was surprisingly ineffective, given the Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Holt's crazy shots persisted in going in, and I think Thibault made the right move putting her in late in the game, when the Liberty had four fouls, given that she's very much a slasher; she had a better shot of making contact and forcing fouls than some of her colleagues. Tamika Whitmore still looks like she needs to either recover from her injury, though at least her shooting form seems to be back in place (even if her accuracy isn't yet).

Holy goddamn, Sandrine Gruda. I really love to watch her work. She has a very smooth, graceful style to her game. I just wish she'd stop demonstrating it on my team. The rebounding shows she's not afraid to get inside, though she's not as effective offensively down there, since teams know they can double down on her. That outside jumper killed us, because Janel couldn't get out on her. Tan White- when did she become a three-point shooter? Have I been misjudging her for five seasons? I thought she was more of a slashing, midrange guard, and there she was bombing threes like she was Laurie Koehn or something. She got the worst of a couple of collisions during the game. You could almost see her hating her life. I don't know if it was a bad night for Whalen or if we were on her, but she really wasn't much of a factor until late in the game. Gardin was a major defensive factor and solid on the glass. They still miss Jones, but I don't think they're losing as much as you think, between the increased touches for Gruda and the work that Gardin does. Jekabsone-Zogota's form is still beautiful, and that last three nearly fucking killed us. I still think we're lucky she didn't get on a real tear like she's capable of.

Surprised Thibault didn't go to the "Euro" lineup sooner; surprised he didn't have a better handle on the clock.

Kia. Hon. Please to be practicing your lay-ups before Sunday, or Nicky Anosike will make your life a living hell. She was a hot mess tonight. I just. I don't even. Ashley was a spark. She makes things happen. They aren't always good things, but in many situations, they are. Her defense was pretty damn tight. Leilani hit a couple of big shots and mostly kept things flowing smoothly, though there's one play that sticks in my craw where she had an open jumper in the lane, and she passed out for what eventually became a turnover. That late in the game, you can't make that kind of mistake. GO TOWARDS THE HOLE. Tiffany… it's funny, I know she played, and I know she played a bit, but I honestly can't remember a thing she did. She must have done something, but I don't remember what it was. Spencer did not suck tonight- if she were always this assertive about getting her shot off, we might actually have a useful component here. She was also part of a nice little strip in the backcourt.

<3, Shameka. <3, Janel. Janel, while occasionally demonstrating acts of incredible stupidity, was also fucking brilliant when it came to the boards and making things happen. Shameka had a quiet first half, but came up big in the third and fourth. So the Meeksiah came late. She had to wait for Shabbos to start. Cathrine and pink don't mix very well. It is a disconcerting look, and such an experiment should never be allowed to happen again. Essence was all right- made some good shots, made some questionable passes. Loree's hands continue to get better every game, at least defensively, and I wonder if that's Byrd's influence coming into play. Everything and everyone got fiercer as the game went on. I think they were determined not to let themselves go completely down the same road they did in Connecticut on Wednesday, a road you guys know all too well from my last set of notes. It is rife with potholes, construction crews, and traffic. The referees weren't absolutely terrible tonight, but there were a few calls where it looked like Mike Thibault's interesting shades of red were warranted. On the other hand, I was under the impression that it was a shot and the ball back if you fouled someone who wasn't the ballhandler the way Whalen did to Ashley near the end of... regulation, I think. There were some great plays- spectacular blocks, full body dives, sweeping boards, ifty steals, but the image I keep coming back to is Sandrine Gruda standing on the logo, waiting for the game to start, while Maddie's about to do the letter-by-letter Liberty chant. He almost jumped down her shorts, and I thought Tan White was going to ROFL IRL, she was smiling so big and laughing so hard. Ashley continues to be the star of MTV- she did a version of the video from "U Can't Touch This". The glasses suit her, in a peculiar way. Erlana watched it during the timeout, figuring (correctly) that she wasn't going to get into the game, so she might as well enjoy the feature. Things I don't think go well together: offensive linemen and Britney Spears concerts. I could be wrong, but I highly doubted it. There were representatives there from the Jersey Justice and the New York Sharks, both women's football teams in the area. I like to see crossover among teams. It makes sense. Besides, Liberty and Justice for all, right? All aboard the failboat express: the Liberty rolled out a program where trading in an old jersey gets you 30% off a new one. Yeah, no. You'll have my Lobo jersey half an hour after I'm dead. I'll rock the black until I can't anymore, unless I'm rocking the Comets gear to tell the league "Oh, hey, yeah, you fucked up." Don't encourage people to give up their colors. This Lib still wears black. (Also? If you're going to drop the old colors and teams down the memory hole, using Kym and Spoon in 2001 warm-up jackets does not compute.) I'm happy with the win. They really gutted it out. Coyle's team would have lost that overtime by ten after a shot like THAT from Jekabsone-Zogota. I don't know where we would have been without Janel and Shameka, but I don't think it would have been a very fun place to be. I'm glad Connecticut didn't have Asjha Jones for this matchup, believe me.

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