A New York Liberty Blog

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lynx Strike Back - Libs lose

Can't seem to get too far above .500, can we?


Just in case anybody got too excited after that 100-point showing on Sunday came this little surprise and a half, with Minnesota thoroughly dominating the visiting Liberty in every quarter save the 2nd. And even then, the Libs came up short.

Had to do it.

It started off rotten with the Lynx going big 28-14 in the first 10. Seimone Augustus (who would finish 8-14, 21 pts, 9 asst.) led the Lynx in a big way, coming up with nine points and three assists in that span, with Nicole Ohlde (7-8, 14 pt) scoring 6 of her own. The Libs, meanwhile, finished off the last four minutes and a half minutes of the third without any points in the field, while turning the ball over with bad passes and poor shooting throughout.

Ashley Battle wouldn't go down without a fight, however. She scored eight points in the 2nd quarter, finishing off with a jump shot to push the Libs to within 8, 45-37. Had it not been for her, however, things would have been a LOT worse. Sure, Shameka Christon had another great night (20 points, 6-10, 5-7 from the line), but she also fouled out. To be fair, the game was over at that point, but still.


Essence Carson also has a lot to answer for. 0-6 from the field. 3 turnovers. 5 fouls. I expect better, especially with 18 minutes of playing time. Would Coyle play her other guards, though? Nope, not even with Leilani Mitchell scoring 5 in 8 minutes of play (albeit with two horrendously bad passes), or with Lisa Willis coming off of a hot game. True, this wasn't like the depths of Coyle's tunnel vision from last season, but neither would she remove a floundering starter, like McCarville (4 points, but 7 rebounds), until it was too late.

The third quarter showed more of the same, with Battle and Moore playing the "Which One of Us is the Only Lib on the Court" Game, mixed in with the sounds of airballs sailing through the Minnesota night. Even still, with 10 minutes left to play, the Libs were only down 65-56, being tough but not overwhelmingly insurmountable.

Of course, I would like to say that the Libs never let up. I would like to say that the starters hoisted the team on their shoulders after a horrific first thirty minutes. And I would like to say that Martina Weber called me up the other night and told me that her absence from the WNBA is due to her being unable to think about anything but me.

But that would all be a lie.

And so, the Liberty stumbled out and found themselves lacking. The Lynx put 26 points on the board and nailed the coffin shut, the Liberty whistling dixie all the way. They turned the ball over five more times while Battle clawed her way to 17 points amidst a sea of crap. Props to the few Libs who showed up and kept playing until the final whistle. A big hunk of poop to those who decided that this Tuesday should have been a national holiday.


  • 50% from beyond the arc for the Libs. But only 37.3 from the field overall.
  • 19 turnovers for the Libs. That considerably helped put the Lynx set the table.
  • Of course, the Lynx also passed the ball around a lot, too (24 assists), finding the chinks in the Liberty's armor like they had a metal detector.
  • Three starters for the Lynx scored over 12 points. Only one Lib starter scored more than 7.

Ugh, that game puts a sour taste in my mouth. Next tilt?

Indiana Fever @ New York Liberty
8 P.M.
Special Food Item for the night: $2 Beans
Musical Review to Follow

I have a comedy show the next night, so I will probably be rehearsing, but the rest of you should be out there. We need to shore up those numbers something bad. I guess cutting off all those $10 seats didn't really help much, huh?



...to come later in the day. I'm tired.

See ya, Space Cowboy...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bam! - Libs Win Big

Kick it up a notch!


I wonder what was going through the minds of the Libs as they downed the Mercury in the most lopsided win in their history? After the 1st quarter, when they were leading 28-15, did Coach Coyle think her ladies were just on a roll? Did, after the first half (when they held the Mercs to just 30 points), anybody think that the other shoe was going to drop? And what about when the 4th quarter started and the ladies were within 100 points; did anybody realize what was about to happen?

For that matter, what was going on the minds of the Mercury? Did Taurasi, who scored 21 points (FG 7-14, 3pt 3-7, FT 4-5), get pissed that her team seemed to give up? Did Pondexter, who managed 16 points despite brick after brick, feel like she could have done more? Did Coach Corey Gaines think that perhaps the defenseless game plan that the Mercs have been pushing for so many years has finally fallen to pieces? Did anybody on Phoenix’s side of the court worry that perhaps this was a signal for what the rest of the season was going to be like, that the heady days after their championship seemed like a distant memory as a then -.500 team scored over a hundred points against the once-proud masters of the West?

Made humble by the throngs of Liberty?

I don’t know. What matters most, in the end, is that the Timeless Torches kicked ass once again. I think we can all agree on that.

In all seriousness, the Libs had a great game. That, coupled with a complete absence of any defense after the 1st quarter on the part of the Mercs, led to a dominance not seen by any Liberty team. Ever. The 105 points are a team record, and the shooting percentages (54.3 from the field, 50% from the 3) show why.

Also of note: the Libs never lost the lead after gaining it halfway through the 1st following a 11-3 run. Coyle played all of the ladies and everybody contributed, starting from the 2nd quarter out. By the end of the game, the entire starting corps remained on the bench, leaving the back six to complete the triple-digit score. It was cool to see, especially with the young girls showing their stuff. Compliments for everyone? Why not? I'm in a good mood.

Christon: Strong game on defense, though still a bit too prickly.
Carson: Growing well in the starters position.
Kraayeveld: Strong first half, though her defense improved significantly in the 3rd quarter.
McCarville: All around good game.
Moore: Playing without a missed beat.
Willis: Solid shots when we needed 'em.
Jackson: 21 points led the team? 8-8 from the field? Seems to will the ball where she wants it to go.
Battle: Another complete game, with every aspect of her stat sheet showing strength.
Larkins: An airball foul shot couldn't keep her spirits down and she finished off the game quite well.
Mitchell: The firestarter was held to only three points, but her passing and play-calling is getting better and better.
Thorn: 1 3-pointer, but one that came at a good time.

I could rail and rail against the Mercs, but I think the humiliation of their loss is enough. One last thing...

Haw haw!

Very well. I am satisfied.


  • No Lib who made it on the court scored less than 3 points.
  • Kraayeveld, McCarville, Jackson, Willis, Moore, and Battle all had more than 10 points.
  • The Liberty outrebounded (56-47) the Mercs by a strong margin.
  • Phoenix shot only 32% from the field and 21% from beyond the arc (although they did make over 90% of their foul shots).
  • Lisa Willis had the best all around game, going perfect (4-4) from the line, sinking 2 3-pointers, making 4 rebounds (2-2), and playing a generally strong defensive game in her 15 minutes of court time.
  • Kraayeveld came out strong with 3 straight 3's, but faded down the stretch. Her defense was better by the end of the game, however.

Sorry about the lack of posts last week. Internet was shoddy. Even now, I'm not running on a full tank of gas. I'll be more regular with my updates. Promise.


Detroit 97, Atlanta 76
Sacramento 82, Chicago 70
Los Angeles 77, Indiana 63

Atlanta is still winless, with 13 marks in the L column, tying a record. Anybody still think its a good idea to expand to 16 teams? No? I thought so.

Chicago is also having its fair-share of problems, with a 3-8 record and another loss to the up-and-down Monarchs. The Sky still can't seem to get it together, stringing together long periods of competence followed by minutes of pure ineptitude. Sacramento needed the win more, however, and are now tied with the formerly invincible Lynx.

Los Angeles, having discovered their team game doesn't need to rely on Parker, has jumped to number 1 in the conference with their win over Indiana. The Fever have lost two straight and aren't looking particularly cohesive at the moment. Still, they're in 4th place. As long as Washington doesn't string together any wins... what? The Mystics have won 3 straight?

I have been gone a long time.

No games today.

Monday Blues...

George Carlin died. That doesn't have anything to do with the WNBA, but I felt that I needed to share it.

Parker got the WNBA's second dunk. Frankly, I'm not a huge proponent of the whole "get women to dunk" thing. First, it's an act of machismo that doesn't do much except show off one's own talent. Secondly, unless all the players start dunking, its just going to give neanderthals more reason to point and laugh at the league.

Only two women dunk? Bah ha! What joke!

Especially when a person's first experience isn't exactly a GOOD one, the league needs to prove that it can survive on its own merits rather than those of another league.

But that's enough for me today. Until next time?

See ya, Space Cowboy...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Liberty Win - Barely

Ugly Win. Still, a Win. Still... Ugly.


Wow. What a horrible, horrible win. I can't remember the last time I felt this bad about a "W". Maybe it was the time I forgot which letter came after "V" in Kindergarten and was forced to write "Whale" and "Watch" and such over and over again. But that is beside the point. The point is, the Liberty should NOT be happy with themselves regarding this game.

Yes, four of the Liberty's starters had 12+ point games (led by Janel McCarville's 25). Yes, the Libs managed to score 32 points in the 4th quarter, while overcoming a deficit that they put themselves into in the first half (and third quarter). Yes, we managed to shoot well (over 47% in the field) and pass the ball and all that.

But the Libs did let the now 0-8 Atlanta Dream into the game in the first quarter, going down 19-16. To be fair, it WAS back and forth ball through those first ten, with two clutch free throws by Lennox at the end of the quarter to put the Dream firmly ahead. Still, the Libs didn't control the lanes, didn't control the outside, and didn't control the ball (except for the very beginning of the game, with three straight shots and three rebounds).

The 2nd and 3rd quarter proved to be little better, with the Libs pulling to within 1 point at the half and then falling back by six at the end of the 3rd. It didn't look bad at first, with Christon making 4 points (all free throws) and an assist on a Kraayeveld layup. Of course, immediately after that, both Thor and Dutch made fouls, starting the march of mediocrity. 4 Libs turnovers in one minute (8:23-7:23 of the 2nd)? 3 minutes without a quality shot? A whole quarter DOMINATED by the Dream? Things didn't look good for the MSG Faithful.

Then, somehow, the Libs realized what was going on. They saw that with 10 minutes left to play, they were down to the worst team in the league. Maybe Coyle put some fire in their gut. Maybe McCarville, Kraayeveld, Carson, and Christon decided enough was enough. Maybe Thorn finally realized that she had the ability to do more than get water for the other girls on the bench. Who knows?

In any case, the Libs came back with 32 points in the 4th. The Libs missed only 6 non-free throw shots the entire quarter, with McCarville owning the lane like she put a down-payment on it. The other ladies stepped it up as well, with clutch defense coming from Carson and Christon. The Dream didn't slack off, either: they scored 22 points (the most of any quarter that game). But it seemed like all of the sudden, Atlanta just gave up. And the Liberyt were smart enough to take advantage.

It should have been Atlanta's game. The Dream edged the Libs in free throws, shot percentage, and work outside the arc. Their defense was superior. They passed strongly, as well. But in the end, it wasn't enough. Basketball is a 4 quarter game. If you'll permit me a golf metaphor, you can make three ugly shots and one beautiful shot and still make par. That's the game in a nutshell; the Libs got it done and are now a half game above Chicago for 4th place in the East.

Don't get too cozy, now.


  • Thorn. For the first time in what seems like forever, Thorn made 10 points. Still, she shot only 2-11 from the 3. She has a lot of work to do.
  • Rebounds. New York, led by 8 from Christon, dominated under the basket play. This was the major contribution that allowed New York to win... aside from removing the kryptonite from around their necks in the 4th.
  • Refereeing. Suspect. That's all that needs to be said.
  • Starters. All except Mitchell played well. Christon had the most complete game, with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and going 9-10 from the line, but McCarville's numbers can't be ignored either.
  • Kraayeveld. Tolerably decent on D for the first time this season. Maybe this is a sign of things to come.

Next Game?

Minnesota Lynx
Saturday, 7:30
The World's Most Famous Arena (besides the Coliseum)

The Lynx aren't going to put up with the Liberty's bullshit. They're more cougars than lynces. Be prepared.


Sacramento 79, Washington 76
San Antonio 64, Indiana 53
Seattle 83, Phoenix 77
Los Angeles 80, Detroit 73

I'm surprised that Washington was able to keep the game so close. Props to the Mystics, but more so to the Monarchs for not capitulating when the game wasn't going their way. Strong work from the usually quiet Monarch Offense made up for their increasingly-gaping holes on defense. Boucek better work quick on getting something going.

The Stars-Fever tilt proved to be a low-scoring game, of which type San Antonio is growing in its mastery. The Fever at times seemed to be playing a completely different game than the Stars, what with the infrequent but ill-timed fouls that prevented any momentum from occuring. Meanwhile, Sophia Young made up for the seemingly-absent Becky Hammon (2 pts, 1-7) by scoring 17 and leading the Stars to a decent, if not overwhelming victory. Limiting your opponent to 20 points in 20 minutes is a good way to win a game, huh?

Despite what the official site says, the Storm held on to their 2nd place standing in the West with their victory over Phoenix. Diana Taurasi did her best - 37 points and a hell of a defensive game - but the Storm pulled a 2007 Liberty game by playing essentially no one but their starters, while the leading four scored more than 11 each. Lauren Jackson led her teammates with 20 points, but the really astonishing reason for the victory was the rebounds; the Storm had 64(!) of them to the Mercs' 36.

Los Angeles is proving me right and wrong. Sure, Parker is playing good but not god-like basketball (I called it). But the other Sparks are picking up where their supposed deity of a teammate is leaving off (something I didn't think would happen). All five starters went into double-digits while pushing Detroit just a little further back in the standings. Good for us, bad for the Shock, especially when Katie Smith (16 pts., 7 rebounds, 6-14) is pulling out all the stops to try and lift her teammates out of their slumber.

Keep snoozin', Shock. Please.

Sacramento @ Minnesota

Sacramento is traveling out to the depths of Minneapolis to face off against the 6-2 Lynx, and it's not going to be a good show for them. Sure, just last night the Monarchs were able to take down the Mystics in a game not to their suiting. But that was a close game against a team that is now hovering on the edge of forever. This is the Lynx, who are eager to improve their record and resecure their spot atop the Western Conference. If I were Coach Boucek, I'd hand out helmets before her lassies went out onto the court. Lynx by 9.

A writer in Minnesota laments the poor attendance of the WNBA. Can't say that I blame him, although I don't agree with some of his conclusions. Interesting read, at least.

Bill Laimbeer and Michael Cooper are still rivals, apparently. I don't really care. Maybe YOU do.

Until tomorrow?

See ya, Space Cowboy...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gameday - New York and Atlanta

No, I won't make the expected "Nightmare" joke... but only because I have willpower.

New York Liberty @ Atlanta Dream

Okay, let's get the obvious out of the way. The Atlanta Dream are 0-7. They are at or near the bottom of the league in points, opponent points, point differential, field goal percentage, opponent's field goal percentage, free throw percentage, assists, opponent's assists, and assist differential. This doesn't even get into their defense, which is equally abysmal. Everybody knew that the Dream were going to be facing a lot of growing pains this season (as every expansion team not in the NFL does).

There are some bright spots for the team, however. They control steals by their opponents well (MUCH better than Sun or Monarchs), which is one of the Lib's keys to winning. Also, since their first game, the Dream have not failed to produce seventy points an all save one occasion. So, they can score, no matter who the opponent, and have made for tough opponents for the Lynx (85-81) and Mystics (80-74). That might be damning with faint praise, but it's the best I could muster.

Really, our gals shouldn't have a problem with the Dream. But these are the Libs, after all, and if any team (besides the Mystics) can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, its the Belles.

We'll need help from this fella.

So, what are the Libs to do? Rebounds. The Liberty have failed to make a great impression all year, but they are positively Herculean when compared to the Dream. If the gals can control the ball, put it in the air, and be there if it drops, then we can cycle endlessly until whoever has decided to show up tonight awakens. Or we could rest some of the usual starters and see how the younger crowd takes it into the second half. They'll be desperate for action and Atlanta is really the only opponent at this point where they might see some extended playtime.

I'm not going to go into the usual offense-defense-pass-the-ball garbage, because everybody knows it. What I will say is that the Liberty absolutely CANNOT allow themselves to get behind in this game. The Dream need a win, and they are at home. I'm sure the front office is pushing them to do SOMETHING for the crowd. If Atlanta jumps ahead and grabs the lead, they'll hold onto it like a bulldog in a pit. If there's one thing that a rock-bottom team knows, its desperation. With nowhere to go but up, they'll throw everything they have at the Libs and hope it'll stick. Don't be afraid. Just be cautious.

Keys to the Game

  • Betty Lennox. She leads the Dream with 18.6 ppg (the next highest total is Ericka DeSouza with 11), but those mostly come from beyond the arc. She's only .390 in the field overall. Control the outside, Libs. Control it. CONTROL IT! That goes double for you, Dutch.
  • Pass the ball. The Dream aren't good at rebounds and they aren't good blocking shots, but they are... decent at one-on-one battles. Force them to move and they'll crumble.
  • Middlegame. It seems like every 2nd and 3rd quarter, the Libs shut off the "Win" gear in their brains. That'll be the point when the Dream jump into the game. If Atlanta can ratchet up their game before the Libs realize what has happened, the Libs will have to battle back before their usual wakeup time in the 4th.


Connecticut 75, Minnesota 66

All Connecticut needed was four players. And when your ladies - Jones (20), Turner (18), Whitmore (14), and Whalen (14) - manage that kind of output, that's all you need. To be fair, their bench came in and did a bang-up job controlling the hitherto unflinching Lynx offense (though Candice Wiggins did manage 22 points for Minnesota). The Sun also outrebounded the Lynx by a large margin, while shooting pver 40% from the field and 90% from the line (compared to Minnesota's 33% and 65%, respectively).

Sacramento @ Washington
Indiana @ San Antonio
Phoenix @ Seattle
Detroit @ Los Angeles

Washington, after starting the season 2-2, has dropped to sixth in the conference with four straight losses. They are playing tonight at home against the Monarchs, and they're going to need the win. The Monarchs, despite winning two of their last three (loss to Detroit, wins against Houston and the Libs), are paper tigers. They're fourth in the conference, but have to establish some kind of momentum. Their defense is a hodge-podge, their offense is limited, and no one is stepping up to lead the team. I'd hesitate to pick them, but Washington hasn't scored more than 70 points 5 times this season (3 at 60 or less). If you can't put points on the board, you can't win games. Monarchs by 6.

Both Indiana and San Antonio are flailing a bit. Sure, the Stars are in much deeper trouble; despite the play of Young and Hammon, they are routinely outhustled on a regular basis. But Indiana, despite its wins, still feels incohesive. It'll be a test for them tonight to see if they can beat the currently undefeated-at-home Silver Stars. San Antonio needs this win a lot more - they travel to Indiana on Sunday and could wind up 3-6 if they can't manage a split. I'll back the Stars by 4 for now, but this is anyone's game.

So, Phoenix has won two games and now suddenly everybody thinks that they can take on the Storm? Yeah, the Storm slipped a bit recently, but they are still killer at the Key (5-0) and you know the Mercs aren't going to try to contain Cash, Bird, or Swoops, let alone Jackson. The Storm are the more disciplined team by far, and that goes a long way. Storm by 6.

Tonight will be only the second time that the Sparks have played at home this season (the first being a loss to the Phoenix last Friday). Being such, there isn't a big enough of a sample to understand the home court advantage. Detroit is no slouch, but is considerably more vulnerable while on the road. The course of the game will be determined, once again, by how well Parker plays. If she manhandles the Shock's defense, expect a win for the Sparks. I think that Detroit is too disciplined to let that happen, however. Shock by 7.

I added a couple links to the site, as you might be able to tell. First up is Pleasant Dreams, an Atlanta Dreams blog. The blogger is still in the wild-eyed days of youthful blogging - multiple posts a day, in-depth analysis, happiness with life.

That will change.

The second is DC BasketCases, a Mystics blog that's been around for a while. They've got good coverage and a regular posting schedule, so (unlike me) you can trust them to have your team's fix on a scheduled basis.

You're all like junkies. LIBERTY JUNKIES!!!

Essay to come sometime tomorrow or Friday. Still working on locating the ex-Libs (Weber, Bowen, etc.). If anybody has any leads, please let me know.

See ya, Space Cowboy...

Monday, June 9, 2008

One Step Sideways - A Win and a Loss

New York 81, Houston 73
Sacramento 70, New York 63

Let's get something straight here. New York didn't win the game against Houston. The Comets LOST it. Despite scoring more than 80 points and holding the Comets to long stretches of nothing, they could never completely shut Houston down. Even in the waning minutes, the Comets were still trying to get something done.

That's not to say that the Libs didn't do SOME things right. The Libs shot over 50% from the field (huzzah!) and opened the game up 23-6 before the 4 minute mark. Leilani Mitchell, in her first WNBA start, scored 18 points and poked for seven assists. Shameka Christon continued on her roll with 19 points. Overall, four starters broke the double-digit point barrier, while also limiting everyone on Houston NOT named Tina Thompson to 45 points.

However, Double T DID play, and play she did. Throughout the game, it was as if the Libs couldn't contain her. She was like some sort of animal, breaking loose, busting through, and eating her own feces.

Well, no, not that last part...

In any case, Thompson posted 28 points and 11 rebounds. Michelle Snow also had a decent game (13 pts), but was largely absent on the D. The Comets also did manage to wake up for the traditional "New York Liberty Naptime" Period that extends through the 2nd and 3rd quarters. This included an eleven-point run to end the 1st quarter. But ultimately, they looked disjointed. Spirited, yes, but very, very, very disjointed.


  • New York still looks very inconsistent. Sharp as a whip in the first, flat in the second, decent in the 4th.
  • I'm not sure how to take Coyle's coaching style. She seems to be taking the whole "less is more" approach seriously.
  • I TOLD you Leilani Mitchell is good.

All of that showed in the next game when the Libs barely registered against the flailing Monarchs. Sacramento shut down the Libs so successfully that the top scorer, Lisa Willis, only managed to put 11 points on the board. Tiffany Jackson added another 10, but no one else even bothered to show up for the Belles.

It didn't look that way at first, however. Despite going into a 9-1 hole to start off the game, the Libs battle back, thanks in large part to 6 points by Essence Carson. By the end of the first ten, the Libs had the lead, 19-14.

Everything went downhill after that, however. Carson only managed 2 more points that night, while the Monarchs went ahead at the 4:35 mark 22-21, only to railroad the Liberty the rest of the way. All of this despite giving the Libs five freebie fouls (equaling 10 strong points) at the end of the half to give the Libs a three-point lead.

The third quarter was much more open than it seemed, with the Monarchs seeming to pick up every loose ball and rebound. In one 45-second stretch, Sacramento managed 4 shots - all missed - before McCarville finally managed to get the ball out of their half. This says as much about the Monarch's offense as it does about the Liberty's defense. And this was a team that New York played neck and neck with through the third.

Finally, Sacramento had enough. They rampaged to win the game with 20 points in the 4th. New York hit the showers early, barely showing up with ten despite a home crowd desperate for a third straight win that would put the team up over .500 for the first time in almost a year. The Libs were held without a point between 8:17 and 3:45 of the final quarter, and while the crowds filed out, the Liberty slipped ot 3-4. Oh well.


  • Liberty starters only posted 30 points combined. Tiffany Jackson and Lisa Willis outscored them all while playing with significantly less time.
  • First game all season that the Liberty didn't turnover the ball more than their opponent (12 to 16).
  • Megan Duffy finally played. 5 points in 10 minutes, with a rebound and a 3-pointer. Still, she did foul and turnover the ball twice.
  • Smallest crowd yet, just a hair over 7K. Groan.


No games today.

Connecticut 87, Washington 79
Minnesota 90, San Antonio 78

The league (and women's game in general) is abuzz with the news that Becky Hammon is going to play for Russia in the Olympics. Were I to care about the Summer Olympics beyond track and field, I might have something original to say. Unfortunately, this blogger stole the words out of my mouth. If the States can pillage players at will, so can other countries. And - let's face it - most of the competitions are a joke now that professionals can play. The Olympics are horribly broken, and just because one basketballer...

...one basketballer with (figurative) stones like granite...

...decides that she's been overlooked long enough DOESN'T mean that the world will now come crashing down around us. Voepel over at ESPN has her own opinion on the matter.

All that being said, it takes a lot of chutzpah for Anne Donovan to call Becky Hammon a "traitor". Donovan's got some cred for being the first woman to win a WNBA Championship as coach, but that's a little over the line, especially when Donovan didn't even extend an olive branch to Hammon after spurning the Silver Star's cance to play for her home country.

Okay. Done.

For those who still want more, see here and here.

Until tomorrow?

Anne Donovan's an asshole...

Er. Sorry.

See ya, Space Cowboy...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Two Game Day Posts - Bring on Houston


The Libs are coming off of a good win against the Storm, but let's not break our hands while patting each other on the back. That game was then. Houston is now, and despite the Comets 1-5 record, they're not a horrible team.

Where Houston gets it wrong is defense and teamplay. The Comets are near the bottom in points given up, point differential, field goal percentage differential, and assists. Tina Thompson leads the team with 16 ppg and 9 rpg, but after Matee Ajavon (10.8, 3.5), it drops off pretty fast. Where go Thompson and Ajavon, there go the Comets. Whenever the bench has a good game, its a bonus, not expected. So, to contain the Comets, the Libs are going to have to start with Double T.

Where Houston gets it right is rebounds and energy. Surprisingly, they are often the first to the ball in the offensive zone and play stronger-than-expected D around their own post. That's not to say that it's stellar, just better-than-average. A cynic might say that their exuberance to rebound is off-set by the amount of shots their opponents get off (perhaps), and that their excitement tends to lead to excessive fouling (undoubtedly true), but it also means that the Comets are not a team to let up. They'll be on the Libs from the opening tip-off to the last second, even if the Libs are up by over 20.

This kind of split denotes a sub .500 team that has more breaks go against it than for it, but just remember, a hidden python is deadlier than seen one. These are the kinds of teams that ruin a hot streak, or deny entrance into the playoffs. Last year's Comets started off by losing their first ten games, then played above-average ball the rest of the way. Had they picked up a couple games in those opening ten, they would have actually pushed for a playoff spot. Not won it, mind you, but been more in contention.

With the energy and whiff of the post-season that the Comets got, they've come out this year without a chain around their neck. They're going at it at all corners, and some of the less timid Liberty (Christon, McCarville) might find such hacking to be... uncouth. To put it mildly. If the Comets drag the Libs out of their game, we all know what will happen then. Desperation. Every woman for herself. Piss-poor passing. Random shots. In otherwords, chaos.

The Libs can get away with a lot against a team like Houston, but the Comets aren't pushovers. The best strategy is to play solid ball in the first and then try and open it up in the second, no matter what the score. If we're down, we're going to need the extra push. If we're up, we're going to need to extend the difference. If we're tied, we're going to need to jump over the hump. Panic cannot ensue. Houston thrives on it, and they don't back down.

My forecast for the game is good. Everybody who goes, enjoy yourself. I'll be on the road to Perdition... aka, Pittsburgh.


Sacramento is a whole different can of worms. Currently 2-3 (just like the Libs), the Monarchs have become a shadow of their defensive-trap selves that sported them to the playoffs last year. They've stopped passing as frequently, stopped working inside, and continue to hold onto hope that their D will carry them over their league-worst 69 ppg.

Of course, they CAN shoot it when they want to and get it back if they miss it. Led by Brunson, Lawson, and Powell (attorneys-at-law) - who average over 10 points a night, shoot on average over 44%, and control rebounds like a skee-ball machine - the Monarchs have a tight bench that works for the team and produces regularly.

See my comments above for what I think of the Libs. They're beginning to coalesce, but once again, they need consistency if they want to stay above water. A loss to Houston may put them into a scramble, while a win may make them cocky. Who knows? I can't give much of a game preview until we see how the game turns out tonight.

What I do know is that Sacramento, unlike the Mystics and the Storm, don't mess around with their system. Break it, and their toast. Play into it, and nobody can save you. The Liberty are going to have dig deep and find what took them over Seattle just a few days ago. It'll be rough, but they can handle it.


Minnesota @ Connecticut
Chicago @ Atlanta
Washington @ San Antonio
Detroit @ Sacramento
Phoenix @ Los Angeles

Minnesota is still rolling, but beginning to slow down a bit. Their game against the dream left much to be desired, and if a ramshackle expansion team can rattle the cage of the best team in the West, it doesn't look good for the Lynx when they go into the Mohegan Sun. Connecticut, meanwhile, has leap-frogged Indiana into the number two spot after winning back-to-back games after their only loss so far this season. They look good, and though the Lynx seem to have the right sensibilities to take Connecticut down, I'm going to with my gut and take the Sun by 6.

If Atlanta can beat one team, it's the Sky. Both match up fairly well against each other for their numbers, and the Dream are at home and desperate. The Sky aren't doing well themselves, but at least they have a win. The Dream NEED something, especially to prove to their fanbase that they have at least some talent. I predict desperation, and while the Sky aren't fantastic, they know how to play against desperate teams (see their play against us late last year). Sky by 4.

The Mistakes against the Stars? Sorry, but San Antonio rules their home court while Washington has yet to win a game on the road. If Washington can put themselves on track here, they'll set themselves up well for the coming weeks. But the Stars also need to correct their current positioning, and with Becky Hammon and Sophia Young playing strongly, I don't see why they can't take this game. Stars by 7.

Sacramento is going up against Detroit, and it's going to be a bloodbath. Sacramento can't get points on the board, even though they shoot very well. Detroit, meanwhile, looks almost as strong as they did last year, even if they're missing a few of last year's squad. The Monarchs don't look like a team that can beat the Shock at home. Sorry, ladies, but it's Shock by 8.

Phoenix finally took a game and they're coming up against the Los Angeles (s)Parkers. Unfortunately for the Mercs, Los Angeles has a much stouter defense than Phoenix is thinking, while the Sparks also can play all angles of the court (that is, as long as their starters decide to show up). The Sparks aren't as hot as they were when they started the season, but the Mercs didn't impress me with their only win this year. Sparks by 5.

Only tangentially tied to the WNBA is this link, about a pair of lesbians who were kicked out of a Mariners game because they were making out. The front office argued that they were kicked out NOT because of their sexual orientation, but because they were making out. That seems a bit odd, considering there was a straight couple making out just a few rows in front. Why am I linking this? The article references the Lesbian "Kiss-Out" that happened in 2002 at MSG. I could write an essay on this. In fact... I might. See it next week.

See ya, Space Cowboy...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thursday without Thur

The Penguins went down. Nothing on the Liberty front. Quiet. Real quiet. TOO quiet.


A few readers have sent me emails about my comments on the attractiveness of women. I get about one a month, but there were a handful in the last week, so I thought I’d address them en masse. For the record, I have never disparaged a woman because of her looks on this blog. Rather, people are getting upset about my sexual interest in certain women (i.e. Martina Weber and Lauren Jackson).

I won’t refrain from commenting on MY blog about whom I find attractive. I find nothing wrong with my desires. There’s nothing wrong with sex, a healthy sexual attitude, or sexualizing (to a degree) certain aspects of sports. I would agree with those who emailed me if all I talked about was hotness and body-type. But I don’t. So please stop emailing me about this topic.


Detroit 77, Seattle 67

Like I said, a jet-lagged team on the road against the Beast of the East? Despite their strong effort in the 1st quarter (going up 21-13), the Storm started to stumble. Detroit grabbed the lead and never looked back. Both teams struggled at the 3, but it was Detroit's willingness to push the ball late in the game that kept Seattle on their heels. Lauren Jackson (27 pts, 7 rbnds, 50% from the field) led the Storm, while the homecoming of Swin Cash found her limited to 10 points and 3 defensive rebounds. Katie Smith, however, pushed the game out of reach with her 33 points. For more, check out the official site.

Apparently, a lot more went on in the Lynx-Dream game a few days ago than I had imagined. 70 points in one quarter? That's a league record. Check the link for the whole story.

More heart-warming tales of girls making it in the big league. The focus of this story? Former Badger Jolene Anderson and ex-Lady Vol Shannon Bobbit.

Tomorrow will see two gameday updates (I won't be able to post on the weekend), so be prepared.

See ya, Space Cowboy...
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