MSG ON MSG (and NBA TV)
The Comets of Houston
It's pronounced "HYOO-ston" down there, eh?
Houston. The town that let the Oilers move to Nashville and almost allowed the Astros to move to Indianapolis. The largest city in the nation without all four major sports. The city that allowed it's half-century old amusement park to be destroyed to put up Condos. It's built on a swamp, gets WAY too hot in the summer, and was the home of Enron.
The Comets are coming to the Big Apple hoping to put a little more distance between themselves and the cellar of the West...
... by playing a big game of offense-driven, small-defense that is almost ripped from the pages of the Mercury playbook. The only problem is, they don't have the offense to back it up.
Not that Houston doesn't have it's own stars and quality. They have solid hometown support and are more than a match for any given opponent on any given night. Just talk to San Antonio, who lost to them in resounding fashion almost a month ago.
Their record is a bit misleading, as though they are far below .500, they've won more than they've lost since losing their first ten. But my job isn't to talk up the opposition, but instead to give you the facts. So let's talk turkey.
"Goddamn asshole!" Houston is not a great team. They have a weak defense (giving up the 4th most points in the league per game and 3rd in Opp. FG%), can't shut down an opponent late in the game, and are prone to taking stupid fouls at inopportune times. They also remain horrible on the road, going 1-8 for the season so far when not in Houston. That's an astounding statistic and the worst such record in the league.
"So why worry?"
Because Houston has stunned opponents in the past, mostly through the one-two punch that is Tina Thompson and Michelle Snow. Both are having great seasons (Thompson in particular seems to be fueled by plutonium) and can pick up the slack if one or the other is having an off-day. And even though their wins have come against Minnesota, Washington and Los Angeles, they've proven that they can take care of bigger fish.
The Silver Stars on the left, the Storm on the Right.
The Liberty, meanwhile, are only a half-game in front of the the 4th place Sun and are six games out of 1st. Kraayeveld hasn't been playing to her normal level, Thorn has come back strong but is still lingering from her injury, Christon and Moore are all over the place, and save for McCarville, we can't rely on any other player to give a solid performance game in and game out.
It's not nearly as bad as all that. We can take the Comets. They're not an overwhelming team, but the Libs do have to pull together and take this game one play at a time. The Comets can eviscerate us if we're not careful, just like a cassowary and an unwary drunk.
That's it. Let's do it, eh girls?!
KEYS TO A NEW YORK VICTORY
- Contain Tina Thompson. She's the heart and soul of the Comets and if the Libs can take her out of the game, that'll be a huge stumbling block for Houston.
- Throw the body. Force the Comets into foul-making situations and get their blood up.
- Put the ball in the air. The Comets are not spectacular shooters, and while quality should still come before quantity, a few more of the iffy kind of shots wouldn't hurt.
- Don't get into back-and-forth gameplay. The Libs need to remember their system and shut down Houston without getting dragged into a game that isn't their style.
My heart just isn't in it today to Around the League. It's been a rough week and I need the weekend to start. Sorry that I've been kind of half-assing it for a bit, but shit has hit the fan around here. I'll try to update tomorrow, but I can't make any promised. Until then...
See ya, Space Cowboy...