First of all, before anything else, let me say that the MTA and half the people who use are complete horseshit. A little water, and suddenly, 50% of New York turn into crazy assholes that HAVE to get onto one train and will kick, push, and claw their way in, not waiting for people to get out or even for the next train. The MTA, meanwhile, can't even get something as simple as a rain schedule up. Newsflash: we live in a city on the ocean. It's going to rain. Make some contingency plans.
Now, onto the game; the Libs beat back the Houston Comets to hold onto playoff hopes. The Sky lost and the Mystics won, so we're still one game out of the playoffs, but the we're out of last and into fifth, with a game left against Washington, whom we have done well against in the past.
Patty continued to play her favorites, although Kraayeveld came out after 15 minutes due to her lack of defense and only 5 points. Janel McCarville and Loree Moore led the Libs with 17 points each (and 8 and 6 rebounds, respectively), while Erin Thorn (10 points, 4 assists) had a strong showing as well. The big surprise was Jessica Davenport, who came off the bench to play over 20 minutes and contribute 13 points and 6 rebounds.
It's good to have her back. And it was nice to see the Usual Gang step up and deal with Comets when they started to take back the game in the 2nd Quarter. The Libs were dealing with them handily before then, but the Comets, led by Tina Thompson (a game-high 24 points and 9 rebounds), stormed back and took the lead away.
The Liberty, unable to mount a comeback in most of their last ten games, suddenly found the fire in their bellies. Battle and Moore each shot a three in the last two and a half minutes to go ahead by four and then finish the first half 39-37.
Indeed, for McCarville came back out after the break and scored a driving layup, stole the ball from Smith, and then went back again.
Nothing happened for the next two minutes, although the Libs thoroughly dominated it. The Comets had one shot (missed), a turnover, and a foul, but nothing else. Admittedly, missing six shots in that span isn't great, but the fact that they were able to keep cool, grab the rebounds, and work it back out to start again shows that they've finally been able to mature as a team.
McCarville makes another jump shot and the game continues, as if nothing had happened... well, because nothing DID happen during that stretch.
It was pretty much in control after that. The Comets never led after that brief spurt in the 2nd, while McCarville, Davenport, and Moore thrust the rest of their teams into the limelight and took the Liberty back to four games under .500 and one game out of playoff contention.
Anything else? No? Then to Game Notes we go...
- Get under the basket? Check. More from Moore? Check. Back to Basics? Double-check. Who called it? You're damn right.
- Hamchétou Maïga-Ba (HOU) had a fantastic game. She turned over the ball several times, but she did score 16 points and had five rebounds while only missing four shots out of 15.
- The Liberty are still falling short at the free-throw line. They shot less than 65%. Again.
- Good to see that the Libs aren't allowing themselves to fall back into their old tricks.
- Strong crowd. Almost 8K, which is a little bit less than normal for Houston but still above league average.
Phoenix is a boring-ass city, but they can kick the crap out of anyone in the league.
We beat them before, we can do it again. We have to take the game. The Mystics magic number is five. Let's not help them out. Any questions?
AROUND THE LEAGUE...
Washington 77, San Antonio 73
Sacramento 81, Connecticut 79
Minnesota 95, Seattle 74
Indiana 74, Chicago 70 (2 OT)
Phoenix 96, Los Angeles 93
Obviously I underestimated the desire of the Mystics to stay in contention. If they can handle the Silver Stars, it's going to be a rough road getting into the playoffs.
Becky Hammon was out (for reasons unknown to the Writer), which definitely would have affected my position on this game had I known, but the Silver Stars should have been able to handle it. Sophia Young (26), Helen Young (18), and Shanna Crossley (16) all handled it, but when a starter scores zero points in over 20 minutes, it's not going to be a swell time.
Sacramento had their hands full with the Sun, but managed to fend them off to come out on top by 2. Kara Lawson scored 21 points, while the Monarchs' D managed to contain Katie Douglas (ONLY 9 points), although Sales, Jones, and Whalen combined for 47 points. Sacramento secured their spot in the playoffs (all but a formality), while Connecticut has a magic number of 2.
What happened in Minnesota? Seriously, what happened?
Five Lynx score over 10 points. Minnesota scores 37 points in one quarter, while holding the Storm to 12 in another. Sue Bird is held to 6. Lauren Jackson doesn't play. The Storm shoot 36% from the field, while the Lynx score 47%. There are just over 5K in paid attendance.
Ooo! Indiana drags the Sky along kicking and screaming into overtime, where they slug it out in one of the most boring games of the season. THIS is why Chicago doesn't have a fan base, because once people start coming to games (yesterday was their second-highest attendance of the season), they lose in pitiful fashion. They only scored six points in the 4th quarter, while Indiana only scored 11. Chicago outplayed Indiana in the first and third quarters, but threw enough scraps away to feed the cockroaches... er, Fever. And this is the team we're duking it out with for a playoff spot?
Leave it to Phoenix to allow a team like the Sparks to compete. Hell, the Sparks spotted the Mercs 23 points to 12 in the first quarter, and STILL managed to almost pull it off. How can Phoenix give up 28 points in a quarter to the Sparks. THE SPARKS?!?
THEN they come back and score over 30 points the next half. Inconsistent play isn't even the beginning. What the hell is going on with Phoenix? I can't make any kind of prediction when they play ball games like this. I'll just have to make it up as I go.
Speaking of which, the Mercs have an article up about their coach, Paul Westhead, heading into the playoffs with his style of game. It's going to be interesting, not only because Westhead is a goofy name.
The WNBA has the current playoff picture up. It's kinda worthless, not only because the East hasn't been worked out yet, but because they don't even have the standings right. The Liberty (12-16) are AHEAD of the Sky (12-18), morons. There is no justification for putting Chicago ahead.Except everybody in the WNBA is hating on New York but is bed with Chicago.
Tina Thompson, she of the sore-back, is considering leaving the WNBA at the end of the season due to financial considerations. NOT good. How is the League supposed to survive if the best players make MORE money overseas?
Solid article about Shay Doron and her WNBA growing pains, as well as playing Israel. Apparently, when the Libs played Washington, Patty was booed because she didn't put in Doron near the end of that rout. Doron, as some may know, was a solid starter for the Terps, and there was a contingent of her fans in the stands. Thanks for taking the high road, Patty, and not putting out a fan favorite at the end of a game in which nothing mattered.
ESPN has their Power Rankings up. The Libs are at 12 (before last night's game), which is kind of hard to argue with. It is a fair look at the rankings. I hate ESPN, but I can live with this.
That's it for me. I was late to work, which is why this is up late. I'm still running behind schedule from Monday. Performance Piece up in the late afternoon. Until then?
See ya, Space Cowboy...