Los Angeles 73, New York 63
It took me a while to start this post. I simply don't have any words for this game. There is only one thing that I can say for the game...
Last night sucked so badly, it sucked out loud. My comedy troupe started an hour late, I was barely needed, and could have gone to the game and seen that German Goddess play on the court and rock it for two minutes. Instead? I sit around, waiting for people to show up, mutter under my breath, and later learn that the Libs got their asses kicked and that the first game of the season with Weber on the floor was being played only thirty blocks north of me.
Now, here's a picture (an official picture that I am not paying for so if the WNBA emails you, please don't turn me in...) that pretty much says it all about last night's game.
Let's take this apart bit by bit. McCarville is there, playing the game hard, but shying away a bit, shoved out of the way by LaToya Thomas. Thomas is willing the ball to her, using some until-now-unknown powers (akin to the force), while Battle is knocked out of the way. The best part? Moore's face in the background. One more time, for the road??
The Libs come out flying and show the Sparks just who's boss here at MSG. When the dust settles after the first ten minutes, the Liberty lead 23-14. The defense is solid, the offense is hitting, everything seems to be going well. Hopefully, the 2nd quarter would be a sequel to this, along the lines of "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me." You know; song and dance, a little bit of drama, but at the end, everything's okay.
2 missed shots and the 2 turnovers by the Libs lead to a nine-point roll by LA in a little over two minutes. The Libs won't score a basket until four minutes into the quarter, and will miss a total of twelve shots. The Sparks, led by Mwadi Mabika, go on a tear, scoring 27 points in ten minutes and limiting the Libs to a paltry 8 to end the half at 41-31, Los Angeles.
Maybe Patty will take the ladies into the locker room and explain that the season is on the line, that there are only nine games left in the regular season and that if there is any hope of trying to make a run, it has to start here. Maybe she'll leave Weber in? Or play someone else to punish the starters for that awful, awful quarter (possibly the worst ten minutes they've played all year)? Or maybe she'll light a fire under the ass?
Oh, to be sure, the Liberty came out MUCH better than they were playing in the last quarter, though to be fair, they couldn't play much worse.
I'll skip all the intervening moments of the third quarter and skip to the important parts. The stuff you need to know? Davenport comes in, comes out, and the rest of the eight regulars are played with regularity. But who's going to show up and play their hearts out?
Okay, now the Liberty are doing a bit better. They're outscoring the Sparks and have a little spring in their step. It came a little late, but at least it shows that they can still do stuff when they choose to. Then, it happens. Tied 62-all with a little under four minutes left in the game, the Libs start sucking and the Sparks score a basket. Patty calls time to discuss their gameplan.
What happens next? The usual. The Sparks grab the lead and the Libs are forced to foul. Again and again, and the Libs can't make a shot. 11 points for the Sparks, 1 for the Libs. The Buzzer sounds, and we're put out of this misery.
The Liberty lose the game, go 7 straight in the hole and ten games out. Is there any kind of silver lining to this?
- Can't get nine thousand people for a game against LA? For shame...
- Playing Davenport and Weber for a combined four minutes doesn't get Patty off the hook. She still didn't play anybody other than her regulars.
- Kraayeveld? Nine points in twenty-four minutes. A significant improvement, but still not up to her usual level.
- Only two Libs with more than ten points. Four such players for the Sparks.
- Liberty shock only 30% from the field. Ouch.
Martina played for 2 minutes and 2 seconds, missing her only shot and making one rebound. I can't make too many claims for her skill on the floor, as I didn't witness it first-hand, but I can assume that she blazed a path of glory that forced Patty to bench her again, in fear that the other Belles might look upon her triumph and weep.
Around the League to come later, before the performance piece. I don't have time and I'm too pissed with the Libs right now. Instead, take this picture of two kittens playing.
See ya, Space Cowboy...