First, a few points of old news...
Shay Doron's doing well for the Israeli National team. On the 5th, she scored 7 points and helped her team to a 76-64 win over Bulgaria. Go, Hebrew Hammer, Go!
This is from a while ago, but it features Ashley Battle. As a Pittsburgh native, I gotta give it up to Battle. Black-and-Gold gotta stick together.
And now that that's out of the way, on to...
PHOENIX 98, DETROIT 70
Beyond the 3 minute mark, Detroit never held a lead and watched as Diana Taurasi slammed home 30 points to lead the Mercs to one of the most uneven victories of this post-season. Only two players from the Shock scored double-digit points(Nolan with 12 and Cash with 10), while shooting only 32% from the field and 15% from beyond the arc. Truly, it was a beat-down of a savagery not seen since the days of Rowdy Roddy Piper.
Everything about this game was uneven. The Shock never won a quarter, turned over the ball 16 times (leading to 21 points), and couldn't handle any part of the Mercury's offense. By the half, they were scrambling, looking for a way to somehow staunch the flow from Phoenix's offense, but even then, they couldn't break a Mercury defense that had suddenly, inexplicably decided to show up and DO something (admittedly, letting in 78 points, but still a 30-point difference in the last game).
Phoenix, meanwhile, evened up the series as the Finals moves to Arizona for the next two games. Coming off a game like this, and having two full days of rest, definitely won't hurt the Mercs, and should they win the next game, it will be mighty hard for Detroit to come back and take two, even with the final game in Detroit. Let's not count our chickens, however. First, Phoenix has to win another game which, despite last-night's game, isn't anywhere near a certainty. It will be VERY interesting to see how this plays out.
Dan Hughes of the San Antonio Silver Stars was named Coach of the Year. Not exactly my first choice on the matter, but it's hard to argue with what he did in Texas. Well played.
Armintie Price was named Rookie of the Year.
And, unsurprisingly, Lauren Jackson won league MVP. Which would be boring, except for the gargantuan numbers that she put up in the season. The Writer's Analysis: Had Jackson not been so huge, the Storm would've been 10-24 for the season and Houston would've been the team getting swept by Phoenix in the opening round. You go, you Down-Under Goddess, you.
Just do a Google Image Search for "Lauren Jackson" and you will get an approximation for my feelings for Lauren Jackson.
As for that, that's about it. Take what ya can in the off-season, as they say. Until tomorrow?
See ya, Space Cowboy...