The Middle-Man was benched last game due to her play. Thor is slowing down. Battle and Moore are all over the map, while Dutch isn’t acting very Dutch-like at all.
Still, there is some good news on the horizon. Thorn will be back soon, the Belles can’t ignore their talent forever, and after a four game cab ride through Hell (Detroit, Sacramento, Indiana, Detroit again), the rest of our schedule is very doable.
Lisa Willis – 30 Points
Ashley Battle – 16 Rebounds
Jessica Davenport – Last two games? 18 minutes total.
Loree Moore – 17 points against Indiana. The game before and after? A total of 2.
KEYS TO VICTORY
- Shut down passing lanes. Force individual Sparks into bad situations and force them to turnover the ball.
- Start to hit 3’s again. The Sparks are abysmal in their defense beyond the arc (with the worst defense of any .500+ team), and if we can take it to them from there, the game is almost assured.
- Take choice fouls. The Sparks are also bad at the line (although not as bad as the Libs…), and if needed, some tough-driving could send a message while cutting down on some “assured” points.
- Lockdown Bird or Jackson. Containing both is out of the question, but when one of Seattle’s bulldogs is chained, the bite is taken out of their game.
- Hit the basket. Be patient and take quality shots. Bad angles lead to bad rebounds lead to a rush back to the other court.
- Play strong D. This is connected with the first point, but it is strong. When the Liberty have a good perimeter, they win games. When they open up and let people walk in, they lose.
- Come out on fire. Setting up an early lead sends a big message and takes the edge off of the later part of the game, when the Libs are apt to take more chances and hurt themselves in the process.
Houston 81, Seattle 76
A close game, but the Comets showed that they can give as good as they take, putting the Storm on their heels at the half and never letting go. The Comets effectively shut down Sue Bird, who had no points for the night and just three assists, and while Jackson (25 pts) and Lennox (23 pts) picked up the slack, it wasn’t enough. Tina Thompson and her entourage had a great game and pressed the Storm into oblivion. The team that started out 0-10 is now 4-1 in their last five.
Fever @ Sun
Shock @ Mystics
Lynx @ Silver Stars
Sky @ Monarchs
Mercury @ Comets
Sky @ Mystics
Tamika Catchings is playing in a near omnipotent fashion and the Fever’s defense is considered a war-crime in several countries. The Sun, meanwhile, look like their out of gas. The have to refill sometime, but Indiana is going to make it hard. Fever by 8.
Shock in Washington? No. Sorry, no. Not even going to bother. Shock by 10.
The Lynx take on the Silver Stars. Seimone Augusts is the only reason the Lynx have four wins, and while San Antonio isn’t nearly as intimidating as they seem (says a Libs fan), they get the job done. Becky Hammon is making a strong case for MVP, and the Lynx can’t keep a run going to save their lives. Silver Stars by 7.
The Sky at Monarchs? I wish I could downplay the Sky, but they’ve proven they can win a handful of games. The Monarchs, however, have a heart of black coal and would strangle a kitten with their defense if it meant holding onto first place.
Look for the Monarchs to continue their black reign of hideously strong D. Monarchs by 7 1/2.
The Mercury in Houston? Who’s going to win? The upstart Comets, with their bellies full of fire and their stool full of blood? Or the Mercury, the fleet-footed, zero-defense Gods of Old? Taurasi makes any game interesting, but I believe she’s still out on parole after her tirade with the refs. I’m going to put my money where my mouth is: I think people are giving the Comets WAY to much crap. Houston… to win.
Another battle of the depths. The Sky are horrid, but Washington is – marginally – coming around. Both have strong individuals – Dupree (CHI) and Beard (WAS) – but lack that cohesiveness that a strong team needs. It all depends on who sucks less that game, frankly. My uncle always taught me to bet against the team that you love, mostly because he was a cynical bastard who always believed in defeat, but also because if the team you hate wins, it means that you were right. Better right and unhappy than wrong and unhappy. Sky by 6.
All right, this has been a massive post. I need to get some work done. I hope you all have a good weekend. I’m not even going to try to put stuff up tomorrow. Check back on Monday, where I will be cheering the victories two glorious victories (by a combined scored of 240-16 and marking the surprise return of Weatherspoon to the court). Until then…
See ya, Space Cowboy…