Saturday, June 21, 2008

2008/12 - Mystics 72, Dream 61

"If that was your first exposure to the WNBA, you'd never come back."
--TonyL222, on Rebkell

I always have a great deal of reluctance writing the game summaries now that we're in a 12-game losing streak. Writing them depresses me a bit. Obviously, I love the Dream and I want to be the WNBA be successful in Atlanta, but how successful are we going to be if we keep losing games like this? I'm not going to walk out, but I wonder if others will.

Yep. Twelve straight losses, you read that right. That is third in terms of all time consecutive losses. Here are the records, as far as I know:

2001-02 Portland Fire: 14 (I believe that the Fire closed out 2001 with 11 straight losses, then lost their first three of 2002)
2006 Chicago Sky: 13
2002 Detroit Shock: 13 (losses from opening day)
2008 Atlanta Dream: 12 (losses from opening day)

Some people might not count the Fire's record as it's spread out over two seasons. However, the Dream might tie the record on Sunday against the Shock.

How do I know? I just hooked up to NBA TV and watched the Lynx-Shock game while following the Dream-Mystics game on the computer. In both circumstances, I couldn't believe what I was seeing/watching/hearing.

The Lynx-Shock game ended in overtime, with Deanna Nolan dropping over 40 points on the Lynx at Detroit. Whereas in Washington, the Ravenwood Finishing School was playing the Bluebelle Girls Academy. Both teams shot under forty percent in the first half. The score was 23-22 after halftime, which is basically one quarter of any game played by the Phoenix Mercury.

The Mystics, furthermore, scored 15 turnoversr in the first half. As Kathy Orton of the Washington Post said, "It was nearly as many turnovers at halftime as they manage in a game."

Combine those two facts, and the Dream should have led by 20 at halftime. (Well, maybe 15.) Instead, they led by one.

At least, the Dream had three players in double figures. The two usual suspects (Lennox and Latta) and Tamera Young, who scored 11 points and six rebounds. Betty Lennox was one away from a double-double, with 18 points and nine rebounds.

After those three? Nothing. It was a repeat of the Houston-Atlanta debacle, where the bench fell asleep. The remaining six scores combined for 16 points. Camille Little played seven minutes without scoring a single point.

The Dream shot 32.8 percent from the field, which I believe is our second lowest showing all season, after Los Angeles euthenized us for 26 percent.

Our turnovers were no better than those of the Mystics. Tree Rollins screamed at the Mystics in halftime, and they gave up the rock only five times in the second half. At the end of the game, each team had 20 turnovers.

Even with all of that, we were still ahead 46-45 as late as the late third quarter. Then Monique Currie scored the next six points to give Washington the five point lead. After fighting back to bring it to a five point gap again, 65-60, with 4:40 remaining, the Dream proceeded to miss its next six shots:

4:04 Lacy Jump Shot: Missed
3:36 Young Jump Shot: Missed
2:58 Lennox Jump Shot: Missed
1:56 Lennox 3pt Shot: Missed
1:40 Latta Jump Shot: Missed
0:14 Lovelace 3pt Shot: Missed

Four minutes, forty seconds of play. Six missed shots. Six personal fouls. Feenstra fouls out. As Harry Doyle, the announcer of the Indians in the movie Major League might say, "Feenstra fouls out. (Turns away from mike.) Thank God."

The two factors that killed us:

1) Alana Beard came back after being benched in the second quarter. Beard scored zero points in the first half, 18 in the second.
2) The Dream basically packed up and went home in the final five minutes of the game. Maybe there was something good on TV back at the hotel. Maybe they wanted to catch Lynx-Shock in overtime.

The Dream get the Mystics one more time this year. That game will be Friday, July 25th in Atlanta. I just don't want to have to wait any more for our next win.

Fans are mad on the message boards. They're mad at Coach Meadors. They're mad at Katie Feenstra, who has come to typify our woes at the center position. As for Coach Meadors, I'll have more to say about that in my series of "Who is at Fault?" articles.

I will never give up on the Dream. They're my team. I bleed powder blue. What do I suggest as a solution to our woes? Maybe Coach Meadors needs to contact the coach of the Atlanta Diamonds in the Women's Blue Chip league. They're 2-0.

Looking ahead to the game on Sunday against the Shock, do I have any suggestions? "Prayer, Mr. Saavik. The Klingons don't take prisoners."

No comments: