Saturday, June 14, 2008
Well, we have nine games and nine losses so far. We lose once again. But oddly enough, I wasn't too put out by last night's performance.
Mind you, the Dream never threatened to take command. If the Dream were ahead, it was only by one point or so and only in the first quarter. The Fever went ahead, and after the first early points, stayed ahead.
What I'm happy about is that we only lost this game by nine points. The Fever never really went ahead by more than 10 and even though the Fever kept the lead, the Dream remained right behind them and Indiana just couldn't shake us off.
1) I once said before that "every bad team is bad in its own way". Or maybe it should be that every bad game is bad in its own way. For the Dream, it was simply little things. Jennifer Lacy went to make two easy layups -- and missed both of them. Lots of times, the Dream had open looks but hesitated to shoot. Passes sometimes went right into the arms of enemy defenders.
They call it "mental mistakes", as if there were any other kind of mistakes. It's as good a cliche as any, given the circumstances. The Dream simply made a lot of mental mistakes.
2) Katie Douglas started the game cold. "When she gets hot", said my friend, "then we'll have to start worrying." Well, it never really happened. Douglas ended up with 11 points in 37 minutes played.
3) In particular, the Fever started cold from the free-throw line. I think at one point they were 3 for 12 from the free throw stripe. It was the Fever's abysmal free throw shooting that kept the Dream in it in the early part of the game. Unfortunately, they would make up for it in the second half, and get 32 free throw attempts to just 15 attempts for the Dream. The Fever would end up shooting 75 percent from the line, not bad.
4) We were outrebounded 29-21, but it really wasn't a contest. I think Tammy Sutton-Brown's 12 rebounds outrebounded all of our centers-of-the-day put together.
5) Tamera Young had a great game. She picked up 14 points, a high in her young career. She also had an amazing four steals. She was all over the place. If Young continues to have games like that, our first win is going to come fairly soon.
6) Betty Lennox. 13 points, and outscored by both Young and Ivory Latta. Lennox only had one assist. Get in the game, B-Money.
7) Latta has scored at least 10 points in the last four games. Her shooting from the floor has finally turned around. She's dishing the ball. Unfortunately, she missed a few open looks, preferring instead to take her position near the backcourt and to try to set up a shot.
8) Katie Feenstra. Despite her six points, she was her usual immobile self. She tried to use her height to grab balls thrown clearly out of reach, but would only get a finger on them, and as a result, Indiana would get the ball back again for another try at a field goal. During one part of the game where the fans usually clap "De-FENSE (clap clap) De-FENSE (clap clap)", the cries of "Love-LACE (clap clap) Love-LACE (clap clap)" could be heard on the floor. (Coach Meadors would put Lovelace in for about five minutes. She took one shot and made it, for 2 points on the night.)
9) Atlanta simply has no fast break game. I wonder if it's too late to get one. Coach Meadors has to be very concerned about that.
10) At the end of the game, Ivory Latta took the mike and spoke briefly to the fans. She thanked us for coming out to cheer on the team, a real class act all the way. One of my binocular-wearing friends stated that Latta was extremely frustrated during the fourth quarter, "almost to the point of tears".
11) We had an awesome crowd. I know the WNBA inflates its attendance numbers, but the place didn't look like an empty barn. Announced attendance was over 8,000 and everyone was in it. Kids, adults, older people, gays, straights, blacks, whites, you name it. There was a real feeling of solidarity among the crowd. "We've lost nine games, but we are in this together. We are the Dream."