Sunday, July 13, 2008
Okay. As you all know, I wasn't able to either watch or listen to this game, so all I have to look at are box scores and newspaper articles. Still, I'll post a few thoughts that come at random.
1) This isn't a loss to be ashamed of. On my current version of the Hollinger Rankings, I have the Silver Stars ranked as fifth in the league. Coming into this game, the Silver Stars had won six straight and were a very difficult squad to beat at home. We had a goal of winning three straight games, but they had a goal of setting a franchise record for consecutive wins. The fact that we almost beat them despite being 2-17 going into the game is not something to be ashamed of.
2) The boxscore: the first thing that jumps out is that Alison Bales had 10 points and 9 rebounds. If there are any doubts about what Bales can bring to the table, I think they've been put to rest. I think she's contributed more to the Dream in the last three games than Feenstra has contributed in the last twenty.
3) Aside from that, we didn't have one of those "six players in double figures" nights. What's surprising is that Ann Strother didn't play at all in San Antonio. Strother has been a part of the last two wins; I can't see why we'd sit her for this game. My rule as a coach is always "go with what wins and keep going with it until experience proves otherwise".
4) From what I've read about the game, personal fouls stole the game from us. We certainly outfouled them, 23-16. On the other hand, they barely outrebounded us, 37-32, and they tied us in offensive rebounds with five apiece.
What were Dean Oliver's four keys to success (from Rethinking Basketball)?
a) Field goal percentage: The SASS beat us here, decisively, 44 percent to 36 percent.
b) Free throw attempts: We lost, but not by much. The Silver Stars went to the line 29 times, we only went 24.
c) Offensive rebounds: Five each.
d) Turnovers: They actually turned the ball over more than we did, 11-7.
It might have been sending the Silver Stars to the free throw line that was the most obvious fault -- regardless of whether the refs gave the home team the fouls or not -- but the real reason we lost the game is that we just didn't shoot that well. The Stars went on a 17-1 surge in the third quarter. If we had actually hit a few baskets -- we missed twelve consectuive buckets in the third quarter and one free throw -- we would have won. The usual hole we dig ourselves in came in the third quarter, not the first.