Wednesday, July 23, 2008
This will hopefully be the last of the games that I will either a) not be attending in person, or b) not listening to on the radio. The reason I "missed" this game is because it started at 11 am. Not only is crunch time at work so hard that taking the day off would have been an impossibility, but there is no radio at work. I am a cubicle slave - even though I'm in a "four cubicle" in which I'm the only inhabitant so it's almost like having your own office. However, since my cubicle is across the way from the Chief Financial Officer's office, I don't think he'd appreciate hearing the fine sounds of Art Eckman waft overhead. (And I need the phone, so putting on earphones isn't an option.)
We therefore have to resort to the boxscore and second hand accounts to tell us something about this game. We'll do the usual analysis: Four Keys to Victory, flow of the game, individual efficiency, and talk about what the box score can't tell us.
Shooting percentage: This key is almost as important as the other three keys put together. The Monarchs shot 42.2 percent; the Dream shot 34.8 percent.
I want to introduce a concept called effective field goal percentage. To be fair to a team, a team should get extra credit for three-point goals that it makes. The formula is:
(field goals made + 0.5 * three pointers made)/field goals attempted.
Sacramento: 46 percent
Atlanta: 37 percent
Taking three point field goals into account, the gap gets even wider. Atlanta only shot 15 percent from three point land, 3 for 19.
Turnovers: Sacramento 14, Atlanta 18. Sacramento was able to hold on to the ball better as well.
Offensive rebounds: Kasha Terry really helped us out in getting offensive rebounds, but our edge was essentially a nonfactor. We had 11 offensive boards, the Monarchs had 10.
Trips to the free throw line. Sacramento beat us there as well, 26 to 23. Furthermore, they shot a few percentage points better than us there, too.
Flow of the game: The Dream got behind in the first quarter (22-13), got further behind in the second quarter (23-17) and it is clear looking at the 3rd and 4th quarters that the Dream never caught up.
Efficiency: Who were the most efficient shooters for the Dream? Kasha Terry and Ivory Latta. Each of these players had a number of points equal to or greater than their field goal attempts plust free throw attempts.
Least efficient? Izi Castro Marques, who needed 20 attempts to score 13 points and Tamera Young, who needed nine attempts to score three points.
Looking at the Monarchs, the efficient shooters were Nicole Powell and Kara Lawson.
Minutes played: No discernable pattern. It doesn't look like either team depended on its starters completely.
(* * *)
Which begs the question, "what can the box score not tell us?"
The Dream have had the awful habit of getting behind in the first quarter. Did they dig another 10 point deficit in the first quarter? No, but they were behind by nine points several times. This was one of those games where there was one tie in the early minutes of the game, and then the Monarchs took off and never looked back.
July 22 vs. Monarchs: 9 points behind in first quarter
July 19 vs. Mercury: 16 points behind in first quarter
July 18 vs. Monarchs: 14 points behind in first quarter
July 16 vs. Fever: 3 points behind in first quarter (W)
July 13 vs. Sky: 17 points behind in first quarter
July 11 vs. Silver Stars: 6 points behind in first quarter
Just looking at first quarters, that "10 points behind" seems to be true, at least in the last few games. The first quarter is the Dream's roach motel -- we check in but we don't check out.
Next: Betty Lennox was held to just one point in 17 minutes of play. What's even stranger is that she only attempted one field goal - her sole point came from a free throw. Looking at the box score, you might not know that Noox is our playmaker and leading scorer. Either she mentally checked out, or the Monarchs shut her down completely.
Looking back at the game-by-game logs on WNBA.com (which are only there for 2008), the last time Lennox scored only one point in a game was sometime in 2007 or before. My bet is you'd have to go back to junior high for B-Money.
We know that Izi Castro Marques got a technical foul in the fourth quarter. What we don't know is what happened? Izi isn't the kind of person who gives away flagrant fouls. The only conclusion is that she smarted off to some official.
You wouldn't know that two members of the Monarchs had career highs. Scholanda Robinson's 17 points were a career high, and Laura Harper (a rookie) had 12 rebounds, also a career high.
You wouldn't know that Ivory Latta lost the cap on her right front tooth in the fourth quarter. The Monarchs knocked it right out of her month. You'll find this out in an article by Jenna Marina in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The article discussed the physicality of the match, and that the Dream knew that this match was going to be physical but they just couldn't match the Monarchs.
Furthermore, we find out that Scholanda Robinson was the offender. We find out from The Sacramento Bee that the late-arriving Robinson was applauded by her teammates for effort when she got to the locker room. She wasn't applauded for knocking Ivory's tooth out...we think.
This should be a line in the boxscore:
Lost teeth: Atlanta 1 (Latta), Sacramento 0
However, there is one stat in the boxscore that the Dream can enjoy. Over 10,000 in attendance. I only wish they had been there to see a better game.