Friday, September 12, 2008
How did I get this typed up so quickly? Call it “Live Blogging!” Well, not exactly live blogging, but more “I typed this while I was watching the game at home.”
Can the Dream manage to steal a victory against the Los Angeles Sparks, a team that held the Sparks to 26 percent shooting in Atlanta? We’re going to find out.
1) Interesting fact – Betty Lennox has led the team in scoring in every game since the Olympic break. That dark period where Lennox was being held in the single digits appears to be over. But can Ivory break out tonight?
2) Starting lineup: De Souza, Castro Marques, Bales, Lennox, and Latta. My God. I think this was the lineup from the last game!
For the Sparks: Milton-Jones, Parker, Leslie, Bobbitt and Brown. And Margo Dydek, #12, being held in reserve.
3) Whoa! Alison Bales scores the first five points, including a three pointer – but she’s not much of a match for Candace Parker. The Dream is hitting their shots, and when the first time out is called, the Dream are leading 11-9!
4) The commentators talked to Latta before the game. Latta supposedly likes her situation in Atlanta with the Dream – she gets along with her teammates and they get minutes on the court. If Latta doesn’t start shooting efficiently, however, she could jeopardize this good thing she has.
5) Twice in the first quarter, Izi has tried to find Erika on a pass and has thrown it 3 feet over her head. And for our Brazilian readers, that’s 0.98 meters. Ugh.
6) Ferdinand-Harris faked Betty out of her underwear in the first quarter. That’s going to go on someone’s highlight reel.
7) Neither team is really working with an offense; everyone’s just trying to make individual shots. Most of the Sparks’s points are in the paint, most of Atlanta’s are elsewhere. Both teams are shooting evenly at the end of one, but the Sparks are strong under the basket. However, we’ve managed to tie the Sparks, 22-22 at the end of one.
8) Atlanta rolls off a 7-0 run to start the second to lead 29-22. I got to see a sweet behind-the-back dribble by Latta, but Latta is still trying to drive in towards thebasket. Lennox, however, is shaking off Ferdinand-Harris. Coach Michael Cooper of the Sparks is forced to call a time out.
9) NBA TV does not have the commercials timed right. It’s annoying, as sometimes they have to immediately cut away from a commercial for action. I don’t mind missing the commercial; I mind missing the action.
10) The Atlanta run is extended to 13-0. Jennifer Lacy hits a three – she’s finally hitting something – and the Dream lead 35-22 with almost six minutes left in the second.
11) Our run is broken up. I understand why. “The foul is on Kasha Terry, who just entered the game….”
12) First, Lacy doesn’t take a pass – not paying attention – and then when she gets the ball, she basically throws it away. Can our reserves actually hold it down?
13) Candace Parker has played almost the entire game at this point, going into the bottom part of the second quarter.
14) Interesting stat: Atlanta is the worst team in the league with assists, averaging 14 a game. By 4:13 in the second, Atlanta had 11 assists.
15) The Sparks finally start to box out and rebound. Los Angeles goes on a 10-2 run to begin closing the gap, and at 1:49, Margo Dydek sees her first action. We finally get to see Dydek vs. Feenstra!
16) Amusing point – when Latta dribbled right past Dydek, who must have been thinking, “I’m going to have to reach down if I’m going to stop her. “ No, Dydek would have had to stoop down. By halftime, the Dream led 42-35.
17) Looking over the halftime stats, we might be leading by 15 if we didn’t keep sending the Sparks to the line. Betty Lennox had three fouls at halftime.
On the other hand, Los Angeles was shooting 31 percent. Atlanta was 15 for 36 from the field at 44 percent. Oh, let us keep up the hot hand!!
18) Did the halftime announcer say that the Sparks shot 3 for 17 in the second quarter?
Dream: 2-5 record when leading at halftime.
Sparks: 2-7 record when trailing at halftime.
19) Cooper calls a timeout – a FULL timeout – with less than two minutes in the third quarter passed after Izi drops a 3 on the Sparks. Boy, he looks pissed.
20) Awful play by the Dream. The timeout has helped the Sparks, who have gone on a 8-0 run. Latta trying another useless drive to the basket. Izi trying another implausible three point shot. Betty trying to work through a double team. The Sparks close it to 49-45 with 5:39 left in the quarter.
21) Good Lord. Leslie scored, fouls by Feenstra. 49-47 Dream. Then another failed Latta dribble-drive. The Sparks tie it, 49-49, going on a 12-0 run. Leslie and Feenstra are really going at it.
22) What the hell? Offensive foul against Atlanta against Feenstra. That was a “make up foul”, for not calling the foul earlier. I hate it when refs try to correct their mistakes.
23) With 1:37 left in the third, Kasha Terry (who else) fouls Delisha Milton-Jones to put the Dream over the limit. Milton-Jones hits two free throws to put the Sparks ahead for their first time since the first quarter, 55-53.
24) And another foul by Kasha Terry with 43.9 seconds. We are not going to have a chance to win games as long as Kasha Terry is on the roster. Thank goodness Leslie missed both of the free throws. Then Kristin Haynie fouls Candace Parker…who hits her two points.
25) At the end of three quarters, the Sparks lead 57-55. This is the stat that tells the story:
Free Throw Attempts at the end of 3 Quarters:
Los Angeles: 25
26) The Sparks take a 6-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but Atlanta closes it right up after Betty Lennox t=comes back in and it’s a tie game again, 63-63.
27) DAMMIT! Parker drives and doesn’t hit, but draws the foul. We cannot keep sending the Sparks to the line and expect to win this game.
28) Izi comes in, drives, makes the bucket and draws the foul. Then, she makes the bucket. Atlanta leads again, 66-65, with 5:49 remaining in the fourth.
29) Izi gets a three-pointer! Then Latta gets the steal from Candace Parker, and then the foul! Atlanta leads 70-67. Latta hits both shots, and the Dream lead by five, 72-67.
30) Dammit! Foul on Erika de Souza. I’m hoping that we’re not reaching the limit as we approach the four-minute mark….
31) Izi hits two in a row! The second shot is a three pointer! We lead 77-69 with 2:37 and the Sparks are forced to take a full time out! Holy Moley, here we go! Don’t let this game end the way the Fever game did!
32) With 2:12 left, Muriel Page fouls Ivory Latta. Iziane Castro Marques goes to the line. Michael Cooper is looking down at his hands.
33) I can’t tell, but I think that the Sparks are over the limit. Lennox hits her first free throw, and then her second. Atlanta leads 81-71. There’s 1:10 left and we have a full 24 seconds to shoot….
34) 55.5 seconds left. Erika de Souza commits a foul, her sixth foul, and fouls out. The Dream isn’t over the limit. Boy, the Dream is going to make this a close one.
35) They find Tamera Young inside. 83-71. 28.4 seconds left. Lisa Leslie misses her first free throw. She hits the second. 83-72. The Dream call a time out with 28.4 seconds remaining. All the Sparks can do now is foul. Atlanta is smiling, but there’s none of that bouncy-bouncy exuberance. I suspect Atlanta won’t believe they’ve won until the final buzzer.
HOLY SHIT! WE WON! 83-72! IN LOS ANGELES!
I’m going to bed! The post-mortem will be tomorrow!