Saturday, September 13, 2008

2008/34 - Storm 77, Dream 72 (Part One)

No Art, this is Betty's BROTHER. See the sign? Brought to you by Go see 'em.

It's the very last game of the season. So rather than go for accuracy, I'm going to go with familiarity and tune in to the great Art Eckman.

1) The Dream start Latta, Lennox, Castro Marques, De Souza, and Bales. It looks like Meadors has finally found a consistent starting lineup.

The Storm start Little, Ely, Gearlds, Wright, and Santos. I guess they're saving Bird for the playoffs. According to Art, Seattle is starting their second unit.

2) Betty's father is courtside, which is kind of cool. Even though Betty is no longer in Seattle, he is still supporting the Storm (when they don't play the Dream). Also very cool that both Betty and Izi have gotten standing ovations, and according to Art, the ovation brought Betty to tears.

UPDATE: It's not Betty's father, it's her brother (see the comments below). Oh well, Art Eckman's not exactly Wikipedia.

3) Lauren Jackson is back, which is cool. Art's microphone cuts out to complete silence when he's not speaking, which makes me suspect that the game is being broadcast by ham radio.

4) "Politics has moved the Seattle SuperSonics franchise to Oklahoma, where the state tree is a telephone pole." - Art Eckman

5) Art says that he's having to broadcast from far up. I think he means it. So much for Art. I'm switching to the Seattle feed.

6) Kelly Santos is just whipping up on Atlanta. She's scored four of Seattle's 10 points, and Marynell is calling a time out. The Storm lead 10-4. It doesn't help. Santos scores over Feenstra. Before we know it, it's 15-4 Seattle, the Storm going on a 9-0 run.

7) Feenstra walks, and turns over the ball. According to the Storm announcers, the Atlanta Dream are just dead, playing listlessly. The announcers state that the Seattle Storm's defense has just clamped down on Atlanta. The Seattle Storm remain resolute, and they lead 17-10 at the end of the first. The Storm lead in every sense of the term, and the Dream have four turnovers to the Storm's one.

8) Now the Dream are on an 8-0 run to close it to 17-14 in the second quarter. The announcers say that Marynell Meadors said that they'll have Chantelle Anderson next year. Interrrrresting.....

9) Pass to a wide open Kasha Terry in the second. She fumbles it. Out of bands, Atlanta. Good thing Gearlds has missed her last four shots. However, the Dream get three wide open layups, and two offensive rebounds. Result: 0 for 3.

10) Seattle continues to go cold. Seattle is missing a ton of shots and the Storm's poor shooting is keeping Atlanta in the game. Feenstra is leading all Dream shooters with eight points, and she's playing great defense.

11) Kevin Pelton will be back for 2009, according to Seattle. That's great news; I enjoy reading his website.

12) In the first eight minutes of the second quarter, the Dream have outrebounded the Storm 10-2. The Dream is hanging anywhere from within two to seven points throught the quarter. With one minute left, a Castro Marques free throw closes it to 28-27, but the Storm score the next basket. The Dream get the basket with 14 seconds left, but Latta is forced into a desperation shot.

At halftime: Seattle Second Unit 30, Dream 27.

13) Minutes played by:

Sue Bird: 0:00.

14) Atlanta is being outshot 41 to 33 percent at halftime. The Dream have taken nine shots from behind the three throw line and missed all of them - a major difference from the Los Angeles game.

15) HOLY CRAP. The starting lineup for the second half for the Dream is Latta, Izi, Young, Feenstra....and Lacy. The Seattle announcers speculate that Betty might have hurt her ankle...but Betty has been in Meadors's doghouse before.

16) Izi finally hits her three. We tie 32-32 early in the first quarter. The Dream are in a 1-2-2 fullcourt press. The Storm score six straight, but we answer with five straight. We're still hanging in there, pressing like crazy. We manage to hang within one point in the third quarter for what seems to be forever, about the first five minutes. Brian Alger still hasn't brought in his big guns, and Betty is now out for the game with achilles tendonitis. It seems that no one has scored in like...forever.

17) Tamera Young steps up and ties the game again, 43-43. At this time, she's leading all Dream scorers with 12 points.

18) By 2:48 left in the third, the Storm is only leading by three points. The Storm is starting to rebound much better. The game seems interminably dull. It's probably the fact that I know that if we get close, Agler can put in the starters whenever he wants to. Swoopes, Griffith and Bird are still perfectly rested. Furthermore, We've seen the last of Betty Lennox for this season.

19) Listening to the Seattle announcer, my first thought is "Boy, is this guy loud!" It's not at all like Art. Art manages to keep this composure whenever the Dream score; this guy sounds like he's going to drop a load with excitement.

20) Tamera Young scores another three to close it to 51-50. She's now taken over the role of Betty Lennox, leading all Dream scorers with 18 points. It has been Tamera Young who has kept us in the game in the third quarter. With 15 seconds left, a bucket by Erika de Souza puts us in the lead 52-51, but Camille Little answers back and grabs the lead back, 53-52 at the end of three.

21) Latta is having another horrible night. Three points. A bounce pass to nobody. Feenstra inexplicably on the bench. The Storm pull out to a five point lead early in the game, 57-52.

22) The Storm lead by about five or six, but can't really pull away. The Dream still have a chance to win it if he doesn't put Bird in. Latta hits two free throws and we're down 65-61 to the Storm. However, Seattle is shooting much better.

23) A pair of free throws put the Storm up by 10, but Young hits a shot with 3:40 keeping the Dream within eight points.

24) Late in the game, the Dream have the advantage that Seattle's over the limit in fouls. Seattle's announcer is swearing with every bucket, "That might just do it!" but Seattle's lead has been tenuous at best this quarter. We're down by seven with 1:18 left, 75-68. Then Young hits another shot to close it to 75-70 with just 59 seconds left. Can the Dream steal another game?

25) In the last minute, Feenstra grabs the rebound on a missed Storm shot, but she dribbles the ball on the endline. However, Kristin Haynie gets the steal and has the ball with just 25 seconds left, still down by five.

26) The ball makes it into Young's hands, and she shoots for a three...but misses. The Storm get the rebound, Katie Gearlds gets the two free throws. The Dream get a couple more points, but the Storm get the win, 77-72 and the Dream become the first team in WNBA history to lose 30 games in a season.

It's a sad moment. No more Dream basketball until next year. It's late. I'm tired. Tomorrow for the post-mortem.


Patrick said...

Betty's father? Her half brother, Clarence was in attendance, but he only hit one other game this season, the LA one. He is missed, though not as much as Izi or Betty.

Thanks for breaking the Pelton story. There has been no formal announcement before this so I have been trying to wait it out. KP was a WNBA convert a year ahead of me, and has been a trailblazer in WNBA journalism and analysis. He picked his hometown over the bigger money of the NBA, and I applaud him for that on a number of levels.

I am rooting for the Dream to make HUGE strides next season. Their fans deserve it. We had a nice story in the Seattle papers about Dream attendance.

pt said...

Ah, but Patrick, you have to realize that I got that information from Art Eckman, the Atlanta announcer. And although we love Art a lot, he's not the most...reliable of narrators.

As for the Pelton story, that's what the Seattle announcers said. I got the impression that Pelton was in the booth, feeding them stats.

You should link to the Seattle story. We'd never get a story like that in the ATLANTA papers!

Patrick said...

Kevin blogs live and does the stats for the radio broadcast. They sit at a makeshift table in the top of the lower level at halfcourt. They used to be courtside, but now are up in the top.

The Dream article was an AP pickup.