Sunday, June 14, 2009

4/2009 - Dream 67, Sun 62

Sancho Lyttle plays Atlas.

I had a lot of hope that I'd be able to watch this game on WNBA Live Access. I watched the Washington game on WNBA Live Access. I've watched other WNBA games on Live Access. However, the problem with Live Access is that if you have a spotty internet connection, you can pretty much write off Live Access. I've seen some versions of Live Access that you can click and there will be a link that reads "Click This Link for Audio Only."

I didn't have one of those links.

Anyway, I'll just write about what my experience. There will be mass applause, because it will be short.

1) Guess who showed up at the game? Donna Orender. Apparently, she was there to announce the opening of on-line voting for the All-Star Game. That, apparently, was the big announcement out of Connecticut.

In the meaning, she did pose with a very big check. I expected Drew Carey to come out and ask her to spin the wheel.

2) There was a color guard of soldiers standing at attention as a group of children sang the National Anthem. The kids did a nice job. Like I said, the singing of the National Anthem should just be farmed out to amateurs.

3) The starters were Holdsclaw, de Souza, Lyttle, Castro Marques, and Teasley. It was a pity I didn't actually get to see any of them play! (In the meantime, the starters for Connecticut were Gardin, Jones, Black, Phillips and Whalen. I didn't get to see any of them play, either.)

I notice that Lyttle finally got a chance to start. She deserves it after her play over the last three games.

4) I did, however, get to see the Connecticut Sun's "James Bond" opening. The players for the Connecticut Sun are introduced from 007's barrel's-eye view famous in such cinematic masterpieces as "A View to a Kill". However, there's the danger that someone in the audience might be overstimulated and try to assassinate a Suns player by throwing a bowler with a sharpened brim.

5) The Sun darken the lights and use the "spotlight method" when introducing their players. Nice touch.

6) Unfortunately, the Connecticut Suns announcer had no better luck with pronunciation than the Chicago Sky's announcing duo. He pronounced Erika de Souza "de-SOW-za" as if the middle syllable rhymed with "know" or "go". I suspect that the WNBA announcers that don't live in Atlanta are just pulling our legs.

7) The Dream got off to a fantastic start - a 7-0 run marked by a bucket by Lyttle, two free throws by Lyttle and a 3-pointer from Holdsclaw. In that time span the Sun had turned the ball over three times. In generally, it was a ominous portent for the Sun, which started the game with 1-for-10 shooting.

8) When the game went to 11-7, Live Access began to fade out as if the announcer had an incurable stutter. Listening to the broadcast was like one of those games with the refrigerator magnets where you put together words at random....

"hesitation D"
"gives for Turner"
"off the back rim"
"by de-SOW-za"

9) I learned that the Dream lead the league in turnovers per game. Who said that you can't learn something listening from the announcers? Just not pronunciation.

10) By the end of the first quarter, Atlanta led 15-10. The Sun were shooting only 17.6 percent from the field. Of course, I had to look for the black cloud in the silver lining. I figured that the Sun couldn't shoot that poorly all game. Sooner or later, the Sun would wake up and we'd have a problem.

11) "she hits her first"
"and the sun chipping away they're now 22"
"Jones now has"

12) With the Dream ahead 26-18, the Sun would score the next 12 points of the quarter. The Sun led 30-26 at halftime. I never saw it. I gave up on WNBA Live Access completely just before the second quarter ran out.

I think we missed four shots and had four turnovers. Ignominiously, Tamera Young went to the free throw line and shanked both of them.

13) At halftime, Atlanta's shooting percentage dipped to 39.3 percent. However, Connecticut was still only shooting at 28.1 percent. However, the Sun were out-rebounding Atlanta, they were turning the ball over less frequently and they had visited the free throw line 14 times compared to just five times for Atlanta. It just goes to show you that it doesn't matter how well you shoot. The Dream were shooting 10 percent better than the Sun, but if you slide in the other parts of the game you will definitely struggle.

At least, Atlanta's players were all shouldering an equal part of the burden. Five Atlanta Dream players had four points each at halftime to "lead" the team. The best of the group was Lyttle, with four points and 7 rebounds, with a plus/minus of +5.

Lindsay Whalen led the Sun with 10 points, followed by Erin Phillips with four points. Phillips also had a +6 plus/minus.

14) With no WNBA Live Access, and with the WNBA boxscore updating itself only randomly, this meant that my only sources of game action were message boards...until I discovered the ESPN Women's Basketball Scoreboard. ESPN does a great job of updating the score, and watching the written play by play is sort of like watching the game, if you have a good imagination.

In the third quarter with the game tied 32-32, Atlanta managed to regain the lead on back to back shots by Chamique Holdsclaw, the second a 3-pointer. Atlanta had now taken a 39-34 lead.

Shalee Lehning came in during the third quarter. She would pick up an assist but would turn the ball over twice in the third quarter, the first on a bad pass within 24 seconds of her substitution and the second on a lost ball turnover.

But it didn't matter much. Sancho scored eight points in the third quarter alone. At one point, the Dream led by nine points, but we would close the third quarter up by six points - it could have been eight, but Kristi Cerone made a jump shot with 2.2 seconds left in the third.

15) By this point, Atlanta was out-shooting the Sun by 20 percent : 45.2 percent versus 25 percent. However, the Dream had turned the ball over 17 times and had sent the Sun to the free throw line 17 times. The Dream had a good shot at victory - they had strengthened their rebounding - but had to be careful not to throw the game away elsewhere.

16) During the fourth quarter, neither side could really break free of the other - the Sun couldn't shoot better, but the Dream had the same problem they had in their previous three games - an inability to defend the 3-point shot. Both Erin Phillips and Barbara Turner hit threes, the second to close the score to 55-51.

17) With 3:51 left, the servers at both the WNBA website and at ESPN decided to flip me the Finger of Scorn. The play-by-play stayed frozen at 3:51 for the longest time, no matter how many times the browser was refreshed. When my browser woke up again, there was just 60 seconds left and the Dream had a 63-58 lead.

18) With 20.3 seconds left, Erin Phillips hit a layup off a Lindsay Whalen assist to close the game to 63-62 Atlanta. However, with the Dream holding onto the ball, the Sun would be forced to foul.

The target: Coco Miller. Miller sank both shots with 13.7 seconds left to put the Dream up 65-62.

19) The Sun needed a 3-pointer. The Dream were atrocious at defending 3-pointers. With 3.9 seconds left, Barbara Turner attempted the 3-pointer that would have tied the game...and she missed.

Sancho Lyttle got her 15th rebound. All the Sun could do was foul and hope for the best. Instead, Sancho Lyttle hit both free throws for her 19th and 20th points. Sancho Lyttle had had one of those kinds of games from the Spanish League, where she would score 20 points and 15 rebounds on a regular basis. The Dream won the game 67-62, and the Dream had their first regular season win against the Connecticut Sun...and they did it in the Sun's house.


1 comment:

KatiaSilene said...

I love read your post petrel! Our DREAM is shaming!
Go Dream.. Tell all the Atlanta's news, because its hard for me know about everything here in Brazil..
See ya.