Sunday, June 28, 2009

9/2008 - Sun 82, Dream 68 - The Roulette Wheel

Okay, with what's going on at home and at work tomorrow, I'm probably not going to be able to do anything substantive with a writeup. However, I will be at the Dream games on Tuesday and on Friday. Yahoo!

The box score can't tell us everything, but what can it tell us?

Quarter by quarter: The Dream started out with a 27-20 point lead after the first quarter, but it fell apart in the second when they only scored eight points in the second. The Sun led at halftime 43-35 and outscored the Dream in every successive quarter. The Dream hung around 10-point land for much of the third, but in the fourth the Sun slowly extended their lead. A Michelle Snow jump seventeen seconds into the fourth closed the score to 60-52, but then both McCoughtry and Snow committed personal fouls - the second one a shooting foul - and Lindsey Whalen made a couple of free throws. After that, the Dream were never within single-digits again.

Dean Oliver's Four Factors: They are:

Field goal percentage: The Dream hit 47.1 percent of their shots, compared to just 40 percent from Connecticut.
Offensive rebounds: The Sun were winners here by a 12-5 margin, and led in overall rebounds 35-33. I believe it was Frisco Del Rosario who noted that every time Connecticut has won the battle of rebounding, they've won the game, and every time they've fallen short, they've lost. So it goes here.
Turnovers: The Dream coughed up the ball 20 times, compared to just 12 from Connecticut.
Free throw visits: The Sun visited the charity stripe 30 times compared to Atlanta's 21. They scored 21 points off free throws compared to 18 by the Dream - the Dream was more accurate at the line, but when you give the enemy multiple chances, she'll make use of them.

The above goes to show: you can outshoot your opponent and still lose the game.

Starter vs. starter: The theoretical matchups are:

De Souza vs. Whitmore - Whitmore was held to four points on 1-9 shooting - edge de Souza
Lyttle vs. Gardin - edge goes to Gardin, who had a double-double
Holdsclaw vs. Jones - edge goes to Jones, who scored 24 points and had the other double-double
Castro Marques vs. Phillips - even
Teasley vs. Whalen - edge Whalen - Teasley didn't score a single point

Was this the worst game we've played all year? I don't know. Game Two against the Mystics was worse, but this game was pretty bad.

Looking at the players from the Sun:

Asjha Jones: 24 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists.
Kerri Gardin: 10 points, 10 rebounds.
Lindsey Whalen: 14 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists.
Erin Phillips: 17 points: 4-for-5 from 3-point range (the entire Sun - minus Phillips - was 1-for-10)

And now the Dream:

Iziane Castro Marques: Well, someone had to try to do a good job, and in this case, it was Izi. The last time Izi did this well was during Game 3's 81-73 loss to the Sky. 9I think the only good game that Izi had when we won this year was the game against the Shock on Friday.) She went 6-for-12 and had 16 points and 4 steals so I have to give the Dreamer of the Game to Izi.

Michelle Snow: I suspect that the reason Izi and Snow did such a good job was because the players who usually step up were flat out exhausted. Snow only had 6 points, but she had 9 rebounds in just 20 minutes of play to lead all Dream players in rebounding.

Angel McCoughtry: The great thing about playing back-to-back is that if you have awful experience the night before, you can try to erase it the next day. Angel had 12 points in 11 minutes of play, and a +4 plus/minus.

Erika de Souza: 12 points and 8 rebounds, but Erika's had some problems with turnovers in the last couple of games - de Souza turned the ball over five times.

Shalee Lehning: Lehning scored a couple of free throws, and she had 4 assists - tying her career game high - and four rebounds in just 20 minutes of play.

Coco Miller: Miller had 6 points in 11 minutes of play, but also had 2 turnovers.

Nikki Teasley: We are now entering the land of minimal or negative value - please fasten your seat belts. Zero points, 3 assists and 4 personal fouls in 21 minutes of play. Her -18 in plus/minus meant that nothing good was happening when Nikki was on the floor.

Chamique Holdsclaw: Ditto for the Claw. The Claw scored 10 points but turned the ball over 5 times.

Jennifer Lacy: One rebound, one assist and a couple of personal fouls in 13 minutes of play.

Sancho Lyttle: If you were to read the names I listed in reverse order - Lyttle, Lacy, Holdsclaw, Teasley, etc. - you might think that we won the game if those were our best performers. Lyttle only scored 4 points and was held to just 3 rebounds in 18 minutes of play. 1-for-4 shooting. Four personal fouls. Four turnovers. Sorry, Sancho, but you were the Bad Dream of the game.

Come to think of it, that entire game was a Bad Dream. As Ethan might say, when you enter a casino, never expect to win against the house. With the fatigue, the dice were loaded against the Dream anyway. Let's give the Dream two days rest before they play the Lynx on Tuesday.

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