Wednesday, July 8, 2009
"Stand back, there's room enough on this court for everyone!"
The Dream dropped a 19-point lead down to a 2-point lead in the fourth quarter, but managed to pull off a win. The great thing about the win is that in 2008, the Dream would have lost games like this.
We're still not where we want to be. Someone once said, "Good teams sometimes lose to other good teams," and the Sun is a good team. However, when you're up by 19 points, you should absolutely punish that team. I know that the Dream is looking to "finish" games, and that means putting them out of reach in the late minutes when it's close. But why finish late when you can wrap up early?
Okay. Let's look at the Four Factors.
Field goal percentage: The Sun actually out-shot the Dream, 38.2 percent to 37.0 percent. Initially, the Sun were shooting under 30 percent and the Dream were shooting surprisingly well; sometime in the third quarter they switched places. The numbers are low for both teams, almost negating the influence of this factor.
Offensive rebounds: The Sun also won this stat, 10 to 9 and won in overall rebounding, 42 to 41. But the stats are so close you might as well call this a "tie".
Turnovers: The Dream were the clear winners here, 20 to 14. Coach Mike Thibault after the game blamed the loss on turnovers, stating that Connecticut was a low-turnover team and that they lost their way. The Dream's games this year have been marked with problems with turnovers and personal fouls; the Dream solved that first problem.
Free throw visits: Dream 19, Sun 15. Both teams shot 80 percent. It looks like the Dream solved their second problem, personal fouls - no Dream player had more than three fouls.
For the Sun players:
Asjha Jones: 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 personal fouls. Jones's raw plus/minus: -6.
Tan White: Her 14 points and 6 rebounds were coming off the bench, and she had a raw plus/minus of +6.
Kiesha Brown: 11 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Sandrine Gruda: 9 points and 6 rebounds. Gruda looked impressive in just her second game this year in the WNBA.
And now, for the Dream players:
Erika de Souza: Her 12 points were matched with 17 rebounds, one off her career high in rebounds. She also had four steals and was the dominant force. Erika is clearly the Dreamer of the Game.
Sancho Lyttle: Wherever Erika goes, Sancho follows, or vice-versa. Sancho threw in 14 points and 7 rebounds of her own, with 5 steals (but 4 turnovers).
Chamique Holdscalw: Chamique had 19 points and 7 rebounds, and played 34 minutes. She went 6-for-18, however, shooting 33.3 percent from the field.
Shalee Lehning: Only 4 points, but 7 assists. Furthermore, Lehning was 57 seconds short of playing for 30 minutes. In her last three minutes, she has played like a starter. If Lehning can keep this up for a couple of more games...can we start talking about having Lehning start?
Iziane Castro Marques: 14 points, but she had to work hard for those 14 points: she shot 6-for-17 and missed a couple of free throws.
Coco Miller: Only 5 points, but 3 assists and a raw plus/minus of +11. The team was certainly not worse when Coco was on the court.
Michelle Snow: The good news: 4 points in just 7 minutes played. However, she had 3 personal fouls. Snow was definitely playing with passion on Tuesday night.
Jennifer Lacy: Okay. This is the hard part. Generally, when you get down to this part of the list, you're assigning blame. But here's the trick...no one on the Dream really had a bad game. At least not in terms of "worse than average". These were just players who didn't get much of a chance to perform or do anything to hurt or help the team. Lacy played 5 minutes. No points.
Angel McCoughtry: 8 minutes. No points. A raw plus/minus of -8 might have had more to do with her company.
Ivory Latta: Latta is at the bottom of the list for one reason and one reason only: she played the fewest minutes. Three minutes, took a shot and missed it. Ivory Latta is Still Snoozin, and that's only because Marynell Meadors hasn't woken her up yet.