Storm Basketball 2011

# Double-double to start the season. Attagirl, Birdy.

# LJ was too quiet in the first half tho.

# Swin and the Refs — it’s been a hate/hate relationship since last season.

# Camille Little almost gave me a heart attack. Good thing that was no ACL tear or something. A sprain is still painful but at least not ACL.

# Katie Smith. Man. She awesome, yes?

# It’s the first game but man, T.Wright, get your shit together, okay?

# WNBA Liveaccess looking all snappy and shit. I love it. Too bad I can’t find the 2010 Archives tho. Aren’t those available anymore? *Sobs*

# Storm over Phoenix — 78 – 71.

Aussies to Storm | Azkals over Mongolia

So Agler’s signed a couple of Aussies – Erin Phillips and Belinda Snell – to the team. Initially I didn’t know whether I’d be elated or what. But when I remembered that both Jana Vesela and Svetlana Abrosimova ain’t coming back, I guess the signings are alright.

Erin Phillips

I actually haven’t seen Erin Phillips play except those sparse minutes she had during the FIBA Worlds and because I don’t really much watch other teams play in the WNBA (except when they play the Storm of course), I can’t really say if she’ll fit into Agler’s system. I know she wasn’t Tully Bevilaqua or anything but she’s a gritty player and the team needs those. I can hypothesize that she’s probably a decent enough back-up to Sue Bird because as awesome as she is, Birdy really needs a few more extra minutes of rest.

Belinda SNELL  (Australia)
Belinda SNELL (Australia) by FIBA World, on Flickr

I also don’t know much about how Belinda Snell plays except that she can shoot the three. And is a veteran. And probably way better than Lacey (to be fair, Lacey didn’t get too many minutes but that may also have resulted from the fact that she didn’t do anything to deserve those minutes). So, yeah, definitely pulling for her to make it.

Sidenote: I’m not sure if Abby Bishop is signed or whatever but the Storm has a significant chunk of the Opals squad. Maybe instead of making LJ skip the 2011 season to prepare for London 2012, Carrie Graf can just hold practices in Seattle? Lolz. Also, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that maybe Agler will pull another metaphorical rabbit out of the hat and will sign Jenna O’Hea (another Opal).

But anyway, I’m still glad that finally the Seattle Storm had joined the fray of player movements. A couple of weeks ago, Camille Little re-signed a multi-year deal with the team. Can’t wait to finally hear/read about Swin Cash though. I hope Agler works his player personnel whatever magic with her.

***

The Philippine National Football Team — nicknamed, Azkals — won their first match against Mongolia in the first leg of the AFC Challenge Cup. Emilio Caligdong booted in a goal in the 42nd minute while striker Phil Younghusband added another three minutes into extra time.

***

There will always be people jumping on the bandwagon. The Azkals should enjoy the attention they’re getting now that the limelight is still focused on them. Pretty soon it will all fade away, more so when the bandwagoners are made aware that this squad is not A Seleção or La Furia Roja or even Samurai Blue, but still just a newbie and one that is simply not to be expected to win all the time. What they can hope for, however, is that maybe some filthy rich person would pour money for the improvement of their training and for the promotion of the sport to every single inhabited island in the country. Oh, yeah, and also that some of those bandwagoners might actually stay with them through thick and thin. Just like I (and probably several others) did with the Storm since I started following them in 2004.

Resilience

From Resilient Storm push past Shock by Mechelle Voepel:

“People are going to just see the score, and they’re not even going to realize how tough a game it was,” Bird said. “And people might look at our record and think we haven’t had any close games. But, aside from a few, almost every game we’ve had to work. We’ve often had to come back. That’s the resiliency of this team.” – Sue Bird

I think that’s what I like most about this year’s squad. They don’t make excuses if they play badly, they tough it out despite “feeling like crap”, and they pull a win despite being down most of the game. I couldn’t say that to the previous year’s groups. Maybe it was the addition of awesome vets Le’Coe Willingham and Svetlana Abrosimova in the bench. Or maybe it was because everybody’s game stepped up (Swin, Camille, and even T Wright). Maybe they’re finally clicking in both ends of the court. But maybe it was because they have this mental toughness with them this year — like they just wouldn’t quit until the final buzzer sounds or something. They had quite a few comeback games under their belt as proof of that.

This team is far from perfect (hello, injured Birdy) but I like their guts and their swagger and I hope they will weather all through the storm that will come their way. And also, I hope that they make it out of the first round of the playoffs alive. Five (or six?) first round exits is already enough.

Bandwagon

The 2010 World Cup just opened Friday night local time and everyone’s been posting crazy about it on Twitter and Facebook.

So, in the spirit of the games, and also because everyone around me just won’t shut up about it, and also because I’m a sports geek, I rolled my eyes and decided what the heck okay I’ll just join the frakking bandwagon. Whatever. It will not make me less of a Storm fan or whatever, right?

So, anyway we completely missed the whole Opening Ceremonies because of office thingamajigs but eh … whatever. We tried to watch South Africa think they almost won it over Mexico but Marquez’s goal in the 79th minute just evened the score at 1-1. SA’s Mphela had a chance to take the lead and the game minutes before the final whistle but hit his shot off the left post. Argh — draw #1 for the night.

Siphiwe Tshabalala scored the first goal of the 2010 World Cup that gave the hosts the lead early in the match.
Photo by Sekretarev (AP)

South Africa’s post-goal dance was almost too hilarious to ignore.

Photo by Ian Vogler

Too bad Mexico scored. Haha.


Photo by Arias (AP)

The rest of my buddies got their brains eaten by (no, not zombies) that Super Mario World game in Wii so they spent the whole break between the SA-MEX game and the France vs Uruguay game screaming their hearts out over Mario, Luigi, and a bunch of mushrooms as they went through maze after maze and world after world.

I sat at the side re-watching the last Seattle Storm game where they beat the LA Sporks again. As much as I kept thinking it was because they were awesome and all that but what if it was just because of Key Arena being a fortress or whatever or because most of the West just plainly suck at this point in the season?

I love how we’re 9 and 1 right now and on top of the league and almost everyone in the starting lineup are up there in the statistical categories [Birdy in (1) AST, LJ in (4) PPG, Vesela in (1) FG%, Camille in (1) Steals — tied with Catchings, Swin in (#) in 3PG% or something, etc] but I would rest better if we just get to play Chicago again and beat them and call our 1 loss a fluke haha. Also, we ought to face CT and IND and NY and beat them too. Only then and there will everything will be alright in my world.

I know, I drive a hard bargain. I hope Brian Agler does too. I would love to see this team go 33 and 1 or something. Wishful thinking? I think not, considering how the team is playing right now. And oh, I’m sure the law of average could catch up on them and they’d (God forbid) stumble in a few games in the future but … uhm … yeah, as long as they keep at this level of intensity and energy and awesome awesome chemistry, they could definitely smoke most teams in the league.

They just have to stay healthy though. Oh gosh, LJ, please stay healthy, okay?

And well, stay happy, just like this, yeah?

Photo by Aaron Last (Storm Photos)

I tried staying up for the France vs Uruguay game but I fell asleep about 15 minutes into the first half. Oh well. Found out later it was a o-0 draw haha. As if I care.

The next night, I tried to stay up for the USA-England match but once again, I fell asleep. Gaad, I must be getting old. I used to wake up at the crack of dawn whenever the Storm would make the trip east during the previous years.

USA and England finished with a 1-1 draw, by the way. I’m too lazy to find out which player scored and which keeper made a blunder.

Hohumm.

Argentina won.

I think.

Germany vs the Socceroos later. I almost have a soft spot for all Aussie national teams because of LJ, Tully, Penny Taylor, and the rest of the Opals but whatever, it’s still Germany!

Brazil doesn’t play until Wednesday 230AM local time.

The Storm will go to Indiana and face a 5-4 Fever team with Tamika Catchings, Tully Bevilaqua, and Katie Douglas.

Go Storm! Go 10 and 1!

Baller Week

So I’ve been catching up on games that I haven’t seen last week. There are only a handful of those up in LiveAccess by the way. I’m not really sure why the Seattle home games are not archived yet and are only tagged with “Coming Soon” — how soon is soon anyway?

I managed to watch at least a quarter of the blowout in San Antonio. Frakkin’ LiveAccess would freeze from time to time and my Quad-Core 4-GB RAM CPU would act up. So I gave up on it and just got contented with the fact that we annihilated the Silver Stars 84-56. No complaining from this side LOL — except for the fact that either LiveAccess or Firefox or my internet connection sucks.

I haven’t watched the Storm vs Atlanta Dream game properly because I was at work then and the game wasn’t on LiveAccess. I think it was shown on ESPN2 and archived at ESPN360 but regional restrictions prevent me to watch said game. Too bad because it was awesome; we shut down the high-flying Atlanta team and handed them their first loss. We scored 90-72 behind LJ’s 32 monster points.

Up next in my viewing list was the Sunset Showdown against the Sporks in LA. The Storm didn’t actually dominate but they came up with a win 79-75 behind Birdy’s hot shooting. She had 22 points on 7 of 12 shooting, 4 of 8 on three points. LJ, Swin, and the fabulous Camille Little also chipped in.

Halfway through the LA game, I had this brilliant idea to change browsers. I dunno what was wrong with me that I forgot Firefox being a huge memory hog but well, yeah, when I switched to Google Chrome, the stream was fairly okay, still pixelated at times but no buffering or freezing. Guess, Google Chrome it is then.

After I was done with the LA game, *someone* (super thanks, you) gave me access to UConn’s 2002 Final Four Games and I managed to watch those two in the same night. Ergo, I only had about 2 hours sleep before I had to blearily jump to the shower and go to work. It was worth it though. Birdy and Swin (and Tamika and Ashja and DT) were a joy to watch in their college years and they are still great nowadays.

Lastly, I was able to finish the Phoenix game where the storm completely tore through the nonexistent Phoenix defense and played almost perfectly. Birdy got a double-double, LJ, Swin, and the most underrated player ever Camille Little each added 16 points, Tanisha got her shooting groove back, Svet was awesome (despite getting clocked on the face by DT), and Jana Vesela showed that she has a lot to offer this team. The final score was 97-74 but that totally doesn’t tell the whole story of total domination LOL.

Up next is LA at the Key. Hope all goes well and we hand those Sporks their seventh loss LOL.

We used to be seven-man deep into our rotation but I think Vesela can be integrated already. I mean, okay so she was playing in garbage time in the Phoenix game, but she was already moving well. That alley-oop with 0.05sec left should be in the highlight reel,W, are you hearing me? Probably not LOL.

Anyway, if we could get Abby Bishop and Lacey some playing time so they get accustomed to the plays, then great. By the way, whatever happened to A-Rob?

Whatta Start


SEATTLE – MAY 16: Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm shoots against Ticha Penicheiro #21 and Delisha Milton-Jones #8 of the Los Angeles Sparks on May 16, 2010 at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington.
Copyright 2010 NBAE (Photo by Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE via Getty Images)

//

■ Live Access didn’t work! Argh!
■ The SpOrks refused to go away until about 8 minutes were left in the 4th.
■ A healthy LJ — now that’s a great sight!
■ The starters got the majority of the points. Uhm, bench, a little life please?

//

■ Standing: 1-0
■ Next Game: vs Minnesotta Lynx, May 20, 2010 10AM JST

Storm Photo of the Year

Via Storm Tracker:

Okay, so, WNBA.com is choosing its Photo of the Year. The first round of the voting gives fans  the chance to choose a photo for each specific team. Currently, they’re highlighting the Seattle Storm. So, Stormies, come on, let’s go vote!

I’m having a hard time choosing between the two below:

anthem_600_090626

“Team Line-up”

passion

“Passion”

I like the first one (coz I’m crazy about wide shots lately) but I also really, really, really like the second photo coz the photographer practically just nailed Sue’s passion for the game with that shot. Plus add to that the fact that I’m such a (or used to be such a) rabid Sue Bird fan LOL.  Anyway, these awesome photos were taken by Terrence Vaccaro.

3-1 To Start The Season

I say, not bad. Put away the loss at Indy (which I completely didn’t wake up to coz I’m putting my health over basketball addiction nowadays), I think we’re on the right direction.

The team hasn’t still gelled that well but it’ll come in time.

・Tanisha Wright finally playing what she does best — awesome defense and not point-guarding. Now we can only hope PeeWee Johnson stays healthy to provide substantial help to Sue.

・Sue Bird — Bird, Bird, Bird, Biiiiiiiird is the word. Seriously, if ever she retires I would be really depressed. And lol at someone from Stormfans.org, if only we could clone Birdy and put Birdy1 at point guard and Birdy2 at shooting guard, that would be freaking awesome.

・I hope Swin stays healthy and finally free from the back and knee problems. Awesome defense against Augustus during the win over the Lynx btw.

・Lauren Jackson. ‘Nuff said. Thank you for staying in Seattle. ^__^

87231515DS014_SPARKS_LYNX

Game 1: at Sacramento Monarchs WIN 71-61

Game 2: vs Sacramento Monarchs WIN 80-70

Game 3: at Indiana Fever LOSS 66-73

Game 4: at Minnesota Lynx WIN 88-71

UP NEXT: at Chicago Sky 0500H JST