This is the gamethread, your appetizer before the game 7 of the NBA Finals.
My girlfriend spent one evening this week in a closet with her best friend, stockpiled with water, chocolate and a cellphone. Some people are deathly afraid of storms.
However, if you are Tammy Sutton-Brown, you go out after the storm and snap pics of rainbows for your tweeps.
For the past week, storms have rolled through Indiana, uncharacteristic of normally sunny mid-June days, complete with tornado warnings and other harbingers of tonight's game between the Seattle Storm (9-1) and the Indiana Fever (6-4).
For the Fever, Tom Reitman does a great job covering the main two foci of the Indiana collective:
- Reduce unforced turnovers and mental lapses
- Maximize the inside game with post-ups of bigs, big wings and drives
Turnovers are a sign both of very physical games and of a cantankerous offense that has improved over the years but is still hard to execute, especially with a team that lacks exceptional outside shooting by many of the players.
Most of the bruhaha this week has been about Storm coach Brian Agler's inevitable 100th win coming tonight, or tomorrow, or sometime soon.
It would be quite humorous for me to tell you about the mindset of the Storm coming into tonight's game, considering the mass of ink and intellect spent on the Seattle Storm on these pages and those around the WNBA. The cascades of superlatives and the statistical fanblog wankery that follow the Storm (and the Mercury) is so voluminous that I've been hearing the Door's famously ominous tune in my head all week as
"Writers of the Storm, dun-do-duh-dun".
The main saving grace of course is that the Seattle Storm and it's merry band of fans and intrepid journalists and pixelated commentators is that the Fever probably doesn't strike much fear into anyone's ears at the moment. The commentary is so inwardly focused on the teams' nigh-invulnerability and all the ways each arbitrary strand of contribution guarantees success that this particular match has not generated nearly the conversation it deserves. Rather the discussion is compacted into the Storm-centric three-games-in-four-nights challenge, of which this is merely the first hurdle.
Amid all that analysis and the destabilizing force that a 9-1 record invokes on rational thought, it's hard to remind oneself that Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird are mortals and that the Storm is still just an WNBA team.
And one on the road.
Writers of the Storm, there's a killer on the road....