Hello, everyone! Here we are again, the New York Liberty and the Washington Mystics.
Mike, I am disappointed. I bust my butt to get to the game early, when the gates open, and you have the rookies in and out before the gates even open? How is a Johnnie supposed to holla at Nadirah McKenith if she's off the court before the fans can even come in? Hmph.
Washington sent a bus. They made t-shirts. "Every game is a home game." Well, I suppose with the precipitous drop in Washington attendance since Sheila Johnson sent everything to hell, I suppose every game feels like it's being played in a cavernous arena with a disinterested and apathetic crowd.
Of course, today is the one day security actually finds my sandwich. The one day I actually bring one... I haven't eaten since a cinnamon roll at 1:00, and I was hard at work for four hours after that.
Today was the school supplies drive for Garden of Dreams. Apparently there was hand sanitizer. Gosh. How exciting.
Tamika Raymond is in the house for reasons unknown. She came over to reminisce with Mike Thibault, and Katie Smith wandered by to say hello.
Oh, Barb. You need to let that dress out a little bit, or get it in a larger size. I know from extensive personal experience: having the rolls outlined is not a good look.
Hey, at least we held off the collapse until the fourth quarter.
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt looked like she heard the scurrilous rumors that her classmates had passed her in the rookie rankings, and was determined to take back her place as the most surprising success of the class of 2013. She shook Katie Smith off her on defense repeatedly to get open jumpers, and she was fighting for rebounds every chance she got. She was very physical, and paid the price for it.. (Katie got in a pretty good hit on her, too. Katie is a Bad Girl, after all.) Kia Vaughn (who actually started the second half) threw her body around like nobody's business, setting screens and picks and boxing out viciously. We kept throwing her passes. She doesn't even go here anymore! She was strong on the inside. Tayler Hill played briefly, and it was amusing to watch the young Buckeye going up against the old Buckeye when she was matched with Katie Smith, but amusement value was all she provided. Nadirah McKenith looked solid but unremarkable. Emma Meesseman went hard after the ball, but her judgment was not always the best. She'll learn. And she'll be scary when she does.
Michelle Snow still looks like she has a hedgehog on her head. Seriously, Michelle, whoever told you that was a good look for you lied to you, or didn't like you, or something. She was a defensive force on the inside, but was ineffective on offense and spent a lot of time whining. She's awfully good at that. We kept leaving Ivory Latta open for threes, which you'd think we would stop doing at some point, but whatever. She broke Alex Montgomery's ankles on a crossover, to the point where we thought Alex was genuinely hurt. Monique Currie got into the scrum, got a lot of fouls called on her, and couldn't get love from the rim. She's pretty good at complaining to officials too. Matee Ajavon looked awfully good, much to the glee of the Cagers in the next section over from us and to my incessant grumbling. I do not like that woman. But she shot well and her on-ball defense was tighter than a pair of compression shorts. She and Cappie were going at each other like it was personal (which, since they go back a ways, it probably is). Crystal Langhorne did her thing, though she did it more from the perimeter than I was used to. Then again, that's the shot we were giving her, so that's the shot she took. Lang always seems to go with the flow, which is why I think she's a good supporting veteran for a team that wants to go young.
DeLisha Milton-Jones... for one thing, it looks really weird having her in a Liberty uniform, and it does not help that she's taken #1, which is Maddie's number. Given Maddie's species and DeLisha's reputation, certain words inevitably come to mind. She looked like she was still very uncomfortable around strange teammates and a new coach. She had a lot of dropped passes and issues hanging on to the ball, and she got called for the bad fouls that Plenette usually gets called for. She was quite unhappy. Leilani Mitchell was unremarkable, though she did a halfway decent job on Latta, unlike most of the rest of the team. Alex Montgomery hit the deck a lot. I mean, a lot. I mean four or five times. She has to work on her shot, though. If Katie fires off a perfect pass for an open J, the open J needs to be hit. And so do the driving lay-ups. I love her heart and hustle, but I need a little more consistency from Alex on the offensive end. (And to please have a hand up on Ajavon on defense.) Kelsey Bone played a little bit- boxed out well, but couldn't penetrate the Mystics' defense and couldn't get into position on defense, so she went to the bench quickly every time she got into the game. That trend bothers me, by the way, because those minutes went to DeLisha instead of Kelsey or Toni. Clearly we're trying to win for this season, even though we're already up a creek without a paddle, but I'd rather see Kelsey and Toni get the development.
I don't know what was up with Cappie Pondexter. Yes, a fair amount of it was Washington's defense, but she vacillated between going into triple coverage by herself and passing to cold shooters in triple coverage. Folks who saw her at the end of the game said she was getting her ankle taped, which would just be perfect. Kara Braxton was a hot mess tonight. Couldn't hit the broad side of a barn and had trouble hanging on to rebounds- I know she got a lot of them, but she did a little more tapping out than I like to see out of a big girl. Kamiko Williams got a lot of touches early for reasons I didn't understand, and she took advantage of that time on offense early, but wasn't able to keep up with the pace of the game on defense. Plenette Pierson seemed determined to show up DeLisha and Vaughn in a battle of physicality. I'd have liked to see her get more touches; I think she would have done more with them than Kara or even Cappie did. Katie Smith found her stroke late, but she was several steps behind both Currie and Ruffin-Pratt on defense the entire night.
No, seriously, I do not like that Bill is going with players who are- in basketball terms- the same age as dirt.
The officiating was decent. The crowd was in an uproar when Alex got called for a blocking foul, but Alex hadn't come anywhere near establishing position in front of the offensive player.
Dee Kantner really knows how to put on a show- I got to the chalk talk late because autographs. She's got a great sense of humor.
The season subscriber coasters are pretty boss. I don't know if they're graphite or slate or something, but they're heavy and have the logo carved into them. Boss.
That third quarter should be dropped down the memory hole, for both teams.
I'm too tired to be anything more than mildly argh at this game.