Good morning, for lack of a better salutation! Longtime readers of the GNoD know that your intrepid blogger is not a morning person and does not like children, and thus is most displeased when her team has Camp Day. It's even worse when it's a Western Conference team such as San Antonio, and thus my only chance to see them is to brave the t-shirted hordes.
I am not a fan of pre-pubescent girls doing rhythmic gymnastics to Queen. Somewhere Freddie Mercury is spinning in his grave. Those bodysuits are way too tight. (And congratulations, Forest Hills rhythmic gymnastics, you just managed to make the Beatles creepy. Tweens in skintight bodysuits performing to "Twist and Shout". That song is now TAINTED FOREVER.)
As it turns out, there was no point in coming early, since no one was out by the time we got in. Ink junkie is most displeased.
So I don't have to be annoyed at the kids who were already in the seats where the ink junkies usually hang out, which is good, because they brought a really nice Liberty banner.
Carolyn, aren't you dizzy jumping around in a circle?
At halftime, the Liberty are up 39-30, in a game that started out like a house on fire and got a little more ragged as time went on. Las Danielle lead the way for San Antonio; Adams has 9 and Robinson has 6. Tina Charles has 11 points and four boards for the Liberty.
Crowd arrived late, but it filled up nicely. The kids behind us and around us have a good sense of how to behave at a basketball game. I like that.
Our first group of halftime entertainment was a step group that did not prepare for the big stage. Our second group is a dance team that looks to be early to mid-twenties. Talented and far less creepy. Also, I think one of the dudes might have been one of the dudes for St. John's, which is awesome.
What is that on Danielle Robinson's head, and are we sure it's not from another planet?
Note to MSG: the wi-fi is not robust enough to deal with a sellout crowd.
That game ended up being more competitive than I would have liked- in the end, we ground San Antonio down with depth and exposed their lack of auxiliary firepower. The Stars bore down well on defense, and dear Lord Danielle Robinson is good. But down a quarter of their roster, there was only so much that they could do.
Kalana Greene came in in the first half for defense, and actually got the second-half start over Sydney Colson. She's not going to be an offensive option, and she didn't do much to make herself one, but she stuck close on defense and stayed active. Samantha Logic found herself at the off-guard for a couple of stretches, playing alongside Colson. She lit the tree for the Stars with an and-1 late in the second half. Kayla Alexander impressed me, slithering into small spaces to get to the basket or at least get to the line. Danielle Adams looks like she's put on weight, and I think it's affected her mobility a little bit. We only saw her try the flop once- she didn't seem to be moving into poition to take them as willingly as usual. Not sure if that's a day-game thing or an injury thing or if she's changing in style or what. She wasn't getting much of anything to fall, whether it was jumpers from the outside or shots in the lane. She did do a nice job of drawing contact, though.
Sydney Colson's kinda quick. She caused chaos defensively. Danielle Robinson is even quicker. She's so fast, and so good. She had all kinds of offense working today, whether it was the jumper, the fast break, or the cut to the basket. She's so fun to watch. Why are we not hearing about her more? Seriously, WNBA, get on this. Jayne Appel facilitated the Stars' offense, which would have been nice if she were a point guard, but is somewhat less effective when three of the nine active players on the roster are primarily point guards and thus need someone to give the ball to. She got grabby and frustrated near the end of the game. The rims were unkind to Sophia Young-Malcolm in the first half, which I am totally okay with (no, I don't like her; I have a thing against people who believe my family doesn't deserve equal protection under the law). She got better looks in the second half, and she also got to the line more. She didn't seem to like some of the more physical play that went on down low. Dearica Hamby shows a lot of potential- she didn't necessarily look good, per se, but she looked like a player who needs to have the raw edges filed off her, to have her shot more refined, to become more familiar with the physical nature of the WNBA, before she fully comes into her own.
San Antonio seemed to focus more on defense than offense, which makes sense given that two primary pieces of their offense were missing and two others were off their game. Danielle Robinson may be awesome, but she can't do it alone.
Avery Warley-Talbert, still rocking the red hair, came in at the very end of the game and demonstrated both why we keep her (boxing out hard on the glass) and why we don't play her (hands of stone). Candice Wiggins saw extended run in the fourth quarter and, dare I say, put the game on Ice with a three-pointer. *sunglasses pull* yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Brittany Boyd seems to have gotten over that nightmarish game from the free throw line, at least AT the free throw line. She was shaky today elsewhere, with some bad passes and throwing up shots that looked designed to draw fouls instead of iron. We need her energy, and we need her to stay energetic, but she has to be careful with that as well. Sugar Rodgers turned up the offense in the fourth quarter, right when we needed a spark. Kiah Stokes looked aggressive and ready for action on both ends of the floor. She ran one particularly nice fast break in the second half that got the crowd going. Essence Carson did not take her removal from the starting lineup lying down. She had the outside shot going (though she still has that issue with getting it behind the line) and was strong overall.
I like what Epiphanny Prince brings to this team. She's a perimeter threat, but she also brings penetration and passing to the table. She's not so hot on defense, but we brought her in for offense, so I'm okay with that for now. She also seems to discourage Tina Charles from that pernicious habit she has of jacking long perimeter jumpers. Tina did work down low today, and watching her do work down low is a thing of beauty. She's lithe and quick in the paint. It looks like her element. I feel like I'm harping, but really, she looked good in the post and bad from deep outside. During the game, I kept thinking Tanisha Wright is where offense goes to die, but the box score says she had four assists, so she must have done well in finding open players, but it seemed like everything slowed down much more with her in the game instead of Boyd or Sugar. Swin Cash rebounded well, but that was about it. Carolyn Swords was tough down low, getting just enough on her shots to get them down and boxing out with thast big body of hers.
I love the flexibility this team has- we have players whose skill sets overlap enough that we have options, but who all bring different things to the table that suit different situations.
I also love when Tina is happy and contentedly bopping along to the dance music during a timeout.
If you throw a thunderstick at me, it's mine and I'm keeping it. Spoils of war, brat.
Some questionable calls, as per usual, but none of them were earth-shattering or game-changing.
I'm glad the kids got a treat; I'm glad we got a win. I'm even happier that the usual suspects got a good long rest before facing down Connecticut tomorrow.