Storm Go to Fake Bad City, Play Unfortunately Real Bad Game
There are exactly three good things in Las Vegas and none of them appeared in this game.
Well that was annoying! The Storm rolled into Vegas to play against everyone’s favorite preseason pick to win the title that never wins the title Las Vegas Aces and promptly had their starters shoot the ball like a person who’s ancient curse only worsened with every made basket (look I had to watch this torturous game so you have to deal with my torturous simile). The now thankfully/unfortunately, depending on where you stand on wanting the Aces to win, coached by a competent human Aces did not seem to have such a curse and therefore won. The Storm started slow and found themselves in a hole throughout much of the first half only to continuously get close to leaving said hole before having someone dig more underneath them (yes, the metaphors will also be torturous). My main analysis of this game is that the next time these two teams play the Storm should simply make more shots and not have so many dumb turnovers, this level of analysis is also why this Substack is free.
The first quarter was pure dogwaste, the Storm starters spent much of it inactive. They stood around on offense as if waiting for something to happen which led to forced low percentage shots and then watched on defense as the Aces moved past their slow rotations for easy looks at the hoop. Frankly the Storm was lucky to only be down eight by the end. They shot a ludicrously bad six for sixteen (37.5%) and had three turnovers while giving up 26 points, this was some bad basketball for our pals in green and white.
Thankfully, the second unit once again was a strength for the Storm. This is two games in a row when the Storm’s bench has outplayed their opponent’s, a deeply welcome change from last season. The Briann January/ Epiphanny Prince backcourt is a damn delight, Piph has been insanely hot from the field so far this year and Briann’s defense has been outstanding. Both of them lend a steady hand to that second unit. They weren’t exactly pouring in the buckets but they got the Storm back in the game and closed the gap a little before the end of the half.
The third quarter was by far the Storm’s best of the game, they mixed a little bit of zone in with their regular defense and that seemed to stifle the Aces attack. They had much more active hands on defense, getting in the pockets of the Vegas players and creating those turnovers that unlock the Storm’s fast break offense. They also finally started hitting some shots, scoring a much less anemic 26 points on the quarter and even briefly taking the lead. Unfortunately this quarter was the only one where I was not apoplectic about either the Storm’s offense, defense, or the refereeing (though there was a TERRIBLE palming call on Briann January and a very ticky tacky and one for Chelsea Gray. OK, I was a little apoplectic).
The fourth quarter nearly a facsimile of the first except in this case the copy was more vivid than the original (so maybe is was more like a silkscreen? Often times the tactileness of overlayed ink of the paper creates a more rich visual experience, at least I find that to be the case. Do you have a favorite art reproduction method out there? Any lithograph heads in the audience? Offset printers? Where my Seattle Storm fan printmakers at? Sound off in the comments). The offense fell back into the toilet, unforced turnovers and stagnant possessions complemented the continued lack of shooting like a terrible dinner paired with a even grosser wine. The tight defense from quarters two and three also disappeared, Vegas hit from every level. Fortunately, The Storm simply cannot continue to shoot this poorly throughout the season and will almost certainly tighten up those bonehead mistakes that cost them this game. That’ll all have to come at a later date because this game recap IS OVER!
I’m not sounding the alarm quiet yet but Ezi has not looked great so far. The outside shooting that we’re all hoping for has not arrived and she’s still getting bullied inside. She faced another tough assignment, Aja Wilson whups ass, but Ezi looked tentative, giving up ground too easily and ending up under the basket watching the ball slide through the net.
We saw the good and bad from Gabby Williams tonight, more fantastic defense paired with a total zero on offense. Like a legit total zero, she missed all seven shots she took and was the only Storm player not to score. YIKES!
Speaking of which, at one point in the second quarter the Storm ran a couple of pick and rolls for Gabby and Reshanda Gray with Stewie/Sue/Jewell were on the floor. THIS IS VERY BAD, DO NOT DO THIS AGAIN. You have some of the best offensive players in the WNBA, in the fourth quarter of the game they should the focal point of your offensive action, not your defensive specialist wing and third or fourth best big. Please lock that play in a safe and then drop that safe into the Mariana Trench.
Kelsey Plum annoys me to no end.
I was recently in Las Vegas and let me tell you, that town is pretty gross! I was there as a jumping off point for a road trip across the Southern Utah state and national parks (big shout out to the unexpected star of that trip, Goblin Valley State Park, the name rules and the park rules) and dang was Vegas a bummer. Much like many of the casinos, everything seemed like a pale recreation of something better from another part of the world. Even the places that promised some kitsch just made me sad! THAT BEING SAID, the three cool things that you can see if you find yourself in that god forsaken town are The Neon Museum, The Pinball Hall of Fame, and The Peppermill, keep those in your pocket if you ever have to go to like a convention or a bachelor party (you should not be friends with someone who has a bachelor party in Las Vegas) or whatever.
THAT’S IT FOR THIS ONE MY BASKETBALL BUDDIES! TALK AT YOU AGAIN AFTER THE GAME ON WEDNESDAY AGAINST OUR OLD NEMESIS/BEST FRIEND DIANA TAURASI AND THE PHOENIX MERCURY!