SEATTLE, Oct. 11 -- After evening the series at home in Game 2, the Seattle Storm re-gained the
momentum in the series. How will the Storm and Connecticut Sun adjust to the things
that worked and did not work in Game 2? One more game at KeyArena decides it,
and here is how some experts see things shaking out:
Ann Meyers, WNBA.com and ESPN Analyst:
"Connecticut got out of its rhythm in Game 2, and the crowd has a lot to do
with that. Lindsay Whalen
getting into foul trouble didn't help. Certainly, Connecticut was not making
the shots that they were making in Game 1 where as Seattle came out and hit theirs in Game 2. That is huge when you have the crowd
behind you. Game 3 will be in Seattle's favor once again when it comes to the
...the Sun have to feel very confident because of the last shot that they got.
They had a choice of either a 2-pointer to win and Whalen got that drive to
the baseline. She could have either dished to Taj
McWilliams-Franklin in the middle or kicked out to Sales, which is just
what they wanted. They have to feel good about they fact that they came back
and tied it. But the Sun got taken out of their transition offense because Seattle
made the adjustment to stop the ball being pushed up the floor. Rebounding is
still the key, though. When Connecticut made its run, they were hitting the
Seattle dominated in long stretches, but Lauren
Jackson did not have a stellar game. Look at how and where and the way she
touched the ball. What helped her and the team a lot was that Alicia
Thompson came in and hit those big shots. Game 2 was a very physical game
and Seattle did a much better job of handling the physicality of the game. But
Connecticut just keeps coming at you. They do a great job of preventing Seattle
from getting those 3-pointers that work so well for them.
The focus in Game 2 for the Storm was a little bit more on getting to the free
throw line, which they did. And that was the difference in the game. Even though
Connecticut got outrebounded, Seattle was at the free throw line. Neither team
shot the ball well in Game 2 except for Nykesha
Sales and Betty Lennox,
so they will each look to improve on that.
As for Game 3, I think it will be another close one. A few people I have talked
to think Seattle will win big because of the crowd, but I think it will be close.
The bottom line for Seattle will be (as it was against Sacramento in Game 3
of the Western Conference Finals) will be whether they can hold off the Sun
and if they have the energy. L.A. ran out of gas against Sacramento in their
Game 3. Then Sacramento ran out of gas against Seattle in their Game 3. So did
Seattle expend too much energy in Game 2?" We will see - both teams used their
bench a lot. So I expect another close game. When is a championship-deciding
game not close?"
Doris Burke, ESPN Analyst and Emmy Winner:
"The atmosphere for Game 3 will be similar to Game 2, if not louder and more
electric. To me, the thing that caused Connecticut to lose the game was that
they lost their composure. There were points in the game where they let things
get away from them, especially with turnovers. They made some really bad decisions.
I think when Mike Thubault looks back on Game 2, he will stress the Sun's turnovers
and Seattle's offensive rebounds. Those are fixable things.
On the other side,
Seattle made good adjustments. They did a better job handling the switches.
I thought Seattle was more affected by their fatigue in Game 1 of this series
and I'm not sure that they believed that Connecticut was a worthy adversary.
In talking to some of the players and watching them, they believe they are better
1 thru 5, and that's fine, but you also have to step between the lines and show
that. The Storm did not do that in Game 1. They did it in Game 2."
I don't think Lennox or Sales will play as well as they did in Game 2, so who
is the better team? That is what will decide things on Tuesday."
David Locke, Seattle Storm Radio Announcer (950 KJR-AM):
"This has become a fascinating series. In Game 1, Connecticut put Katie
Douglas on Sue Bird, which
they had done in the regular season, and it dictated the entire game. The answer
to that is that Lindsay Whalen is not a very good defensive player, so Seattle
went to Lennox at Whalen in Game 2. So now what?
Does Mike Thibault go off of what he did in Game 1? Does Anne Donovan feel
comfortable letting Lennox try and roll off another night like she did tonight?
Does Connecticut pull Sales over on Lennox which could take away from her offense?
The coaching decisions going into Game 3, which I totally think the media typically
over-blows, are going to be extremely interesting. My guess is that neither
coach changes anything. Thibault will say think that his team won Game 1 with
Douglas on Bird and Donovan says that Lennox can do it again and there is no
way that Jackson goes 5-15 from the field.
I would never in my life think that there would be a deciding game that was
not close... until I was here in Seattle and saw the Storm go on a 20-0 run
against Sacramento in the last series. I'd be shocked if it happens again, but
it has happened. If Seattle starts to hit their shots, which they haven't done
all series (which is entirely to Connecticut's credit), it will be interesting."
All of these questions will be answered when Game 3 tips
off at 9 p.m. on Tuesday