Let’s get the formalities out of the way: Seattle beat Atlanta tonight.
Angel McCoughtry and Iziane Castro-Marques matched each other with 21 points for the Dream, while Lauren Jackson lead all scorers with 26 for the Storm. Swin Cash and Tanisha Wright added 19 and 17 point, respectively. Box score.
But don’t let the score or the series wins fool you: Atlanta is the real deal, and that was a helluva game.
The Storm is the heavy favorite, but the Dream isn’t going down without a fight – and a nasty one, at that. You gotta love a team that absolutely won’t give up, and tonight was a great example of that. Everytime Seattle would make it a three-possession game, either McCoughtry or Castro-Marques would bury a shot or pound it in to cut the lead. What a display.
In the end, it may be the Storm’s experience that takes them through. Some of the Dream team – especially McCoughtry – lost their composure tonight at points, which took them out of their game.
For now, keeping her head seems to be McCoughtry’s Achilles heel, but she’s only 23. If she’s this good now, just think how she’ll be in five years. It’s scary.
The biggest props tonight go to the Key Arena crowd in Seattle. They waved rally towels, wore green, screamed and yelled even during halftime (I was talking to one of my best friends on the phone then) when nothing was going on, and stood for the entirety of the last three minutes of the game. In other words, they were being fans.
If Seattle wins it, even in four, it’ll be in Atlanta. Not as fun as being at home, but that trophy will look good anywhere.
PS – WNBA reffing still sucks.