Sparks 76, Shock 75

Last night’s game was a whopper – check out my story.

Notes:

– The Shock is much better than their record indicates. They really hustle and play hard, and are much improved from last year. It’s only a matter of time before they start to sew it up and get some wins. They’ve got a lot of great players, and they have a great coach.
– Speaking of that, Coach Gary Kloppenburg has lost a lot of weight since I saw him at the Final Four. He acknowledged it was true when I asked him about it. I wanted to buy him a massage.
– The team, overall, are upbeat and in good spirits. That was good to see.
– The Shock bench outscored the Sparks bench 43-10. Does Tulsa have the highest-scoring bench in the league?
– The Sparks are an entirely different team this year as well. They are closer, more positive as a whole, and they believe in themselves. They bring that all to the court, and it shows. That is one of the key ingredients to building a championship team: see last year’s example, the Minnesota Lynx.
– Nnemkadi Ogwumike was called for five fouls last night, and on the last one she did something I’ve not seen her do before: she stomped on the floor and yelled in protest. (Nneka, angry?). But then she responded by igniting the Sparks and scoring seven points. I like this rookie’s fearlessness on the floor, and her passion in playing the game. She is quickly establishing herself in this league.

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