Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sun to tip off against San Antonio

Sat down quickly with Sun coach Mike Thibault before tonight's game with the Silver Stars to ask a little about Friday's win over the Indiana Fever and the direction of the team. Here's some of what he had to say:

MT: I think the biggest difference last night was when we struggled or we made a mistake, we didn't let it affect us the next time down the court in either direction. I thought in the New York game in particular (a 76-73 loss on Wednesday), when we made a mistake, it might turn into two mistakes because we hung our heads on the play. And I didn't see any of that (Friday).

We had a controversial play on the baseline, there was a technical (foul), there was all this, we're down nine (points) -- and we just come right back and go bang, bang, bang. It was like, 'We're alright.' We had a different body language about getting through mistakes. I felt good (about the team) before the game and it carried over into the game.

Norwich Bulletin: Is there any way to explain that, especially with the team coming off the five straight losses?

MT: I think they know they've been in every game with a chance to win and they wouldn't let them beat themselves last night. Somebody else had to be great to beat us. It would be simple to put it all one thing, but it's not. Like in the games you lose, it's not one thing.

* * *

Thibault added that the team went big the whole night against Indiana, with all five starters getting 30-plus minutes, but it will be a different story tonight against San Antonio, a quick team with good guards and one known for causing turnovers and creating steals. That means Jamie Carey should see more tonight off the bench, and, like in their game with Indiana, the Sun's ability to handle the ball effectively should play a huge role tonight. They had 15 turnovers on Friday, their best showing since the loss to Detroit that started the skid.

Players to watch for on San Antonio: Becky Hammon, the team's leader and explosive point guard; Erin Buescher, who leads the team in steals (1.82 per game) and is starting at small forward; and Sophia Young, who's coming off a five-point game against New York but is averaging 14.5 per game.

One final note: the Sun are 1-4 at home this year. Despite the struggles, they're still bringing in an average of 7,661 fans a game. Those in attendance should be clamoring to see a victory tonight.

One more final note: The last blog detailed how the Sun have had trouble shutting down a team's top player (posted on Friday). That night, they stymied Tamika Catchings, one of the league's best players, by holding her to a season-low nine points on 3-of-13 shooting.

Go figure.

Catchings still had 12 rebounds but unlike their past five games, the Sun didn't let an opposing star hurt them late. Instead, Katie Douglas (30 points) did that to the Fever, scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter.

OK, no more notes. Check the home page of around 8 p.m. for a halftime update.


Brittany said...

Thanks for the blog, just wanted to let you know that you have at least 1 reader. Is this your first year covering the Sun?

Matt Stout said...

Thanks for the comment. I actually got pretty excited to know someone is reading. Yes, this is my first year covering the team -- I took over above three games into the season. So please leave any suggestions you have. They are always welcomed.