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July 25, 2009 at 12:23 PM

All-Star Game thread: West vs. East

HIGH SCORING: I would have liked to see some defense, but that’s because I’m from Detroit, where defense is a trademark. But it was good for the WNBA to show it can score to quiet naysayers. This is the highest-scoring All-Star game since 2005 when the West beat the East 122-99. West won today 130-118 with the highlight being Fowles’ dunk (on a second attempt) with 14.9 remaining. Bird had a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists while Cash was named MVP with a record 22 points, six rebounds, and four assists. The voting was casted before Bird’s 10th assist, so I couldn’t change it. Cash is crying. Good times.
BRIDY?: Should also add that Bird has 13 points, nine assists and five rebounds. She is definitely getting consideration. In fact, I may change my vote.
WILD WEST: With a three-pointer by injury-replacement reserve Nicole Powell (Sacramento), it looks like the West is going to win the All-Star game again. Cash still a fav for MVP with 18 points, four boards, and four assists. Powell also has 18 and Houston with 16, but theirs came late and they don’t have the well-rounded stats — just scoring. Houston does have six boards, one assist. Cash checking back in, maybe she’ll add to stats to get the trophy outright. West leads 110-102 with 4:15 remaining.
JACKSON OUT: Jackson is on the bench chilling, playing seven minutes in the game. She doesn’t look like she’s going to check back in, still tending to her strained left Achilles tendon. She was 3-of-3 from the field for nine points and the West leads 99-93 headed into the final quarter.
TWO GRIPES: Bird and Catchings are the ONLY All-Star shirts being sold. Way to promote all of your stars WNBA. And the league had a press conference with Auriemma at the end of halftime, which spilled into the third quarter. All of the media attended, which meant the league went uncovered for six minutes of their showcase. Of course during that time the West built a little lead, but is now up 90-89 with 1:13 remaining.
RichGirl.jpgBUSY BREAK: RichGirl (two of which are pictured right) is performing now and players, including Jackson and Bird, are chilling on the court to watch. After this they will be honored for their Olympic achievements, then Rebecca Lobo is going to be announced as part of the class for the 2010 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma, who’s the new Olympic coach, will speak to media.
WHEW!: That half took about 45-minutes. Nice for reporters. And it’s high-scoring — finally — which is nice for fans. Teams shooting over 45 percent with the West leading 63-60. Cash leads all scorers with 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Early vote for MVP, which would be a Storm first.
CASHING IN: In her return to the All-Star scene, Cash is looking supreme. She’s 6 of 9 from the field for 12 points. The game is still tight with her last bucket helping the West pull back ahead 45-44 with 5:30 remaining. There’s a timeout, but it’s more Bird mugging for the camera than strategy talk.
SHORT SHORTS: There may not be a replacement for Leslie’s prowess at center, but Houston is taking the reigns for the Sparks star on-court style. Houston rolls the elastic trim of her shorts at least three times to make them shorter. Leslie just orders them X-small.
KISS OFF: Connecticut doing that kiss-cam thing. Why don’t they ever show lesbians or gays? Instead it’s just a bunch of “older” fans.
BOUNCE BACK: Taurasi was crushed by media, including me, for her DUI in interviews Friday, but it doesn’t matter to the crowd. She received a massive applause when she checked in for Jackson. She’s just 1 of 3 from the field, though. Would have expected the shooting to be better overall. East, with the help of the reserves, leads 27-25 at end of the first quarter. Top scorer is Erika De Sousa, who has six points and two boards.
SPOTTED: Saw former Storm G Sonja Henning in the stands. She works for Nike, so mot surprising to see her here. West leads 15-12 with the East shooting 31.3 percent.
HOUSTON SHAKE: League had players stand in a military-esque line for intros, which limited creativity. Surprised? Don’t be. This is the WNBA, after all. Taurasi received the biggest applause and Hammon got the heroics going with a reverse layin. Houston did a little boogie in a pregame West huddle. West leads 5-0 with 9:06 remaining in the opening quarter.
Did my part in begging for more entertainment value for you by asking the players if they’ll dance during pre-game intros ala Shaq and the NBA. Chicago C Sylvia Fowles said she might bring out the stanky leg, but Washington G Alana Beard said you might have to look for the West to do more dancing.
“They seem to have a lot more personality than us,” said Beard, who had a funny moment when she forgot her jersey top during the skills competition, having to run back to the locker room to dress. “I know I’m not a dancer. I’m not going to embarrass myself out there, I do that enough in front of my teammates. I can’t put it on national television.”
Storm F Swin Cash begged to differ when it came to personalities, however.
“We have more entertainers that are willing to do it out there,” Cash said. “They have entertainers, but they’re not going to do it out there. They’re more in the closet, in the locker room. I did say Sylvia [Fowles] and Charde [Houston] should have a dance-off.”
The East did say they were aiming to win, coming to play in the opening quarter. West All-Star Tina Thompson (Los Angeles) said that’s not going to happen, this probably being her last game.
Thompson said she’s being geeky about the experience, taking pictures and collecting mementos for the first time. Thompson will start in place of C Lisa Leslie, who missed the experience due to a right knee sprain. Leslie announced at season’s end that she’s retiring.
“She will be missed considerably,” WNBA president Donna Orender said. “I don’t think there is an athlete on the court today or in this league or in young youth leagues all around this country that doesn’t owe a debt of gratitude to Lisa Leslie or don’t look up to her as an iconic figure. I think she’ll be truly missed.”
With that, let’s get to it with your All-Star starters:
WEST
F Swin Cash
F Tina Thompson
C Lauren Jackson
G Sue Bird
G Diana Taurasi
EAST
F Tamika Catchings
F candice Dupree
C Sylvia Fowles
G Katie Douglas
G Alana Beard
Today’s officials are Roy Gullbeyan, Felicia Grinter, and Jeff Smith.

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