So, instead, I offer video. (If a photo is worth a thousand words, video is surely worth many multiples of that, no?) Click here to see the final play via WNBA.com and leave your take – if you’re coherent enough yet to come up with one – in the comments.
UPDATE: Check out the video put together by our David Albright.
UPDATE: OK, it’s the following morning, and with the help of Q’s account at the excellent new women’s hoops blog Swish Appeal, I think I’m ready to coherently discuss “The Play,” which from henceforth on must be referred to in caps with quotation marks.
I actually was thinking about the possibility of a steal on the inbounds because of the decision to put Ashley Robinson on the ball, for which we can apparently credit Tanisha Wright. It reminded me of the way Trevor Ariza forced a couple of turnovers for the L.A. Lakers during the NBA Playoffs with his pressure on the ball, and Robinson is even taller and longer (relatively).
As it turned out, watching the replay, Robinson did not actually deflect the ball on “The Play,” but her presence certainly rattled inbound passer Noelle Quinn and apparently encouraged the Storm’s defenders to overplay. From my vantage point with the Storm’s radio crew at the top of Section 114, it was tough to see where the ball was on the sidelines. I thought the Storm might get it out of bounds until Wright secured the basketball.
Then Little streaked ahead, but let’s remember this was a very difficult shot, especially given the circumstances. She composed herself with an upfake, and put it in almost with two hands. Then things got chaotic. I think I may have ripped off my headset. I was aware enough to tell Dick Fain (entering the David Locke zone in terms of decibels) that the Sparks had no timeouts, which turned out to be critical. There was still plenty of time on the clock, so the Sparks might have been able to get a good look at the basket.
Then, hang-on time. Lisa Leslie got a pretty decent look off the inbounds, all things considered, but it was way long. Considering the way second chances hurt the Storm all night long, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one thinking about a putback. Instead, time ran out and the Storm will live to play another day.
You’ll want to check out the game thread at StormFans, especially for some great shots of L.A.’s reaction to “The Play.”