Posted by: Ethan Johnson | September 16, 2010

WNBA: It Ain’t Over

Game Three of the 2010 WNBA Finals tips off later tonight (much later), but before that happens I wanted to go on the record and note that whatever one might opine about Game Two, you can’t lay the blame for the Atlanta loss at the feet of Angel McCoughtry.

Sadly, a fair number of people did, apparently, leading McCoughtry to fire back via Twitter,

Stop tweeting me if u aint got nothing encouraging to say and I don’t need everybody trying to coach me thanks

I think the pivotal moment that inspired the finger-pointing at McCoughtry came in the closing moments of the 4th quarter. McCoughtry heaved up a three-point shot that would have kept Atlanta in striking distance of Seattle and have ultimately led Atlanta to take the game into overtime, or squeak by in regulation. Instead, the shot clanked off of the rim and I told the TV, “that’s it, Atlanta’s gonna lose.” Yes, there was time left on the clock but that was the make or break shot to save the game and it missed.

BUT.

You don’t fault Angel McCoughtry for that or losing the game. Seattle beat Atlanta, which rostered 11 players, last I checked. It’s unfortunate that some people decided to take it out on McCoughtry via Twitter, but that’s the down side of an open medium. Close games mean someone isn’t hitting their shots, and tying the lead in points scored for your team doesn’t qualify for “goat of the game”. I’d sooner tweet-bomb Kelly Miller or Shalee Lehning, for all of the good it would do. A close game against Seattle means that they weren’t hitting all of their shots either, but still managed to hold the lead. Had Atlanta won the game, Sue Bird could have received the grief (10 points), or Le’Coe Willingham (4 points), or Svetlana Abrosimova (goose egg).

To be honest, I’m very conflicted about which team I want to win, because there are plenty of reasons to support either side, and ESPN2 will tell you all about them on a loop tonight. Kathy Betty. The Seattle ownership group. Worst team to finalists (Atlanta). Lauren Jackson back from injuries. Microsoft. Coca-Cola.

I can say with all honesty that I’ll be happy for either team that wins the championship. There’s lots to like about both teams and I’m confident that whoever comes up short this year is going to be hungrier than ever next year, which is good news for us fans.

What I am wanting to see tonight is a strong turnout from the Atlanta fans. Seattle had their two days of rally towel glory, so what’s Atlanta going to come back with? Right now I am not seeing this going 5 games but if home court advantage has a lick of merit, the Atlanta fans have a big part to play in tonight’s contest.

I have my ticket (I call it my “tithe” since I won’t be at the game in person) so if you see an empty seat, that’s mine. But you can use it.

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