Nobody would have told you that tonight's game between the New York Liberty and Seattle Storm would be pretty and met exactly those expectations.
Storm point guard Sue Bird's 4-for-8 shooting - including 4-for-5 3point shooting - helped the Storm overcome 11 first half turnovers to head into the lockerroom only down 32-29 to the equally defensive-minded Liberty at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
The Storm started out in typical fashion with four turnovers in the first three minutes but, to their credit, only committed seven in the final 17 minutes of the first half. Given their recent performances, that's an encouraging sign.
Nevertheless, the Liberty have played typically stifling defense around the paint, giving up all five of the Storm's offensive rebounds on two late-half possessions in which the home team rewarded their guests for their effort by blocking their second chance scoring attempts repeatedly. Those points would have been welcomed by the Storm, who are currently shooting 4-for-17 without the production of Bird and backcourt partner Tanisha Wright, who has eight points on 4-for-7 shooting.
The Liberty haven't exactly been shooting a lot better with dynamic guard Cappie Pondexter scoring 11 of their 32 points, but they are more balanced inside and outside with forward Plenette Pierson complementing her with seven points and a game-high six rebounds.
For the second game in a row, the Storm are feeling the absence of star center Lauren Jackson in the post and will have to figure out how to battle more effectively on the interior to win the game.