With less than 48 hours remaining until the Seattle Storm opens the 2009 season Saturday in Sacramento (1:00 p.m., Alternative Talk 1150 AM), the Storm is beginning to close in on some important decisions. The first of those came after Thursday’s practice, when the Storm waived guard A’Quonesia Franklin and wing Aja Parham to get down to its 11-player roster (which will actually be 10 for the opener because center Suzy Batkovic-Brown will be arriving from Australia Sunday).
Storm Head Coach Brian Agler also said after the practice that he’s got a likely starting lineup in mind to face the Monarchs.
“We’ll probably go with Lauren (Jackson) and Camille (Little) and Sue (Bird), T (Tanisha Wright) and Shannon (Johnson) starting the game,” said Agler.
Center Janell Burse will likely come off the bench after experiencing a subluxation of her left shoulder that limited her in practice yesterday. Burse was back on the court today.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to her since practice was over to see how she feels and how she responds,” said Agler. “She’s going to play, I know that. She was in practice the whole day. We went into practice thinking it might be in and out – she was pretty much in the whole time.”
Burse felt good about her practice effort. She wore a sleeve on her left shoulder, something she has not done in the past because she hates the sleeve, which slightly limits the mobility of her shoulder.
“Before, I never wore it even when it was more serious,” Burse explained. “Now I’m trying it because I really want to be out there and hopefully not reinjure it. When you’re out there playing and you’re ‘in the zone,’ I guess, you don’t think about it.”
Forward Swin Cash was also out on the floor.
“I envision her playing this weekend,” said Agler, though her minutes will likely be limited. “I think it will all depend on her. I’m sure we will (limit her). She has practiced sparingly.”
How much Cash can play may impact the rest of the rotation and how Agler uses his other three active reserves – Katie Gearlds, Ashley Robinson and rookie Ashley Walker. He anticipates the Storm’s first-round pick being in the rotation, though finding time for her could be difficult.
“It’s not easy to get everybody in here who we feel like can help us,” Agler explained. “We’re still sort of evaluating how things are going to go. I think she’s going to be in the rotation. How much? I don’t know.”
As other teams have been cutting down to their final rosters, experienced players have been hitting the waiver wires. In the short term, Agler has no plans to bring anyone in. He wants to see his team at full strength, with Batkovic-Brown in the mix, before seriously considering adding a player who has come available.
“I like a lot of them,” said Agler, “but to make that decision … I don’t think we can really do a whole lot before we fully understand what Suzy’s going to bring.”