- After the game, Sue Bird talked to the media about her decision to undergo surgery. Bird explained that she might have been willing to fight through the injury, but when her doctor told her the injury could get worse, that was the deciding factor.
I thought Bird’s most telling comment came when she said, “It may look normal, but it doesn’t feel normal.” Under the surface of apparently strong play, Bird is clearly dragging a little bit. She shared for the first time that the injury has also been very painful off the court, acting up at night.
So Bird will have the surgery done by Dr. Michael Joyce, the UConn team physician who performed the previous two surgeries Bird has had on her left knee (to repair a torn ACL during her freshman year of college and a microfracture procedure after her second WNBA season) and knows her knee better than anyone. Dr. Joyce knows Bird’s knee so well, in fact, that he predicted after the microfracture that Bird would need a clean-up surgery in four years.
The hope is that Bird can recover quickly enough to return after the All-Star break, though it’s possible she’ll miss more than the four games the Storm has between now and the break. Bird is thinking bigger picture. Her eye is toward being at full strength in time for the playoffs.
- With three blowout wins in the last four games, the Storm’s reserves have gotten plenty of playing time. I think the action has been useful from a confidence perspective. We’re also seeing Wendy Palmer look more and more comfortable all the time, as she confirmed in her postgame interview with Alan Horton. I love watching Palmer play when she’s using her veteran tricks to beat younger opponents. The sum is that the Storm’s bench is playing as well as it has in some time.
- New Sparks owners Kathy Goodman and Carla Christofferson were in the KeyArena stands tonight. I had read they like to sit in amongst the crowd and saw the L.A. PR representative taking box scores up into the stands after the first quarter, but couldn’t pick out Goodman and Christofferson. I did spot them after the game, not exactly thrilled with the result.
- Thanks to everybody who helped put Bird and Lauren Jackson into the All-Star starting lineup and helped make Bird the leading vote getter in the entire league.
As for Janell Burse, fingers crossed on her chances of making the Western Conference roster as a reserve.