Before we get to recapping last night’s win over San Antonio, a national link. The incomparable Mechelle Voepel of ESPN.com uses the Storm’s win Sunday in Tulsa as a backdrop to discuss the team’s resilient nature.
The Storm had plenty of good excuses to lose this game. Bird was out. Jackson was under the weather. Seattle was on the road for a Sunday afternoon game two times zones away from a physically taxing victory against Indiana at home Friday night. And even though the Shock are in such bad shape now that the only thing they seem to be beating (they hope) is the staph infection that hit the team, Tulsa still provided enough of a challenge to topple Seattle.
If, that is, the Storm had the mindset that would have allowed it to happen. But Seattle doesn’t have that. Just the opposite.
“People are going to just see the score, and they’re not even going to realize how tough a game it was,” Bird said. “And people might look at our record and think we haven’t had any close games. But, aside from a few, almost every game we’ve had to work. We’ve often had to come back. That’s the resiliency of this team.”
Storm beats San Antonio again despite Bird’s absence – Jayda Evans, Seattle Times
Bird missed Tuesday’s matchup with an injured back and Seattle still defeated San Antonio 86-72 at KeyArena. Teammate Lauren Jackson simply teamed with Tanisha Wright to put on a show before 7,823 fans as Seattle won its ninth consecutive home game.
“I was a bit worried before the game without Sue, but Tanisha was unbelievable and I’m just so proud of her,” said Jackson, whose team has the fifth best start in the WNBA’s 14-year history.
Short-handed Storm beat Silver Stars 86-72 – Associated Press, seattlepi.com
“She wanted to play,” Agler said. “We want her to play but in reality there is a bigger picture to this. It’s probably the smartest thing not to over-do it right now with her.
“I think Sue’s goal is to play Saturday if you really sat down and talked with her.”
Weary Storm Defeat the Wearier Silver Stars in KeyArena 86-72 -Nate P., SB Nation Seattle
As a testament to the early season work the Storm have done, they are now tied for the fourth best start in WNBA history, tied with the 1999 Houston Comets and the 2002 Los Angeles Sparks both of which ended up winning the WNBA Finals. Nevertheless, Storm head coach Brian Agler continues to downplay his team’s performance.
The brand new SB Nation Seattle also lists Sue Bird among its top five of Seattle’s most popular athletes.
Two-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson is the heart of the Storm. Jackson is among the greatest players in WNBA history. Bird may not be better than Jackson, but she is the best point guard in the WNBA and an excellent face for the league. Bird is well spoken and engaging. She frequently wears the label of “ambassador” for women’s basketball and she wears it well. That, her hustle and her history of success mean her popularity and importance transcend her play. And that’s saying something.
LJ is a triple threat of sorts that puts other teams through fits. You can’t leave her open for the shot, because she won’t hesitate to take it. She’s currently second in the league in field goal attempts You can’t put her to the free-throw line, because she’ll likely knock both of them down, as evidenced by her .929 free throw percentage. And you sure just can’t expect to waltz up to her in the paint and get the open look, because she’ll either swat it away or make it near impossible for a player to get good positioning. So how do you beat Jackson? That wasn’t rhetorical. I’m serious. How?
Voice of the Storm Dick Fain interviewed Head Coach Brian Agler on KJR 950 AM this afternoon (.mp3).