After taking the weekend off, the Storm returned to the practice court Monday and had a very successful effort. During the scrimmage against the practice squad open to the media, the Storm earned a 39-23 victory with some hot shooting.
“If we play the way we practiced today, I don’t think we’re going to have a problem against Phoenix at all,” said Lauren Jackson afterwards. “We had a great session.”
LJ was in a jovial mood after practice, reacting with a grin to news that she’d won another Player of the Week – her record-setting fifth. As a result, I asked her if there was a looseness around the team, and Jackson adamantly disagreed.
“Definitely not,” she said. “I think there’s definitely a sense of urgency, but it’s a really good feeling. I’m glad that we’re here. It’s a new season for us and everything that has happened has now been tossed out the window. It feels good.”
I agree that “Loose” was in fact the wrong word. However, I do sense a calming confidence in the team going into the playoffs with a three-game winning streak and a 2-1 record against the Mercury. That’s not disrespectful to Phoenix whatsoever, but there’s been a vocalized agreement most of the season that game outcomes are not about what the opponent does, they’re about what the Storm does. When this team plays its game, it can beat anyone in the league.