The latest shootaround with Lauren Jackson, awards votes and more in the news today.
Shootaround with Storm center Lauren Jackson – Don Shelton, Seattle Times
Q: What’s the coolest Aussie animal?
LJ: My dog, William. He’s a pit bull-staffi cross. He’s a beautiful, beautiful boy. And I miss him. He’s an athlete. He can jump. He’s very magical. Houdini we call him. He goes to kennels when my mom and dad have to go on trips, but he gets over their three-meter fences. He’ll come to their front door and sit there and go, “Ha! Ha! I tricked you! I’m here!”
Former Iowa State star Alison Lacey reacts to flood – Jayda Evans, seattletimes.com Women’s Hoops Blog
“I talked to Coach (Bill) Fennelly and he said it was weird to see the basketball court floating,” said Lacey of Hilton Coliseum. “It was weird to see the whole university shut down. But it’s funny because I remember 10 years it flooded and it seemed just as bad. We learned about it in class. To see it happen again, no one thought it would.”
Seattle’s Jackson a Step Above the Rest, Deserves MVP – Michelle Smith, Fanhouse.com
But my vote at the end of the week will go to Jackson. Seattle is 25-6. They have lost only twice in 19 conference games. They are 15-0 at home. And Jackson is the player that makes them go.
Jackson has been resting down the stretch while Catchings and Pondexter have been powering their teams into the playoffs. But her work was done. Seattle clinched its playoff position weeks ago. And the Storm know too well from experience (Jackson has missed the last two playoff runs) that they go nowhere in the postseason without the Aussie on the floor.
(Smith also picks Brian Agler as her Coach of the Year.)
MVP race down to three candidates – Mechelle Voepel, ESPN.com
In the end, I guess the good thing is that we really can’t be wrong no matter how we rank these MVP candidates. A very solid case could be made for all three. Which is exactly why I keep going around in circles about it.
Admittedly, Jackson has been No. 1 on my mental MVP ballot for quite a while now. If her coach is resting her to conclude the regular season for the good of the team’s title hopes, that shouldn’t have any negative impact on how her “body of work” is judged. While I never finalize my vote that is sent to the league until the last day of the regular season, I would vote for Jackson if I had to submit my ballot now.
Now I just have another week to agonize over whether that’s the right call.
Jackson tops the WNBA.com Race to the MVP rankings for the 13th consecutive week.
LJ sat out Friday night’s game against the Connecticut Sun with what was referred to as back spasms, just another example of Coach Brian Agler taking care of his starters before playoff time. Before Agler could surround LJ in bubble wrap and slap a note on her forehead that read “Do not open until playoffs,” she was right back in the lineup again Sunday night against the Mystics, logging 25 minutes, 14 points and two boards. It’s just as much a concern for rust as it is an interest in rest.
Lastly, check out NBA TV’s feature on Jackson’s season and her MVP chances.