What has been a quiet week as the Storm took time off with five days between games is about to heat up. First, we could get some clarity on the playoff picture tonight. If the Phoenix Mercury beat the Tulsa Shock at home, we will know that the Storm and the Mercury will be the second and third seeds and play each other in the first round of the playoffs, leaving only which team would have home court advantage to be determined on Friday. Phoenix is still unsure about the availability tonight of All-Star forward Penny Taylor.
Penny Taylor had missed two of the past three games because of a back strain. She played in the Mercury’s last game vs. Los Angeles on Saturday but aggravated the injury early in the third quarter and did not return. Taylor practiced on Wednesday and said she is continuing to receive treatment and could be ready to play when the Mercury host the Tulsa Shock at US Airways Center. “If everything goes well and if I take good care of it from here until (tonight),” Taylor said. “Depending on warming up before the game . . . it’s feeling really good and getting better every day.”
The awards race is heating up going into the final weekend of the regular season. On Slamonline.com, Ben York makes the case for Sue Bird as the WNBA’s MVP.
With Lauren Jackson hurt for over half the season, did anyone expect the Seattle Storm to potentially win 20 games? Or, finish second place in a hugely competitive Western Conference?
Bird does so much more for the Storm than simply facilitate their offense. She’s someone the team looks to in clutch situations, someone who generates offense both for herself and her teammates, and a player that they can rally around. Intangibles like these (including a unified belief in Bird as the Storm’s leader) goes an incredibly long way towards a team’s success.
Congrats are in order for Seattle Times Storm beat writer Jayda Evans, who will be taking the next couple of weeks off to get married.
Washington men’s basketball reporter Percy Allen will pick up the beat next week when Seattle (17-13) returns home for its final games against Phoenix (Sept. 9) and Chicago (Sept. 11).
If the Storm advances, I’ll be back for the Western Conference finals and definitely the start of the new Pac-12 and WCC women’s basketball seasons. But be sure to check back for the latest Storm news from Percy.