The WNBA Playoffs tip off tonight at KeyArena, which means tons of great coverage. Let’s get to it.
If you read just one thing today, make it Meri-Jo Borzilleri’s look at Storm fans and the KeyArena experience for ESPNW.com.
The team has built one of the most passionate fan bases in the WNBA, one that is credited by players with helping them win two league titles.
“This place is magical,” Storm forward Camille Little said of KeyArena.
The Storm, 15-2 at home this season and undefeated there last year (21-0, including playoffs), begin defense of their 2010 WNBA championship Thursday against Phoenix.
The rivalry between the Mercury and the Storm has favored the Storm lately, notes Percy Allen of the Seattle Times.
Seattle (2010) and Phoenix (2007 and ‘09) have combined to win three of the past four WNBA titles.
“They’ve been an awesome team for the last five, six years,” Cash said. “We just really enjoy playing them, and I’m sure they say the same about us.”
In the Everett Herald, Aaron Lommers looks at the Storm’s shooting guards, Katie Smith and Tanisha Wright.
“The identity of our team, I think really, T is also that,” Bird said. “She kind of breeds that. The way she plays the game offensively and defensively, particularly defensively, she really sets the tone for us.”
Lommers also explains his picks for the WNBA awards, including Ashley Robinson for Most Improved.
Storm coach Brian Agler predicted on the opening night of the season that Robinson would win the most-improved award and she gave him no reason to back down from that forecast. Her numbers might not be that impressive, but anyone who watched the Storm last season knows Robinson made huge strides. There was not a player in the league who’s improvement startled me as much as Robinson’s.
The Associated Press also considers the familiarity between the two opponents.
Sue Bird isn’t afraid of leaking any strategic secrets the Seattle Storm might employ when opening defense of its WNBA title tonight at KeyArena against the Phoenix Mercury.
As the All-Star point guard sees it, there are simply no secrets remaining to leak in a rivalry that has become as fierce as any in the league.
On the other side, the Arizona Republic asks how the Mercury can solve the Storm.
Taurasi: “We still have to try to control the game with our pace. When you’re on the road, it’s always a little bit harder for some reason. There are a little bit more whistles, especially there (at Key Arena). I think we’ve proven we can play fast in the playoffs, fast in the finals, fast in a game 5 of a championship series. That’s the only way we know how to play.
“What’s so tough is they switch everything. So they take away the interior pretty well. We have to find a way to get easy baskets in transition.”
PhoenixMercury.com has video, including Penny Taylor after yesterday’s practice.