Since she returned from hip surgery, the challenge for Lauren Jackson has not so much been during games so much as the next game. Because of the soreness that is to be expected as Jackson works back toward full strength, it takes her time to recover from the physical nature of game action.
That makes the playoff schedule problematic for Jackson. Monday’s Game 3 against the Phoenix Mercury (7:00 p.m., ESPN2, 1090 AM, TIX) will be the Storm’s third game in five days. Jackson played a back-to-back late in the regular season, but this will be her longest extended period playing a game every other day.
“It’s just a day-to-day thing,” said Storm Head Coach Brian Agler of Jackson’s availability. “It could change tomorrow. Right now, we anticipate her playing.”
Jackson and the rest of her Storm teammates took it easy Sunday after flying back from Phoenix. The team watched film and discussed adjustments, but merely shot free throws on the court.
One change that took place during Saturday’s Game 2 loss was Jackson moving inside over the course of the game. In the first half, five of her seven shot attempts came from beyond the arc. While Jackson made three of them as the Storm hit 13 triples as team, it left the Storm short on interior offense. She spent more time in the paint during the second half, attempting six of her eight free throws and a single three-pointer.
“She worked herself inside,” said Agler.
The result was a more balanced Storm offense that gave the Mercury a scare with a comeback effort in the fourth quarter. If Jackson’s hip can take it, expect to see more of her playing in the post tomorrow night.