After a travel day between Los Angeles and Seattle yesterday, the Storm took the floor Thursday at The Furtado Center with a singular focus: getting better. In the wake of a 76-62 loss at Los Angeles that dropped the Storm to 8-7, there is surely room for improvement – particularly in terms of the defensive end of the floor and rebounding.
“We brought some things to their attention and worked on them, rebounding being one,” Head Coach Brian Agler said after practice. “We’ve got hopefully a couple more days to try to get better. Our focus right now is just getting better. We’ve got to get better in some areas and also prepare for the next game.
“I’m not thinking two weeks, three weeks down the road. I’m just really trying to get better in this window we have here and play well on Sunday.”
During a spirited session, Agler could be heard exhorting his players to apply more pressure defensively and for everyone to make rebounding a priority.
“We watched a lot of film,” he said. “We spent 45 minutes really reviewing some of the things we talked about after the Connecticut game. Watched a lot of our film, broke a lot of our defense down. I don’t think it’s just all our defense – we’ve got some improvements to make offensively too, but when you only have X amount of minutes, you ought to focus on one and get one shored up as much as possible.”
The Storm was able to take a positive from Tuesday’s game in terms of the performance of the second unit. Agler started the fourth quarter with five reserves together on the floor, and they were able to slice Los Angeles’ lead from 14 points down to nine. Later, Agler put the second unit back in the game after the starters were unable to make further progress.
“I guess I just look at this way,” Agler said of going back to the reserves. “If we weren’t going to do the things we were capable of doing, then I felt we should take advantage of the opportunity to let some of our second group play.”
The reserves combined for 21 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. Katie Gearlds was able to get her confidence going from the perimeter, knocking down a pair of three-pointers.
“I think it was good for Katie,” said Agler. “Kelly Santos had some bright spots, Ashley (Robinson) had some bright spots, so I thought it was really good for them.”
The Storm will have two more days of practice, tomorrow and Saturday, before returning to action by hosting the Washington Mystics (6:00 p.m., 1150 AM KKNW, TIX).