Alright, you’ve seen the release announcing the Storm’s schedule and you’ve checked out our breakdown of the season’s 10 biggest games. Still want a little more? Here’s some additional analysis and observations.
First off, I’m not sure if we’ve mentioned it on the site, but the season is moving back a bit in 2009. The regular season will tip off the first weekend of June and play will run through the middle of September. Expect this kind of schedule to be the norm, at least through 2012, when the Olympics will be an obstacle. When the WNBA has pushed the schedule back, primarily because of past Olympics, it has been successful.
The upside at the front end is obvious. Teams should have virtually their entire roster throughout training camp, which will help build continuity and should create better play in the early part of the season. It also gives players a bit of a break instead of forcing many of them to go directly from championship series overseas to the grind of the WNBA season.
- Here’s the Storm’s month-by-month breakdown:
Month H A TotJune 3 6 9July 6 3 9August 7 4 11Sept. 1 4 5
At least in terms of home and road games, the schedule is soft in the middle but challenging at both the beginning and the end. The Storm will look to make up a lot of ground in July and August. After playing at Phoenix on July 1, 13 of the team’s next 19 games will be in the friendly confines of KeyArena. It will be important to build up some margin for error going into the month of September.
- The Storm has just one back-to-back all year, and it comes during the first two days of the season as part of a home-and-home series with Sacramento. Presumably fatigue shouldn’t be a big factor there, especially since both teams have the same schedule.
- With the Houston Comets suspending operations, the Western Conference is at 6 teams for the first time in the Storm’s existence (while the league has had 13 teams off and on, the smaller conference had always been the East). As a result, the Storm will play all five other West foes four times apiece, a change from last year when each West team played four teams three times and two teams four times.
- There are no real long road trips on the schedule, with a trio of three-gamers the longest of the season. Those are split up, with one in June, one in August and the last in September. The Storm will have a pair of extended four-game homestands, the first in mid-July and the other at the end of August. The team leaves Seattle just once (for the relatively short trip to Sacramento) between July 1 and July 28.