Going into a game without a player like center Lauren Jackson is much different than losing her during the game.
The team has a well-defined plan of attack and the opponents have the advantage of scouting the team under those circumstances.
But the Seattle Storm responded, as we've come to expect, building a 35-25 halftime lead on the Minnesota Lynx tonight at KeyArena, with Le'coe Willingham starting in place of Jackson.
And they didn't just respond, but did so with one of their better defensive performances of the season in the first quarter.
The Storm held the Lynx to 13.3% shooting in the first quarter and zero assists to mount a 21-8 lead with the Lynx looking completely out of sync and star forward Rebekkah Brunson getting into early foul trouble. The Lynx recovered in the second quarter due to improved rebounding and forcing the Storm into turnovers on nearly 30 percent of their possessions.
Willingham filled in admirably for Jackson with eight points and five rebounds, about the same production Jackson had been giving the team this season. Camille Little continued her solid play this season with a team-high 10 points and three rebounds.
Seimone Augustus led the Lynx with nine points while rookie Maya Moore had none, which you can't expect to continue.