Photo by Craig Bennett/112575 Media.
The Seattle Storm face the San Antonio Silver Stars on the road to complete a regular season series they've already won. The game will be broadcast at 5 p.m. PST on NBA TV. and online at WNBA LiveAccess. Click here for more on the Western Conference playoff race. For more on the Storm, visit our Seattle Storm section. For more on the WNBA in general, visit SB Nation's women's basketball site Swish Appeal.
But in the Storm's last three consecutive games decided by two possessions or less, Jackson has averaged 28 minutes per game. And after giving the Storm 20 points in nearly 29 minutes just last night in a win against the Tulsa Shock, Agler is considering giving Jackson a rest when they play their final road game of the regular season tonight against the San Antonio Silver Stars.
"We probably won't play her tomorrow just from the standpoint of all these games mean something to us for playoff seeding but trying to push her on a back-to-back when we've got two home games coming up might be a risk," Agler told Jessica Lantz of SB Nation's Swish Appeal. "I'm going to talk with her and see how she feels and we probably won't make that decision until tomorrow game time just to see how she responds."
Jackson has been playing well thus far in her return to action, but still not playing at the level she played last year for which she received the 2010 WNBA MVP award and led the franchise to their second championship. With the playoffs approaching on September 15, he's understandably being cautious with his handling of his star player.
"She's worked hard this year to get back," said Agler. "She had her surgery and from surgery date to playing it was seven weeks, which is the quickest anyone has come back from that. We practice her a little bit but we're sort of saving most of her energy for games."
If Jackson was to miss a game, tonight's game against the San Antonio Silver Stars makes the most sense of any: in addition to playing their next two games at home, the Storm face the Phoenix Mercury next in a game with the regular season series on the line.
In contrast, the Storm have already won their regular season series with the Silver Stars by virtue of beating them three times at KeyArena. In their one previous meeting in San Antonio, the Storm lost by only three points without Jackson in a closely contested game that came down to the last minute.
Yet after a brutal stretch of losing 10 of 12 games, most of which came without All-Star rookie forward Danielle Adams, the Silver Stars have won two in a row and are playing for playoff positioning themselves. They are currently only two games ahead of the fifth place Los Angeles Sparks, who are in action against the Mercury today.
With more to play for than the Storm and Jackson possibly out, the SIlver Stars might pull off a win today, but it could be best for the Storm in the long-run.