Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird suggested that with their loss to the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday, the Storm could relax and get back to focusing on the things that earned them a 22-3 record and home court throughout the Western Conference to begin with.
Storm-Shock Preview | BlueRidgeNow.com
Seattle (22-3) had its 13-game winning streak snapped with a 72-71 loss at Minnesota on Sunday. While the Storm have already clinched the top spot in the Western Conference, they were trying to move closer to breaking the league record for the best start set by the 1998 Houston Comets, who opened 25-2 and finished 27-3.
After taking an early lead Sunday, Seattle trailed by 11 with 4:23 remaining in the fourth quarter and couldn't complete a late rally. Sue Bird scored 16 points while Jackson, second in the league with 21.5 points per game, finished with a season-low 12 after struggling with a sprained left thumb she suffered earlier.
That might be unfortunate for the the 4-22 Tulsa Shock.
STORM: Insider Preview - Storm at Tulsa
While these newcomers have shown their talent, what Tulsa is badly missing is a star player to create offense on a regular basis. The Storm has three players who average more points than Robinson, and the team can count on them to score on a nightly basis. The Shock lacks such a consistent threat and a player who can go one-on-one with the shot clock running down. That explains why Tulsa's is the league's worst offensive team on a per-possession basis.
At the other end of the floor, Richardson's desire to put pressure on the ball has translated into open looks beyond the arc for teams that can reverse the basketball and get it to the weak side. Nobody is better at this than Phoenix, which explains why the Mercury twice set new WNBA scoring records in fast-paced games against the Shock. The Storm has done something similar, making 19 three-pointers in two matchups with Tulsa, including 10 from reserve Svetlana Abrosimova.
Although Storm center Lauren Jackson left the game early with a strained right thumb, she is expected to play tonight.
To follow the game, please see the game thread at SBN's Swish Appeal.