For those of you that haven't followed closely, Seattle Storm coach Brian Agler has been reluctant to say directly that he would rest starters even in early season blowout situations.
However, with last night's blowout of the Tulsa Shock, wins and losses are essentially meaningless from this point on and Agler is finally looking to get his starters some rest.
Statistical summary of a historic rout: Storm put their foot on the gas...for 20 minutes - Swish Appeal
An opportunity for rest and development Although the Storm are still focused on refining their game as they move toward the playoffs, handling business last night and moving closer to locking up home court advantage throughout the playoffs means the Storm can finally start redistributing some of the minutes to rest their star players and avoid risking injury.
"This is going to be a good trip for the Janas and the Ashleys and the Abbys and the Allisons because they're going to get extended minutes in the second half," said Agler. "What I hope doesn't suffer is some of our starters that could be getting some awards at the end of the year that people look at this stretch of games and punish them for that. But we also want to get everybody to the starting gate of the playoffs and one way to keep them fresh is cut their minutes down. But we want them to stay sharp too so I don't know how much we'll just set people completely out."
Although his strategy isn't yet set in stone, he's thinking about playing the first half as a normal game and then adjust some minutes in the second half. With wins and losses having so little bearing on their post-season, they can also focus on the development of their younger players.
"The two goals are to stay sharp and to be fresh going into the playoffs," said Agler. "And I can't tell you we'll play exactly like that when we play at home -- I think there's a pride here in playing at home. So we may not do that once we get back here. But this is a good 8 or 9 days where we can hopefully help ourselves in those areas."
For Seattle fans, the best part of this is that home games might not be less competitive as the Storm look to continue taking pride in protecting their undefeated (15-0) home record.
The Storm's next home game is on August 17th at 7pm PST against the Minnesota Lynx, but more importantly there are playoff tickets available for the first round. Personally, I'd recommend getting one of those while they're available because Storm games have a tendency to sell out.