After struggling to hit shots for the majority of the season, one can hope that the Seattle Storm are finally turning a corner after Sunday's win against the Washington Mystics.
As notable as their 47.4 percent shooting was, more notable was how balanced their scoring was and that's something they'll need more of as they move forward without Lauren Jackson, as described by WNBA.com's Frank Della Femina.
WNBA.com: Weekend Recap: Storm Getting By Without Lauren Jackson
Three-point shooting aside, if you glance over Seattle's leading scorers from the last three games you'll see a stronger team effort taking shape. Or, if anything, the notion that any player can go off for 20 points or so on any given night.
Forward Swin Cash earned WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week honors the way last week with a a season-high 25 points in their 75-70 loss at Connecticut on July 1. She followed that with 19 points, seven boards and two assists to lead Seattle in a 73-63 victory at Washington.
But in addition to just scoring, it's the way that Cash got her points that was most important to a team that's been struggling to knock down shots - she went 12-for-12 against the Sun and 16-for-18 over the two games for 88.88 percent shooting. Continuing to attack the basket and getting high percentage shots for themselves will be the key for this team to continue their success, particularly against the Fever today.
Three keys for the Seattle Storm:
- Continuing to attack the basket and find high percentage shots: Shooting 26.1 percent from the 3-point line this season (11th), the Storm can beat themselves if they start settling for long jumpers and 3-point shots - the Fever are third in the WNBA in 3-point defense meaning this is not likely to be the game when the Storm find their shooting rhythm.
Post defense: Without Jackson in the post, defending the post was a chore against Eastern Conference Player of the Week Tina Charles in Connecticut. 6-foot-5 Fever center Jessica Davenport is not Charles, but in Fever wins she's been shooting 62.3 percent with great positioning and touch around the basket. Since the Storm held her to seven points on 2-for-7 shooting on June 17, she has scored 18 points or more three times in the last five games, including a career-high 25 in their last game against the Phoenix Mercury. Seattle has been much better at defending the paint than Phoenix, but it's certainly a concern for the Storm.
- Capitalizing on second chance scoring opportunities: Neither team has been an exceptional rebounding team this season, but Indiana allows their opponents 13.10 second chance points per game (10th in the WNBA). Both winning the rebounding battle and taking advantage of those high percentage opportunities will be key to the Storm's success.