Turnovers are bound to happen for someone when the Seattle Storm and Tulsa Shock meet tonight at KeyArena.
So yes, taking care of the ball will be essential for both teams and, given their last game, it might be a bigger concern for the Shock who will have to contend with the Storm's defense.
So if we accept turnovers as a given, what else might determine a win or loss for the Storm?
Three keys for the Storm:
- Containing Tiffany Jackson: Forward Tiffany Jackson is having a rather outstanding season for the Shock, recording a double-double in four out of the last eight games. She leads the team in field goal percentage (46.7 percent), minutes per game (32.9), and rebounds per game (8.1). So with 6-foot-8 center Liz Cambage's getting inconsistent minutes over the last month as the team's leading scorer, Jackson is the player to focus on and stop from getting high percentage scoring opportunities.
Rebounding: A sub-theme of the past two losses for the Storm has been rebounding, where they've struggled a bit - all five of their first half rebounds against the Liberty came on just two possessions in the second quarter. The Shock are a poor shooting team at 38.8 percent, which means stopping them on the offensive boards - in addition to pressuring the guards and creating turnovers - can completely stifle their offense; they're not particularly adept at scoring from 3-point range as a team shooting 37.7 percent from there.
- Attack the basket: The Storm very easily fall into the bad habit of settling for long jumpers and the key to avoiding that - and perhaps turnovers - is to look for scoring opportunities from individual players going toward the basket, whether it be Swin Cash and Tanisha Wright on the drive or Camille Little and Ashley Robinson rolling to the basket. But standing around and waiting for something to open up otherwise has not been the Storm's strong point this season.