Given the Seattle Storm's recent stretch of games, avoiding turnovers is so obvious a key to victory tonight on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. PST that it almost sounds silly to repeat it.
But with tonight's game being a road game against the New York Liberty, it can't be avoided as the major key to the game.
Three keys for the Storm:
- Prevent the Liberty from scoring points off turnovers: The Liberty and Storm are currently fourth (11.33) and fifth (10.62) place respectively in fast break points per game. What separates the two is that the Liberty are also lead the league in points off turnovers at 19.38 per game while their opponents average 16.6 per game, about the Storm's average. So, taking care of the ball is the easiest way to prevent the Liberty from scoring.
- Box out on the defensive end: Once in the halfcourt though, the Liberty are also second in the league in second chance points (13.62 per game). 6-foot-4 center Kia Vaughn leads the way for the Liberty with three offensive rebounds per game and multiple other players around the court are capable rebounders, but if recently acquired 6-foot-6 center Kara Braxton makes her debut tonight, the Liberty could be an even bigger challenge on the boards than normal.
- Remain aggressive and attack the basket: The upside of playing a team that plays defense as aggressively as the Liberty is that while turnovers might occur, fouls might also occur, as Ray Floriani of Swish Appeal described in his recent summary of the Liberty's solid defensive effort against the Chicago Sky. For the Storm, that means they have even more incentive to avoid their tendency to become a stagnant team that settles for outside jumpers and instead force the Liberty to defend them driving to the basket.