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Seattle Storm At Phoenix Mercury: Three Keys To Winning On The Road

The Seattle Storm actually did quite a few things right in their last road trip during which they went 1-3.

Center Ashley Robinson stepped into the starting lineup and played some of the best basketball of her career. Veteran guard Katie Smith found her shooting touch, at least when she was playing off the bench.

As they get set to play the Mercury tonight, part of the key will be bringing all of their individual improvements together into one winning performance against a quality opponent on the road.

But the Mercury are a formidable opponent and here are three areas of focus for the Storm.

Three keys for the Seattle Storm:

  • Limit turnovers to limit Mercury transition: Nobody wants to allow the Mercury to start racing up and down the floor with the ball. But the Storm have been turnover prone at times and it's been a particularly bad problem in losses. The Mercury are one of the top teams in the league at scoring off of turnovers and can make the Storm pay if they get careless with the ball tonight. That ball control begins with Wright remaining aggressive in attacking the basket and taking some of the scoring burden off of Sue Bird.
  • Rebounding: These two teams rebound at about the same rate overall, but it's probably more important for the Storm to win that battle tonight as the Mercury will certainly look for transition points off rebounds. But Phoenix has also been one of the top teams in the Western Conference in second chance points. So keeping the Mercury off of the offensive boards will be essential.
  • Continue attacking the basket: The Mercury won't play the their Rover zone defense as often as they used to, but as the Mercury do switch up defensive schemes, the Storm cannot fall into the habit of settling for jumpers instead of patiently getting high percentage shots. Cash has typically been that player to stay aggressive, but Wright has arguably been their best player over the last four and her scoring aggression has been vital.

For more on the trends in the Storm's previous four games, visit an overview at Swish Appeal. Follow along with the game on the game thread.