Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Storm home page gives us two articles this week of interest to fans.

The first points to an article in Tacoma News Tribune from last Saturday (this road trip has me WAY behind) that says LJ's injury status has improved and that she may play in December based on her discussions with Anne Donnovan. That conflicts somewhat with previously published reports including the article on the Australian Olympic site I pointed to yesterday. Perhaps LJ isn't ready to make an announcement in Australia. I will cling desperately to this Anne Donnonvan leak in the hopes that perhaps this is a sign of LJ feeling better about her playing in the W next summer. Unlike the October 5th Canberra times article, an article at the Australian sports injury site postulates that it is the lower paying Australian league that might suffer from Lauren's need to cut back on year round play in favor of the higher paying WNBA and Euroupe. The Storm site article also continues the trend of hinting the WNBA season will be contracted by two weeks at each end next season to adjust for international schedules. It would be nice if the WNBA which just formally make the announcement...Kevin Pelton also gives more international updates. Where is Sue Bird, by the way...wasn't she going to play for Dynamo this winter?

The second article is the year in review for backup point Francesca Zara. Zara has continued to put up solid numbers in Euroleague play, but struggled most of last season with the Storm. Zara offered the worst +/- ratings of the Storm players completing a full season last year. She had a Roland Rating of -5.03 meaning that the Storm scored 5 points less their opponents per 40 minutes of playing time with Zara in the lineup. This may be attributed to the pairings Zara faced given that most of her floor time was earned while Sue Bird rested. She had most of her best +/- outings towards the end of the season as she meshed better with the team, and 7 of her 12 positive games were on the road. All but four of her best games were against playoff teams. She had 4 double digit games: at Indiana (+22), at New York (+18) in the early season when Sue went down with her broken nose also at Los Angeles (+19) and at Connecticut (+12) at the end of the season when Betty was out of the lineup. Looking over these numbers briefly, has now made me curious as to whether I can spot any trends and opened a whole new door of exploration that I will have to make time dig deeper into.

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