Bad pun...forgive me .
Every time I have gotten on a plane since free agency began the Storm announce the signing of a former champion and all-star. I am looking with great intensity at how many more trips the team can afford me to take.
I just haven't been able to post on these transactions and various news points as fast as the organization has been generating them. I will see if I can do any better...but I have a new job (while being required to continue with my old one), am preparing to rennovate my home and trying to finish up my Master Scuba training all at the same time. Whining in the blog seems to help, at least it reduces the amount of time I whine to my wife. The biggest trouble is trying to plan my summer vacation travel and figure out where I live while my house is unavailable all while making sure I don't miss a single game this summer. It simply feels like there is something special in the air and I need to be there for every minute.
A few weeks ago I said here that I wanted the Storm to pursue a free agent like Sheryl Swoopes or Swin Cash. When they traded for Cash, I said that it looked like Cash was going to be signed and that I was happy though I would have been happier with Swoopes. I guess my level of satisfaction can now be described as borderline ecstatic. Signing a veteran rebounder/defensive post and a defensive, three point shooting, backup point will send me over the edge into fits of giddy laughter.
I have visions of a stifling half court defense that locks up the post and forces a single perimeter player to make everything happen for the opposing offense. Swoopes, Bird and Cash are all great in the passing lanes but now we have length in the backcourt combined with experience and one-on-one defensive skill....something the Storm have never had. In addition, all three perimeter players can run leading to fast break potential.
On offense the options have increased as well. LJ can score from anywhere on the court, allowing offensive sets built on where we want her to be. Guard mismatches let her slide out to the wing to allow the guards to post up smaller players. Swoopes and Cash have midrange games and are savvy at sliding to open spots when Lauren is doubled. They can run backcuts when Burse posts up on the low block and LJ takes the high block leading to easy layups. Bird, Swoopes and Gearlds can hit open threes if the defense collapses.
The bench is the current concern. Robinson can back up either Burse or Jackson, but a quality insurance is needed, injuries will happen. Both Lauren and Janell have sat out games every season other than 2005. The Storm still need a backup point guard, I do not believe that Tanisha Wright works well enough at that position to carry the Storm through the playoffs like Tully Bevilaqua did in 2004 when Sue Bird went down for a game and a half. The draft is unlikely to produce any options for the Storm having given up their #8 pick for the #4 pick and the #4 pick for Swin Cash. Training camp allows greater flexibility under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement so the Storm will be able to invite and keep more players in camp this year and remain under the salary cap. This will be vital in determining the new bench.
The Storm started that process yesterday with a training camp contract offer to last year's reserve player Shyra Ely. She has the advantage of knowing SOME of the personnel, but it is a new system and a new coach, she has to prove herself all over again.
The Storm also announced a return to KKNW 1150 AM radio with Adia Barnes along with KJR's Dick Fein filling in for Alan Horton who to the job in Minnesota.
Finally, Karen Bryant was officially named CEO of the Storm.
I am sure there will me more news to come.