Detroit has all the pieces which are causing trouble for the Storm. They have strong post play and rebounding with long, athletic guards and a solid bench. This leaves little room for error, and I believe that the Storm are still too rough to go without error.
KEYS TO THE GAME
- Offensive rebounding is always critical against Detroit. The Shock play solid defense and there will not be a lot of open shots. Second chance points are key.
- LJ needs to play down low more, but Cheryl Ford will make that a tough proposition. Ford is not as strong away from the basket, and Yo is a better rebounder than Braxton, so the Storm may need LJ to work that elbow and draw Ford out of the paint.
- Swin needs to have a solid game, but Pierson knows her well and may present difficulties.
- The offense needs to come from Bird, Swoopes, Cash, Wright and Gearlds. Minnesota is the only team to beat Detroit, and they had huge games from Augustus and their three solid rookies, Wiggins, Anosike and Houston. Wiggins and Houston had as many shot opportunities as Augustus. That is a product of Detroit's defense, so the perimeter players better be ready to knock down the shots that do come their way.
- Stop Nolan. That is a tough order, but either Swoopes or Cash needs to make life more difficult for her. In the Lynx game Nolan was held to 4 points on 2-8 shooting and no free throws.
- Don't let Detroit have second shot opportunities, they are just too good for that. They had 23 offensive rebounds against Indiana in their last game but were limited to 9 in their loss to Minnesota. The games where they are held under 10 offensive boards were either close or a loss. When they had double digit offensive rebounds it was a 10+ victory.
- Braxton and Ford are not big...use size to frustrate them and then run them into the ground with the smaller lineups.