Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Game 6 vs. Silver Stars

Top Performers

NameFloor %eFG %TS %Points+/-
Tanisha Wright73%70%53%9+30
Lauren Jackson69%63%87%27+31
Ashley Robinson59%50%41%2-1
Camille Little57%57%51%8+22
Swin Cash58%58%58%14+33

NameFloor %eFG %TS %Points+/-
Ruth Riley65%33%58%6
Chamique Holdsclaw58%67%62%8
Roneeka Hodges55%50%86%12

Top Lineups

Bird-Wright-Cash-Little-Jackson: +26
Bird-Wright-Abrosimova-Willingham-Robinson: +6

It was nice to see a good old-fashioned, Storm rout. There was not a single minute of this game where the outcome was in doubt. The Storm came out of the gate with solid, aggressive, physical defense and were able to score from anywhere on the floor. By the middle of the third quarter fans in the Stormfans.org chat room were agonizing over when the bench would get a chance to play.

Coach Agler, however, took the opportunity to experiment with on the floor chemistry until the final 5:49 of the game when he began to empty the bench. He has a seven player rotation that looks to be his focus for the season with Abrosimova and Willingham providing relief for Swin Cash, Tanisha Wright, Camille Little and Lauren Jackson. Wright will generally get a short rest and then return to relieve Sue Bird. Robinson will be next off the bench with Vesela, Lacey and Bishop seeing time only based on injury or games decided well before the final buzzer.

The truly nice thing about this road trip, despite the loss to Chicago, is that both games saw less than 30 minutes for the majority of the starters. This keeps them fresh and allows the bench to build some confidence. In this case the bench out performed the starters in Chicago, sparking a near comeback in the fourth quarter and then played well in San Antonio finishing the game -3 in the fourth quarter.

Tonight's game vs. Atlanta will be a true test. Atlanta has played some fierce defense and they have no fear of the outlet pass for layups. On top of that, they are rebounding remarkably well and demonstrating solid post play at both ends of the court.

The keys to tonight's game could well be:

  1. Transition Defense: Don't let Atlanta get out on the break for layups. Sue Bird excels at transition defense, but all 5 players on the court will need to focus on getting back. Their half court offense is decent, but can be controlled by Seattle's post players and and the trio of Cash, Wright and Abrosimova.
  2. Rebounding: Fight for position, box out and make sure that Atlanta does not get a huge edge on the boards. If they rebound they will get their running game going, and their posts are too strong to allow second and third chances on offense.
  3. Perimeter Play: Seattle struggled against Chicago because their perimeter shooting dried up and Chicago has excellent post defenders. They will need Bird, Wright and Abrosimova on target with Cash, Little and Jackson ready to hit open threes.

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