Women's Hoops Blog
Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"
June 6, 2008 4:16 PM
Posted by Jayda Evans
The Storm practiced at KeyArena today, getting some work in on the zone defense they saw in stints on the road, losing to New York and Detroit in a back-to-back set. It was the homecoming of both PG Sue Bird (New York ) and Swin Cash, who played for the Shock the past six seasons. And both had mediocre games in their return.
Bird, who averaged 7.0 points on 31.1 percent shooting in two wins against the Liberty last summer (hitting a game-winner at Madison Square Garden), finished with 10 points, four assists, and three turnovers in the 77-63 loss. Cash had 10 points, missing a late three-pointer that could have made the game interesting, in her only return to Detroit this season. The Storm lost 77-67.
At practice, Cash said the Storm still needs an identity.
"It was kind of weird at first," said Cash of returning. "We need to cultivate an identity and have that every single night that we come out. We have offensive power, yes, on this team and that's going to get better as the season goes on. But I would like to see us become more of a solid defensive team every single night."
C Yolanda Griffith continued her plague with foul trouble on the road. She's successfully played with five fouls and still made big contributions twice this summer, but her being on the bench due to early fouls hurt on the road. Griffith is averaging 4.3 in 21.0 minutes.
"I think officials are really watching her," Storm coach Brian Agler said after practice. "She's been in the league for 12 years now. Other coaches complain about how she plays and they call the league offices and I don't think she gets a lot of the benefit of the doubt, in all honesty. At the same time, there's some things she can clean up to help herself. We'll talk about that."
Storm C Ashley Robinson did not participate in the entire practice due to a sore right Achilles. Storm rookie Kimberly Beck watched practiced due to an eye injury she began complaining about on the trip home Thursday. She had it examined on Friday and it's unknown whether it's contagious.
"Her eye was really bothering her," Agler said. "They think she has some kind of virus so they had to put some ointment in there and she was out of practice because of that."
Beck scored her first field gola as a pro, a second half three-pointer, against Detroit. Her first points were two made free throws in a win against Sacramento (May 20).
After all of the interviews were complete, I had to ask Bird about "The Movie," meaning "Sex and the City: The Movie" It actually ended up being a roundtable with Bird (SB), me (JE) and FSN announcer Cara Capuano (CC), who'll be doing the play-by-play on Saturday. We kicked Jen Muller out of the group because she hasn't seen the flick yet and didn't want to spoil it. So, let this be a spoiler alert for any blog readers, too.
SB: The critics killed it!
JE: I actually cried.
CC: I cried like three times.
SB: I was clapping (at funny parts).
JE: How bad did you crack up with Charlotte and the whole Mexico trip?
SB: I thought it was great. When I was reading the paper and it had the critics' response and the fans' response, the fans loved it. Everybody who saw it and who was a fan of the show all the way through, loved it. I was real disappointed with the critics, they don't know what they're talking about. People said it was too long...
JE: It could not be long enough.
CC: Seriously, it could not be long enough.
JE: Especially with the wedding dresses, did you like that part?
SB: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Every storyline I thought was great. I laughed. I was clapping along with the rest of the audience. I went to go see it with Adia [Barnes, a former teammate turned radio color analyst] and during it I was like, "Oh, my God, we have to remember that line." Then two minutes later, "Oh, my God!" Of course you walk out and you can't remember anything. The Mexi-coma was probably my favorite moment and when Samantha was like "Oh, you made a joke."
JE: So, give me a Charlotte, Miranda, Carrie, and Samantha on the team.
SB: Whoever I pick as Samantha is going to make it sound like they're...
CC: [Promiscuous] [We all laughed, but note that Samantha may be free sexually, but is more so assertive, career-driven, strong, and loyal to her friends]
SB: Let me think, it might be too hard. "Carrie" would have to be Shyra [Ely] for the clothes and what not. "Charlotte", the goody-goody...
SB: Yeah, I'm sure people are going to pick that, little do they know. Katie Gearlds would be better. "Miranda?" That's a tough one.
JE: The realist.
CC: Mother, just throwing that out there.
SB: Sheryl [Swoopes]? I don't know. But there's like eight "Samanthas" on our team, I'll leave you with that.