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!"
July 3, 2008 8:25 AM
Posted by Jayda Evans
It's a dreary day in Seattle -- and that's not just because of the thunderstorms blanketing the Puget Sound with rain and lightning. The Sonics are leaving, stripping the state of half of its pro hoops teams. The Sonics and Storm are the only teams from major professional leagues to have won a championship for Seattle.
It's an odd day, too, because tonight marks a complete parallel to the Sonics' games against the New York Knicks.
In the winter, the game features two Washingtonians in Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson for the Knicks against native Sonics guard Luke Ridnour. Now in the summer, the Storm features Kristen O'Neill (Edmonds) against the state's two representatives on the Liberty in Cathrine Kraayeveld (Kirkland) and Leilani Mitchell (Kennewick).
Of course the Liberty is more entertaining on the court than the Knicks, who seemed to only create drama on the sideline or court rooms. The women will try for their second consecutive win tonight after defeating the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles on Tuesday. The Liberty is a young, feisty group that's core has played together for three years. Expect lots of pressing defense and for the Storm to need steady ball-handling from its perimeter players to keep its KeyArena losses at one.
While the Storm (9-7) has picked up defensively, holding Washington to 49 points on Sunday, the Liberty (8-7) has averaged 88.6 in its past five games, making it a formidable matchup. Guard Shameka Christon is one to watch, averaging 18.4 points (including 50 percent shooting from three-point range) in her past five games.