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 4, 2008 2:16 PM
Posted by Jayda Evans
The Sonics remained prepared for backlash or a media onslaught on Friday, hiring two unmarked police cars to sit in the training facility parking lot. The offices where Seattle's team used to be were dark for the holiday and most are headed to Orlando for the team's summer league play. That left the Storm on their practice court to grind away in preparation for Saturday's game against Minnesota.
Not practicing was C Ashley Robinson, who rested atop a trainer's table adjacent to the court with her right leg in a massive green boot-like contraption that's made to help distribute fluids from swelling in her ankle throughout her entire body. Robinson rolled her right ankle on someone's foot following a made put back with 6:27 remaining in the third quarter of Thursday's win against New York. The bucket made the score 58-42.
Robinson walked gingerly with one crutch and sounded real doubtful when speaking about her chances to play against the Lynx. She's averaging just 8.2 minutes, but the Storm could use depth inside against a Minnesota team that features hot rookie post Nicky Anosike and center Nicole Ohlde.
"It's just an ankle sprain, but it hurts," said Robinson, who added that she rarely suffers such injuries. "I doubt it [playing] the way it feels now."
Expect F Lauren Jackson to not make Robinson's absence a factor.
The Australian has been dealing with a water leak in her new condo, which caused maintenance to tear up her ceiling and floors, which placed the team's leading scorer in a funky mood to be taken out on opponents. Private about her "space," Jackson was told the work wouldn't be completed until after she returns from the Olympics at the end of August. She departs on July 17 to join her national team, marking the July 12 home matchup against Los Angeles as her final for the Storm.
"I'm furious," she said of the problem. "It's a beautiful place and I've bought lots of property in my time, but never had a problem like this. I'm pissed. I haven't had a smile in the last two days."
Jackson scored a season-high 33 points against the Liberty and averaged 21.3 in three games against Minnesota last season. The Storm split the four-game regular season series at two games apiece, Jackson missing one due to injury.
Working in the Storm's favor for their final game in this three-game homestand is an odd streak involving Los Angeles. Seattle's past two opponents in Washington and New York played LA prior to traveling to Seattle and defeated the Sparks at Staples Center. But Seattle promptly crushed both, holding Washington to 49 points.
The Lynx (9-8), which slumped after starting the season at 6-1, defeated the Sparks 88-70 on Thursday behind star Seimone Augustus' 29 points and 19 from rookie Candice Wiggins off the bench. If the Storm (10-7) can manage another home win, they'll leapfrog the Sparks (10-6) for second in Western Conference standings -- a position that gives the owner home court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
"The West is kind of crazy right now," said Bird, who had a season-high 23 points against the Liberty. "It's too early to even judge. Hopefully we're the team that can kind of separate ourselves coming up. But I have a feeling it's going to come down to literally the last day of the season."
For the Storm, that last day is in Los Angeles on Sept. 14.