My eyes popped at the headline on ESPN.com: “Monarchs’ Uprising.” Hmm, not the choice of words I’d use for a team that started the season 1-8. Of course the column is more tempered, acknowledging Sacramento winning its past two games after wading through an opening where PG Ticha Penicheiro (pictured right by WNBA) suffered a sprained thumb (in a loss at Seattle), C DeMya Walker is returning from knee injury and everyone is trying to mesh. Post Rebekkah Brunson is also returning from knee surgery, starting her first game in the win on Tuesday.
The Monarchs (3-8) will know tonight where they really stand and have the opportunity to show a national audience on ESPN2. Yet, like Seattle, Sacramento doesn’t play well when the bright lights are flicked on. Well, except for that WNBA title run in 2005. Otherwise the Monarchs are 2-4 against the Storm, specifically, in nationally televised games — a whopping 1-4 on ESPN2.
Add Sacramento’s current 1-6 road record and Seattle star Lauren Jackson’s ugly 1-of-11 shooting in her team’s win on Tuesday and Storm fans could be in for a treat with the Monarchs playing puppet.
But don’t count on it. Sacramento usually starts their season slow and picks up steam in time for the All-Star break. Its bench is better, outscoring the opponent’s in nine of the past 11 games, and the Monarchs should win one game in the series against the Storm (7-4). Seattle defeated Sacramento in a home-and-home series to open the season.
Seattle is undefeated at home this season, joining Chicago (5-0) as the only teams yet to lose on its home court. The Storm’s streak runs 14 regular-season games, dating back to June 2008.
As part of the WNBA’s “Green Week,” the Storm will wear their green road jerseys tonight. The first 3,000 fans will receive a night light and you can recycle new or used books by donating it to the Goodwill on KeyArena’s West Plaza, registering to win am autographed shirt.