The Storm (11-14) had a week to prepare for a key home-and-home set against Tulsa (6-20). But Seattle coach Brian Agler said most of the work was on team chemistry.
Despite most of the players outside of rookies Shekinna Stricklen and Alysha Clark having played together in some capacity before, the veterans haven’t hit a groove for the Storm. MVP Lauren Jackson recently joined the team, C Ann Wauters (Achilles) and F Tina Thompson (knee) suffered injuries while PG Sue Bird dealt with WNBA and Olympic duties. It’s left G Tanisha Wright and F Camille Little to carry the load and Bird to go into scoring mode, averaging a team-high 13.0 points.
“We need to figure it out quick,” Bird said after a 75-68 loss to Phoenix last week. “There are only nine games until the end of the season and that’s not a lot of time.”
If Seattle were to win against Tulsa in both meetings and Phoenix (6-20) loses at Connecticut (20-7) on Friday, the Storm would clinch a WNBA-record ninth consecutive playoff berth. Yet, it would mean little if the chemistry remains off center. Not something expected when Agler pieced together another star-studded roster last spring.
“It’s not a typical season for what we’ve been through in the past,” said Wright, whose 7-6 record at KeyArena nearly matches the combined losses at home (seven) since Agler was hired in 2008.