Former Detroit Bill Laimbeer keeps in touch with his old team, according to assistant coach Cheryl Reeve, sending “sarcastic e-mails” like complimenting the Shock on looking like a championship team.
Enter chuckle here. Due to injuries, coaching change and the WNBA not waiting for Detroit to get it together, the team is a miserable 3-7 — bottom of the Western Conference. The Shock would have to win about 60 percent of their games to pull out of the muck, which probably won’t happen.
But the team does return star Deanna Nolan to the starting lineup tonight. Nolan didn’t play July 11 at Connecticut due to a right hamstring pull. Reeve, who is also the team’s GM, said Nolan’s minutes would be limited.
For the Storm, it’s their first outing with an All-Star lineup in forwards Swin Cash and Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird. With those type of accolades, you wouldn’t expect the Storm to be 8-5, but the key to their success is defense. In the games lost, their defense or interest or both was pathetic.
Coach Brian Agler had the team watch the entire loss to Chicago on Sunday, going over the defensive miscues. The word “switches” was the first written on the dry-erase board in the locker room, meaning working on not letting a shooter like Nolan pop out on a pick-and-roll to bank on in Seattle’s face ala Kristi Toliver.
We’ll see if the team is focused on defense tonight. So, let’s get to it.
Here are your starting lineups:
F Katie Smith
F Taj McWilliams
C Cheryl Ford
G Anna DeForge
G Deanna Nolan
F Swin Cash
F Lauren Jackson
C Camille Little
G Sue Bird
G Tanisha Wright
Tonight’s officials are Clarke Stevens, Penny Davis, and Shelley Nakasone.