Vacant downtown streets are only filling up with people headed to the BOK Center for the Sunday’s game. Tried to do some mingling among the natives in the stifling heat and a lot of randomly selected do know about the new Shock.
Tulsa is a town of about 400,000 people, many who remember coach Nolan Richardson from his days leading the university’s men’s team. The women are struggling and most give a sigh when talking about them, “they’ll get it turned around” is the closer.
“It’s going to be an element of surprise,” said Storm F Swin Cash of facing the Shock. She played with the Detroit version of the team, winning two championships. “I played with Kara Braxton and she’s always right there on the edge of being able to dominate. It’s really up to her taking that initiative on a day-to-day basis. And Amber Holt, the style she plays in moving around and being very active, you never know. When you have a team like that and everyone feels there’s not a star, anyone on any night could step up.”
In exhibition play, the Shock forced the Storm into 30 turnovers in a 10-point win. “We were reminded of that,” Storm PG Sue Bird said. Yet, both rosters are vastly different from that May game. The Shock is the worst at 3-10, ridding a seven-game losing streak .Seattle is the top team in the WNBA at 12-2, but had an hour to prepare for the game due to all-day travel on Saturday.
Half the team, including the starters and coach Brian Agler, arrived at 11:30 p.m. due to missed connections and other mishaps.
“They seem to be refreshed and ready to go,” said Agler of this morning’s meeting at the hotel before departing for the game. “There were storms in Denver, so we had to circle for a while, then we had to re-fuel in Colorado Springs, then we flew back to Denver and then we missed our connection. Lauren (Jackson) wasn’t feeling very good on the way in and we had some bad turbulence, so Le’coe (Willingham) and Lauren were not dealing with it very well.”
Jackson and Cash, who’s already suffering from a sinus infection, said they’re fine while Willingham said her issues are with flying in general.
“I’m just very afraid and the older I get, the worse I get,” she said. “Leaving out of Denver it was so bumpy and shaky and turning and dropping — I started crying. I’m just a baby when it comes to flying, but once we land, the smile is back on my face.”
Another flight awaits Monday, but first the game against the Shock. Let’s kick this off with your starting lineups:
F Swin Cash
F Lauren Jackson
C Camille Little
G Sue Bird
G Tanisha Wright
F Scholanda Robinson
F Chante Black
C Kara Braxton
G Alexis Hornbuckle
G Kiesha Brown