Storm coach Brian Agler is doing his part to keep the newspaper industry alive. He read over the front-page stories in the Indianapolis Star and knows what to expect from the winless Indiana (0-2). It’s the Fever’s worst start since 2001.
Players said they needed to show more trust in one another, but former Storm C Yolanda Griffith told the paper today that they’re “not going to put pressure on themselves. We’re not going to say we’re in a bad situation. We’re going to stay positive.”
Still, Agler knows what that means.
“When they start talking in the papers about embarrassed about how they played, you know what the theme is,” Agler said of Indiana losing in double-overtime to Atlanta and at home to Minnesota where Coach Lin Dunn wondered if her team “was still on the plane.”
“I’m confident we’ll see a surge right off the start,” Agler said. “Hopefully we can withstand that.”
The Storm, which swept the Fever last season, arrived at 10 p.m. on Monday and had a lively shoot-around this morning. Agler is going to start the same lineup, meaning G Shannon Johnson is good after traveling with her sprained left knee.
She didn’t participate in the traditional half-court shot for $50 with teammates, however. Johnson had Sue Bird shoot for her, and the PG made the shot. G Tanisha Wright also hit and Johnson opted to split the pot at first.
“I went to school,” she joked of her intelligence in Bird’s chances of banking again. But the Olympian did. Wright said she wasn’t playing anymore, so I think it’s a split.
While Johnson will start, Agler said F Swin Cash will see more minutes. And C Suzy Batkovic-Brown could play if needed, but since she still doesn’t know the system, arriving on Sunday, rookie Ashley Walker and vet Ashley Robinson would see minutes first.
For Indiana, F Tamika Catchings (right thigh) and Katie Douglas (right wrist) are healthy and ready to start. The game will be televised on ESPN2 at 4 p.m., PST.