Game: Seattle Storm (1-5) at San Antonio Silver Stars (2-4) When: 5 p.m. Saturday Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio Meeting: 1st TV: None
Losers of five of its first six games, the Storm must find a way around the absence of three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson as head coach Brian Agler searches for combinations that improve the team’s struggling offense.
Seattle matched its worst start since its inaugural 2000 season after the league-leading Minnesota Lynx pounded them 79-55 Wednesday in Minneapolis. Seattle is 0-4 on the road in 2012 and facing another talented young team Saturday in the third game of its five-game road trip.Sue Bird leads the Storm with 11.8 ppg but is just one of two players scoring in double figures. Wednesday Bird struggled mightily after a solid performance in LA. Seattle’s point guard made just two of nine shots, finishing with just five points.
Minnesota outscored Seattle 25-8 in the first quarter and the Storm couldn’t cut the deficit to under seven the rest of the way. To avoid another blowout and erase Seattle’s road woes, Bird will have to limit Becky Hammon, who leads the Stars in scoring with 15.5 points per game on 53 percent shooting.
The Storm also must find a way to improve its inside presence to prevent falling further in the Western Conference standings before the WNBA takes a month-long hiatus in July for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Center Ann Wauters is averaging 10.3 ppg while pacing the club with nearly six rebounds a contest. At power forward, Camille Little has shown flashes of the potential that helped her lead University of North Carolina to a pair of NCAA Final Fours by averaging nine points and five rebounds per game.
- Shekinna Stricklen will try to break out of her shooting slump. The University of Tennessee alum is shooting just 31 percent from the field after being selected with the No. 2 pick in the draft.
- The Storm have won 10 of their past 11 meetings with the Silver Stars.
- Wauters helped lead the Silver Stars to a WNBA Championship in 2009 before taking a two-year hiatus.
- Seattle won four of five meetings with the Silver Stars in 2011.
- Storm forward Victoria Dunlap is out with a concussion.
San Antonio Stats/Notes:
- The Silver Stars lost Friday to the Atlanta Dream 60-57 in San Antonio to fall two games below .500. In 2011, San Antonio started the season 7-1.
- Sophia Young leads San Antonio’s frontcourt with 14.8 ppg. The veteran also averages 8 rpg.
- At six-foot-one, 240 pounds, San Antonio power forward Danielle Adams will give Little and Wauters all they can handle down low. Adams is averaging nearly 12 points and four rebounds per game coming off the bench.
Coaches: Brian Agler is in his fifth season with the Storm. Dan Hughes is in his seventh season with the Silver Stars.
Coming Up: The Storm continue its season-long road swing against the Chicago Sky on Wednesday. The Silver will take a week off before hosting the LA Sparks at home June 16.
SEATTLE STORM 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
|5/18/12||vs. Los Angeles||L||66-72||0-1|
|5/22/12||at Los Angeles||L||74-61||0-2|
|6/3/12||at Los Angeles||L||65-67||1-4|
|6/9/12||at San Antonio||—||—||—|
|6/22/12||vs. San Antonio||—||—||—|
|6/30/12||at New York||—||—||—|
|7/7/12||at Los Angeles||—||—||—|
|8/18/12||vs. Los Angeles||—||—||—|
|8/26/12||vs. New York||—||—||—|
|9/14/12||at San Antonio||—||—||—|
|9/21/12||vs. San Antonio||—||—||—|