Game: Seattle Storm (1-7) at Tulsa Shock (0-8) When: 5 p.m. Friday Where: Bank of Oklahoma Center, Tulsa, Okla. Meeting: Second TV: None
If losing builds character, the Seattle Storm and Tulsa Shock might forego their 2013 seasons to launch peacekeeping missions to the Middle East.
The two worst teams in the WNBA face off Friday night in Tulsa when Seattle finishes its disastrous five-game, 12-day road trip against the winless Shock.
Riding a five-game losing skid, the Storm will try to replicate the three competitive quarters it played in Wednesday’s 74-58 loss to the Chicago Sky, then extend it one more quarter against the team that has provided the Storm with its only win. The Western Conference bottom feeder was crushed 76-58 at Key Arena June 1.
A stranger to such struggles during his first five seasons in Seattle, Storm head coach Brian Agler sounded optimistic after his club scored just eight points in the fourth quarter in Wednesday’s loss.
“There’s no panic right now,” he said. “We are making progress and we just need to keep heading in the right direction.”
The Storm will need to improve an offense that ranks near the bottom of the league. On Wednesday, 37-year-old Tina Thompson came off the bench to lead Seattle with 13 points. Sue Bird tops the team’s modest output, averaging 10.5 points per game. She is just one of two Seattle players averaging in double figures.
Center Ann Wauters, whose inside presence has kept many Storm games competitive, said Wednesday it’s only a matter of time before a locker room filled with talent translates its skills onto the court.
“Consistency, offense and defense and finding each other is what we have to look for,” she said. “Just playing together and knowing what my teammate is going to do on defense and offense. We just have to play together better.”
- Bird dished a season-high 10 assists Wednesday.
- Rookie Shekinna Stricklen continued the inconsistent start to her WNBA career, taking only two shots and going scoreless Wednesday.
- Thompson is shooting 46 percent from beyond the three-point in line in eight games off the bench.
- The Storm is off to its worst start in franchise history.
Tulsa Shock Stats/Notes
- Temeka Johnson leads the Shock with 13.8 points per game. She is also averaging a team high five assists a contest.
- Formerly a championship caliber team in Detroit, the Shock moved to Tulsa in 2010. Since moving to Clay Bennett country, the Shock have yet to post a winning season, going 6-28 and in 2010 and an embarrassing 3-31 in 2011.
- The Shock won the WNBA Finals in 2003 and 2006 while in Detroit.
Coming Up: The Storm return to Key Arena Sunday to take on the undefeated Minnesota Lynx for the third time this season, the first of three in a row at home
Coaches: Brian Agler is in his fifth season with the Storm. Gary Kloppenburg, son of former Sonics assistant Bob Kloppenburg, is in his first season with Tulsa.
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||L||67-80||1-6|
|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||—||—||—|