Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Sue's Surgery, Storm Win and More

- After the game, Sue Bird talked to the media about her decision to undergo surgery. Bird explained that she might have been willing to fight through the injury, but when her doctor told her the injury could get worse, that was the deciding factor.

I thought Bird's most telling comment came when she said, "It may look normal, but it doesn't feel normal." Under the surface of apparently strong play, Bird is clearly dragging a little bit. She shared for the first time that the injury has also been very painful off the court, acting up at night.

So Bird will have the surgery done by Dr. Michael Joyce, the UConn team physician who performed the previous two surgeries Bird has had on her left knee (to repair a torn ACL during her freshman year of college and a microfracture procedure after her second WNBA season) and knows her knee better than anyone. Dr. Joyce knows Bird's knee so well, in fact, that he predicted after the microfracture that Bird would need a clean-up surgery in four years.

The hope is that Bird can recover quickly enough to return after the All-Star break, though it's possible she'll miss more than the four games the Storm has between now and the break. Bird is thinking bigger picture. Her eye is toward being at full strength in time for the playoffs.

- With three blowout wins in the last four games, the Storm's reserves have gotten plenty of playing time. I think the action has been useful from a confidence perspective. We're also seeing Wendy Palmer look more and more comfortable all the time, as she confirmed in her postgame interview with Alan Horton. I love watching Palmer play when she's using her veteran tricks to beat younger opponents. The sum is that the Storm's bench is playing as well as it has in some time.

- New Sparks owners Kathy Goodman and Carla Christofferson were in the KeyArena stands tonight. I had read they like to sit in amongst the crowd and saw the L.A. PR representative taking box scores up into the stands after the first quarter, but couldn't pick out Goodman and Christofferson. I did spot them after the game, not exactly thrilled with the result.

- Thanks to everybody who helped put Bird and Lauren Jackson into the All-Star starting lineup and helped make Bird the leading vote getter in the entire league.

As for Janell Burse, fingers crossed on her chances of making the Western Conference roster as a reserve.


ljunstoppable said...

Here's hoping Sue's recovers well after surgery and is re-energized for the rest of the season. I'm happy the Storm are on a mini-streak, and I certainly hope Burse gets an All-Star selection. I read Matt Wurst's Midseason awards for MVP, and although Tamika Catchings edges LJ simply because of winning record, I still think LJ has been the more consistent and productive player. And I hope the rest of the Storm can continue to produce, not only so that they can increase the gap between wins and losses, but so that LJ will get her 2nd MVP, deservingly so. I say, if the Storm go on a 5 game win streak, putting them 7 wins above their losses, then I think it helps them to make a statement to the rest of the league as well as make LJ's case for MVP stronger. And hopefully, with that win streak, a confidence gained to turn them into a championship attack mode. I ahve to be honest, and the way the season has played out so far for them is just messy. But I believe the Storm still have it to win the championship, it's just a matter of it all coming together at the right time. The chemistry to me looks fine, it's just the decision-making sometimes. Last night's game showed how everyone can contribute. Let's hope this carries on the road as well. Go Storm!

Anonymous said...

and let's not just GIVE Catchings the MVP because she "hasn't had it yet!" Lauren Jackson is the MVP of this league and if not LJ..then look no futher than PENNY TAYLOR! I'd put CATCHINGS third..and only because she hasn't won it yet! I'd like to see CATCH run up and down in the WEST for a year or so. Somehow I think she would do OK, but she wouldn't have LJ numbers!!