Monday, August 6, 2007

Life Without Burse and Jackson

You've probably already seen that the Storm will be without starters Janell Burse and Lauren Jackson during the team's two-game road trip to Minnesota and Detroit. We're sending our best wishes out to Lauren and her family.

So what now for the Storm? Anne Donovan spoke last week when surgery on Burse's wrist was set for Aug. 14 about the possibility of adding a 12th player, and that now seems likely to provide some depth in the post.

Presumably, Wendy Palmer and Ashley Robinson will start up front on this trip, and they both have played well lately off the bench. Robinson stepped up in the second half of Saturday's win over Phoenix, grabbing eight rebounds in 20 minutes. Palmer got the lion's share of the minutes Friday when Jackson sustained a groin injury at Sacramento and finished with eight points and six boards.

Palmer and Robinson can replace a lot of what Burse and Jackson provide on defense and on the glass. Obviously, neither of them can match Jackson's scoring prowess and the Storm could use big games from Sue Bird and Betty Lennox in these games.

Another thing Donovan mentioned last week was that now would show why it was important to have a backup forward in Shyra Ely who could play in the post. Ely played some minutes at the four against the Mercury and should be able to match up with Kristen Mann in Minnesota and Swin Cash in Detroit. If Ely is playing the four, that might mean some more minutes on the perimeter for Katie Gearlds, hoping to build off Saturday's 13-point effort.

A couple other notes:
- Several people have been looking for a chance to see Saturday's feature on Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson from NBA Access with Ahmad Rashad. If you visit that homepage, you can see a brief preview. Past episodes have been archived under the "Season 2 Episodes" tab. The Bird/Jackson clip should be posted soon.

-'s Adam Hirshfield has a Q&A with Betty Lennox that is very well worth reading. I've been covering Lennox for four years and I still learned plenty from her answers about her path to this point in her WNBA career. Most notably, I was unaware the hip injury that cost Lennox nearly her entire second season in Minnesota was so serious.

I broke my hip my second year with Minnesota (2001), and I thought that
everything I had worked so hard for was coming to an end way too early for me.
The doctors told me that I wouldn't be able to run or walk again without a limp,
so I figured that my career was over. But I had surgery and I fought hard coming
back, and I ended up making my return way early because I was so determined to

- Led by season-ticket holder Jill Gallagher, members have been raising money for Simone Edwards' Simone4Children organization. Gallagher recently traveled to Jamaica to see the kids who are benefiting from these donations and help hand out school supplies. She chronicled the experience in several posts on the StormFans message boards.

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