Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Storm Preparations Continue

Day two of the Storm's prep work in practice for the Phoenix Mercury focused more on working against the Mercury's junk defenses - a triangle-and-two and, notably, the box-and-one against Lauren Jackson I wrote about yesterday.

"We put somebody on Lauren to frustrate her today," explained Storm Head Coach Anne Donovan, "so hopefully she can get that frustration out in practice and not be so frustrated when she sees Diana (Taurasi) on Friday."

Storm color analyst and former player Adia Barnes has been part of the practice squad the last few days, and today - at least during the portion of practice open to the media - she was assigned the task of filling Taurasi's role in the Mercury's zone.

There was a brief moment of shock when we walked into the practice court and saw Sue Bird on the sidelines having her foot worked on, but it turned out to be precautionary. Bird has a fourth metatarsal contusion, which means she's got a bruised toe on her right foot. She sat out the end of practice, but the injury isn't a serious concern.

I was interested to hear Wendy Carpenter of The News Tribune use the same word I did yesterday - "loose" - to describe the Storm's attitude.

"I think we feel good about having enough time to rest, so nobody's overworked - and it's a mental and a physical rest - and yet when they've come here, they've come to work," responded Donovan. "I would say loose, because we know our opponent and we know what we need to do. We're in a good place. I guess that's how I'd say it."

Lastly, Izi Castro Marques delivered a perfect line one day late - I would have loved to use it in yesterday's story on what a good matchup this is from the perspective of fans and the media.

"It's a fun game," she said. "I think everybody likes to watch that game, everybody likes to play that game because it's a high-scoring game - the best offensive teams in the league. It's going to be a fun game, but we know we can't keep up running with them, so we've got to limit our turnovers and defend as much as we can because that's what they do: Shoot and run, shoot and run."

Also ... if you haven't checked out Taurasi's latest entry in her blog with Sue Bird, be sure to do so. Apparently, she doesn't talk much trash on the court. We'll have to double-check with LJ on that one.

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