Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shootaround Update

LOS ANGELES - Hello from the STAPLES Center, where we're less than eight hours away from Game 1 of the Storm's first-round playoff series with the Los Angeles Sparks (7:30 p.m., NBA TV, FSN delayed at 11:00 p.m., 1150 AM KKNW). Everything is in place, including the WNBA Playoffs logos, as the Storm goes through its shootaround.

Before that started, Storm Head Coach Brian Agler chatted with the media, reporting there is nothing new with the condition of forward Swin Cash.

"Same status as yesterday," said Agler. "I know you can't say day-to-day anymore because we're on the day, but hour-by-hour."

The team is also still "up in the air" as far as a starting lineup.

After the Storm practiced yesterday, Agler had a chance to watch the first two playoff series kick off, including his former Silver Stars squad going into ARCO Arena to win Game 1 of their series with the Monarchs.

"I think San Antonio played very well," said Agler. "I think Sacramento played great defense in the second half to get themselves back in the game. I think they really competed - they did that all year long. That's why they got in the playoffs, because they play as hard as anyone in the league. San Antonio's just very, very solid in team defense and then they put a lot of people on the floor who can score and play well together."

- While we were talking to Coach Agler, Sue Bird was taping an interview with KOMO 1000 AM's Matt Pitman (aka the Storm's PA announcer). You'll be able to hear that interview in the 3:00 p.m. hour on KOMO. (UPDATE: Pitman says to tune in at 3:45 p.m., while you can hear the interview in its entirety online.)

- Lauren Jackson was preparing to jump on an exercise bike while her teammates go through shootaround. Jackson continues to rehabilitate her right ankle.

- This is a battle of time-related slogans. The Storm's playoff theme is "It's Time," while Los Angeles continues to use "It's Showtime," a nod to the Lakers Head Coach Michael Cooper played for in the '80s. (UPDATE: I guess I was wrong about this. It looks like they're going with "There Can Only Be One," the NBA's most recent playoff slogan. So it is, in fact, the Storm's time.)

- I'm pleased to report that, despite not making any of my own shots, I managed to best play-by-play broadcaster Dick Fain and Ryan Williams from PR in H-O-R-S-E on the STAPLES court while the Storm watched film by virtue of them both having an H and me having nothing when film was complete. Earlier, Fain beat Williams in a spirited Around the World matchup of two former high-school stars.

UPDATE: Kristen O'Neill was the big winner in the half-court shooting contest that is a post-shootaround tradition. O'Neill ended up making two out of four attempts to win a shootout against Bird, who also initially hit from half-court.

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