2004 in Review: Adia Barnes
Just over 10 months after tearing her ACL on July 5, 2003, Barnes was back on the court and in the rotation when the Storm began the 2004 season. Clearly, however, Barnes was not the same player who had been one of the Storm's biggest surprises in 2003 with her outside shooting. Barnes is in the WNBA primarily because of her defense, but a bulky knee brace limited her movement early in the season. While Barnes was able to use her size and strength and still did a good job of defending high-scoring opposing perimeter players, she wasn't the stopper she had been before the injury.
On offense, the ACL injury's most harmful effect might have been evident in Barnes' three-point shooting. After working hard during the 2002-03 off-season, she shot 38.7% from three-point range in 2003, the best mark of her career. Barnes was forced to spend last winter working on rehabilitating her knee, not honing her shot, and rust was apparent. Barnes was also affected more than any other Storm player by the WNBA's decision to move the three-point line back to the international distance of 20 feet, six inches from its previous 19-9. As a result, Barnes only made three triples all season (only attempting six).
2004 Adia Barnes Photo Gallery
2004 in Review: Sue Bird
Barnes, Greco Go Camping
Barnes Working Her Way Back
Injury Gives Barnes Perspective
Adia's Dreams Come True
During the playoffs, Alicia Thompson's hot shooting from three-point range allowed her to claim most of the Storm's backup wing minutes, relegating Barnes to spot duty. Barnes played 28 minutes in the Storm's two-game sweep of the Minnesota Lynx, handing out three assists in Game 1 and grabbing four rebounds in Game 2.
Conventional wisdom has it that players usually take a year after a torn ACL to get readjusted and regain their past level of play. With rehabilitation no longer an issue, Barnes has the opportunity to get her three-point touch back. Barnes' confidence should also be better as her knee is less of a concern. Add improved quickness, and Barnes should bounce back strong in 2004.
- Kevin Pelton, storm.wnba.com