2012 in Review: Katie Smith

Shane Bevel/NBAE/Getty Images
6.7 PPG 9.3
2.7 RPG 2.3
2.1 APG 2.0
0.6 SPG 1.0
0.1 BPG 0.0
27.0 MPG 37.3
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Kevin Pelton, StormBasketball.com | Dec. 4, 2012

After an up-and-down first year in Seattle, Katie Smith re-signed with the Storm in February. The long offseason gave Smith time to get healthy after she battled an Achilles injury throughout 2011. Still, Smith entered training camp with her role on the roster uncertain after the Storm traded Swin Cash but added fellow veteran Tina Thompson and rookie Shekinna Stricklen to their wing rotation.

Head Coach Brian Agler opened the regular season with Thompson at small forward and Smith backing up both guard positions. She was scoreless in the opener, but handed out four assists, and came back with five three-pointers and 20 points in the Storm's next two games. With the Tulsa Shock coming to town on June 1, Agler moved Smith into the starting lineup at small forward to offer more ballhandling options. The Storm blew out the Shock for its first win of 2012 and the new configuration stuck.

In her second game as a starter, Smith put together one of her best efforts of the season on June 3 at Los Angeles, scoring 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting. She made five three-pointers in nine attempts. As she did much of the season, Smith mixed occasional big scoring outings with games where she did not look for her shot. Her next double-figure performance came in the Storm's next win on June 15 at Tulsa, when she scored 17 points.

After scoring 13 points on June 22 against San Antonio, Smith focused on contributing defense and ball movement as the Storm continued a season-long five-game winning streak. She finished out the first half of the 2012 season in style, using four triples to match her season high with 19 points as the Storm closed things out with a win in Phoenix.

Coming back from the break, August was Smith's quietest month. She did not score double figures in any game and averaged just 3.8 points per game. As the Storm got deeper into the season, the coaching staff encouraged Smith to continue to look for her own shot. Her 10 points in 25 minutes at Tulsa on Sept. 8 was her first double-figure game since the Olympic Break.

With Sue Bird missing time late in the season due to her hip, Smith shared playmaking duties. She averaged 3.8 assists during the month of September. As the Storm approached the playoffs, Smith rose to the moment. She had eight points and a season-high eight rebounds on Sept. 16 vs. Connecticut. Smith followed that with double-figure nights in the Storm's last three games of the regular season after not previously doing so in back-to-back games. She averaged 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists as the Storm won all three games.

Smith maintained that level of play into the Storm's playoff series against the Minnesota Lynx. In Game 1, she scored 12 points, making her one of three players in double figures. Smith played 43 minutes during Game 2, playing tough defense on the Lynx's star perimeter players and finishing with seven points. In the deciding Game 3, Smith's nine points included a jumper in the last two minutes to get the Storm within two.

At 38, Smith proved one of the Storm's most reliable contributors. She was one of three players to see action in all 34 games, and her 31 starts ranked third on the team. Smith shot an even 40 percent from beyond the arc, tops on the Storm. She was one of 19 players in the league to reach the 40 percent mark, doing so for just the third time in her illustrious career.

2012 Highlights:

  • One of three Storm players to see action in all 34 games.
  • Led the Storm by shooting 40.0 percent from three-point range.
  • Reached double figures in each of the team's last three games of the regular season.
  • Scored a season-high 19 points twice, on June 3 at Los Angeles and July 13 at Phoenix .

What was your favorite Katie Smith memory during the 2012 season? Share your reply in the comments.

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