2012 in Review: Tanisha Wright
Kevin Pelton, StormBasketball.com | Dec. 20, 2012
During February, Tanisha Wright signed a new contract that could keep her in Seattle through 10 seasons with the Storm, cementing her newfound position as one of the team's veteran players.
Wright spent the entire season dealing with sore knees, which were especially problematic before the Olympic Break. She did not reach double figures in any of the Storm's first five games, averaging just 5.0 points per game in that span. A 14-point outing at Minnesota on June 6 helped get Wright back on track. She found her groove as a playmaker during the middle of the month, handing out seven assists in a win at Tulsa and finishing with 12 points and eight assists as the Storm became the first team all season to defeat the Lynx.
On June 22 against San Antonio, Wright had one of her best games of the season. She scored 20 points, handed out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds. Wright shot 8 of 10 from the free throw line, tying career highs for both makes and attempts. She made several key free throws down the stretch as the Storm held off a Silver Stars comeback effort.
The Storm's game at Connecticut on July 1 was the 250th of Wright's WNBA career, allowing her to join teammates Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson among the 21 players in league history to play so many games with the same team. Besides them, just three other active WNBA players have spent longer with their original team.
The Olympic Break came at a good time for Wright, who was mired in a shooting slump during the month of July. The time off did her knees well. Wright returned from the break with three consecutive double-figure scoring efforts, her longest streak of the season. She had 10 points, eight assists and a career-high-tying five steals in the first game back, a win over Phoenix. Stepping in for Bird at point guard, Wright scored a season-high 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting against Los Angeles. She closed the month of August by scoring 10 points and grabbing eight rebounds vs. the Mercury.
With Jackson returning to the Storm after representing her national team in the Olympics and Bird missing time due to a hip injury, Wright served more as a playmaker during the month of September, averaging 5.4 assists per game. She tied her season high with eight assists on two separate occasions. Because the Storm was locked into the fourth spot in the Western Conference postseason early, Wright too was able to get some rest, sitting out two games due to her knees.
During Game 1 of the Storm's playoff series with Minnesota, Wright continued to be more passer than scorer. She handed out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds, but scored just five points on 2-of-10 shooting. After the game, Wright resolved to be more aggressive offensively. Her willingness to attack the basket set the tone for the Storm early in Game 2, and she finished with 18 points and seven assists, making all seven of her free throw attempts. The Storm needed every point in its thrilling double-OT victory. Wright had another strong Game 3, contributing 11 points, four rebounds and four assists and shooting 5-of-8 from the field, but the Storm's season came to an end at the buzzer.
When she met the media for postseason exit interviews, Wright revealed how much her knees had bothered her, particularly the left one. To give them a rest, Wright plans to take this winter off rather than playing overseas.
"It's just the rigor of the seasons and playing overseas that does it," she explained. "It's a lot of wear and tear and sometimes you need to take a break and relax."
- Scored 18 points in the Storm's Game 2 win vs. Minnesota.
- Reached the 20-point mark twice, including a season-high 21 points vs. Los Angeles on Aug. 18.
- Handed out a season-high eight assists five times.
- Played her 250th career game, becoming 21st WNBA player to do so with the same team.
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