2006 Record
18-16, .529
(4th in West)

Points Scored
77.8 ppg (4th overall, 2nd in West)
Points Allowed
75.7 ppg (8th overall, 4th in West)
Rebounds Per Game
33.7 (tied for 5th overall, tied for 3rd in West)

Award Winners & Honorees
All-WNBA First Team
Lauren Jackson
All-Star
Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson

2006 Draft Recap
Rd. 1 - 11, Barbara Turner
Rd. 2 - 25, Dalila Eshe
Rd. 3 - 39, Erin Grant

Dispersal Draft Results
Pick 7: Tye'sha Fluker

Playoff History
Four out of seven years
Last Appearance
2006, lost in first round

2006 In Review:
What Went Right?

Jackson
The Storm returned to the postseason again in 2006, but just by the skin of their teeth. Offensively, the Storm proved to be destructive to most of their opponents, finishing in the league's top five in points per game, field goal percentage and free throw percentage. They had four players who averaged 10 or more points per game.

In the eye of the Storm was forward/center Lauren Jackson. Her 19.5 points per game was good for fourth best in the league and her 53.5% accuracy from the field, 7.7 rebounds per game and 1.7 blocked shots per game were all in the league's top five. She also hit 89.9% from the charity stripe. She was voted into a starting role for the West in the All-Star Game and was also named to the All-WNBA First Team and WNBA All-Decade Team.

Sue Bird, another WNBA All-Decade Team member and All-Star Game starter, also helped light up the scoreboard for Seattle. She led the team in assists with 4.8 per game, good for third in the league. Bird also hit 56 3-pointers, connected on 86.9% of her free throws and notched 1.8 steals per game.

What Went Wrong?

Though Jackson was often a force on defense, the Storm struggled on the defensive end at times. In a first round playoff loss to the Sparks, Seattle had trouble keeping L.A. off the glass and surrendered too many offensive rebounds. On the season, Seattle also had the third fewest steals in the league.

Injuries also weakened the Storm in 2006. Wendy Palmer's contribution -- 10.8 points per game over the course of her career -- was limited because of an Achilles' tendon injury that kept her out of 29 regular season games and the entire postseason. Her absence was felt on both the offensive and defensive ends. Shaunzinski Gortman's season also ended prematurely after she tore her ACL on July 14.

By the end of the season, the Storm's lack of depth in a number of positions tired them out. They faultered down the stretch and got into the postseason on the strength of a tiebreaker.

Head Coach
-Anne Donovan

2006 Starting Lineup
-G- Sue Bird
-G- Betty Lennox
-F- Iziane Castro Marques
-F- Lauren Jackson
-C- Janell Burse

Key 2006 Reserves
-Tiffani Johnson
-Barbara Turner

Key Additions
-Tye'sha Fluker
-Brooke Queenan

Key Losses
-None

Looking Ahead To 2007:
Key Questions
Bird

Bird and Jackson will continue to be All-Star caliber players. Both have kept in shape this offseason by playing overseas: Bird in Russia for Spartak Moscow Region, and Jackson in South Korea for Samsung Bichumi, for whom she recently scored a league-record 56 points in a game. But how much energy do these two stars have to carry an entire team on their back? And what about the players around them who will dictate where the Storm land in 2007.

Betty Lennox is the third star for Seattle, and should be well rested after spending the offseason back home in the States. Gortman will be back after Seattle re-signed the 5-10 free agent guard during the offseason. If she can stay healthy and strong, she will provide some depth on the bench.

Center Ashley Robinson was added in an offseason trade with Chicago. She will be a good low-post threat and is still developing as a player. The Storm got another low-post player, Tye'sha Fluker, in the Sting Dispersal Draft. Both players bring depth and potential for growth. The team already has an explosive offense, but if they can improve on the defensive end, perhaps using their No. 7 draft pick on a tough, scrappy defender, they could contend in the tough Western Conference.

So where does that leave the rest of the team? Iziane Castro Marques and Janell Burse will both be back as will their two back-ups. But can they provide the same lift that the 2004 supporting cast did that helped Seattle win the title? We will find out soon enough...