Lynx Pregame Audio
John Focke with Jim Petersen
Jonah Ballow with Charde Houston
Jonah Ballow with LaToya Pringle
Scouting Report - Lynx (3-0) vs. Storm (2-1) 7PM
In 2008, the Storm was sent packing early in the playoffs with a first round loss to the Los Angeles Sparks. The disappointment was a result of high expectations for a team that secured the second seed with a 22-12 regular season record. This year, Seattle jumped out to a 2-0 mark by defeating Sacramento in two consecutive games. The Storm then suffered a seven-point loss to Indiana in front of a national audience. Friday night's matchup in Minnesota marks the second of a three-game road trip for Seattle as it hopes to regroup against one of the hottest teams in the WNBA.
Sue Bird returns for the Storm backcourt after finishing third in the MVP race last year. When Lauren Jackson went down with an injury in 2008, Bird lifted her production to 17.5 points per game. Seattle committed 20 turnovers in the loss to Indiana and Bird uncharacteristically turned the ball over five times. Minnesota's Candice Wiggins was the catalyst to the incredible 16-3 run at the end of the third quarter in the victory against Los Angeles. Wiggins scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half and will now matchup against a premier perimeter player on Friday night.
Seattle is ecstatic that Jackson decided to return to the team this year instead of signing with the Phoenix Mercury in the offseason. Last year, Jackson suffered an ankle injury while training for the Olympics, which forced the frontcourt star to miss the final eight games of the regular season and the playoffs. To realize Jackson's impact on the Seattle roster, just take a look at the 2008 Storm statistics. Jackson led the team in points (20.2), rebounds (7.0), steals (1.48), and blocks (1.57). On Wednesday night, Minnesota attacked Sparks center Lisa Leslie in the paint and fouled her out of the game late in the third quarter. The post players of Charde Houston and Nicky Anosike combined for 33 points in the victory over Los Angeles. Defensively, Anosike was active with five blocked shots. A similar type of performance from the Lynx frontcourt is absolutely essential for a victory on Friday night.
Keys To A Win For Minnesota:
--Increase pace of the game
--Dominate the glass
--Force Lauren Jackson in foul trouble
--Limit turnovers (17 against LA)
Matchup To Watch:
Sue Bird vs. Candice Wiggins
"I think our main focus is going to be to keep the pace in our favor. We want to play a fast pace, score a lot of points, and I don't think they really want to have a running game with us. It's going to be a great matchup, Lauren Jackson is a great player but I'm pretty sure all of our posts are going to be ready to make it a difficult night for her." -- Lynx forward LaToya Pringle
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