Western Conference - Games To Watch For
The 2010 defending champion Seattle Storm will make their first trip to Tulsa in 2011 in just the Shock’s fourth game against Western Conference foes. Apart from the ever-steady Sue Bird, it’s uncertain how strong the Storm will be as Lauren Jackson is currently recovering from an Achilles injury that will keep her out of action a minimum of three months.
Jackson dominated in 2010, winning both the regular season and playoff most-valuable-player awards, averaged 20.5 points and 8.3 rebounds in the regular season and 21.6 points and 9.6 rebounds in the playoffs. Her play was perfectly complemented by Sue Bird who hit the dramatic game-winning three to eliminate the Phoenix Mercury in the Western Conference finals.
Seattle will try to become the first team to win back-to-back championships since the Lisa Leslie led 2001-2002 Los Angeles Sparks. The Storm will return to Tulsa again on Saturday July 30 and Friday September 2nd.
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June 30 – Minnesota Lynx
The 2011 Minnesota Lynx roster will probably be revamped through health (Candice Wiggins), the WNBA draft (Number one overall pick) and free agency with the recent signing of six-time all-star Taj McWilliams-Franklin.
Acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Connecticut Sun before the 2010 WNBA, Minnesota-native Lindsay Whalen is entering her second season with the Lynx. Assuming a healthy roster plus the number one pick overall in the draft, a playoff spot seems likely for the Lynx.
After their initial trip, the Lynx will return to Tulsa again on Tuesday August 23.
July 8 – Phoenix Mercury
After not playing Phoenix for the first month of the season, the Shock will open July with a back-to-back against the Diana Taurasi led Mercury in a home-and-home spanning three days.
Taurasi was caught amidst much controversy this past off-season but on the court she remains the most dynamic and arguably the best player in the WNBA. In 2010, Taurasi led the league in scoring at 22.6 points-per-game but especially enjoyed playing against the Shock - scoring 35, 18, 16 and 26 respectively on 54 percent shooting (31-57) from the field.
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Taurasi and the Mercury will make their second and final trip to Tulsa for a regular season game on Tuesday August 30th.