Records: Storm (3-12) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (2-10)
Location: KeyArena, Seattle, WA
Game Time: 07/15/15 @ 12:00pm
The Seattle Storm celebrate "Kids Day" as they host the Los Angeles Sparks for a day game at 12:00pm today. Both teams are off to a rocky start this season, but surprisingly, both teams are still vying for the 4th and final playoff spot in the west. The Storm have actually had most of their success this season against the Sparks, picking up two wins against LA early in the season. However, two of the Sparks best players: Nneka Ogwumike and Kristi Toliver were out for both of those games. Both players will be active today.
The natural rivals were given even more reason to root against one another this off-season when Seattle Storm head coach Brian Agler decided to leave the Storm to take up the vacant head coaching job with Los Angeles. This led the Storm to promote Agler’s assistant, Jenny Boucek, as Seattle’s 4th head coach in team history. Coach Boucek has taken the first two games of the season series against her former mentor and looks to make it three in a row today.
Storm Players to Watch:
Abby Bishop – Bishop has struggled in recent games, but set a career high of 18 points the last time the Storm played the Sparks earlier this year. It’ll be interesting to see if she can continue her success against the Sparks.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis – The 3rd pick in this year’s WNBA Draft, Kaleena has struggled to even get playing time this season; generally only playing in "garbage time" or sometimes not at all. However, the past two games she’s dropped 8 and 9 points respectively. The Storm definitely need KML to continue to improve as the season goes on, as part of the Storm’s major overhaul to rebuild the roster with youth.
Jewell Loyd – The #1 pick this year is looking more and more comfortable out on the court with each game. The last game she led the team in scoring with 16 points. And there’s been a noticeable improvement over the past 7 games where she’s averaged 13.3 PPG. She has been reinserted back into the starting lineup after voluntarily asking to come off the bench; so she could adjust to the professional level.
Keys to the Game:
- Limit the Sparks Nneka Ogwumike off the glass (she leads the league at 11.5 RPG)
- Play a consistent 4 quarters. The Storm have often gotten down big early or blown big leads late this season.
- Youth continues to grow – we’re hoping for continued improvement from the Storm’s young players; Jewell Loyd, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, and Japanese star Ramu Tokashiki.