Tanisha Wright hopes to be rested, ready for Storm's WNBA playoff series against Phoenix
Storm's Tanisha Wright played fewer than 14 minutes in Seattle's Game 2 playoff victory over Los Angeles.
Seattle Times staff reporter
As the Storm season progressed, Tanisha Wright developed a new routine.
After a game, she would sit with both feet dunked in a bucket of ice water.
Her banged-up body picked a bad time to need rest, as it forced her to swap roles with Svetlana Abrosimova in Game 2 of Seattle's opening-round playoff victory over host Los Angeles on Saturday. Wright played a spotty 13 minutes, 40 seconds in the 81-66 series clincher while Abrosimova played 20:59, locking down defensively against the Sparks' perimeter players.
"She (Tanisha) wasn't totally healthy and she was trying to play," said Storm coach Brian Agler, who needed a defensive stopper against reserve guard Kristi Toliver, who scored 16 points in Game 1.
"Tanisha just couldn't do the things she felt comfortable doing. We used her maybe in a role reversal, but the minutes Tanisha gave us were huge for us."
Wright missed both of her field-goal attempts and had two rebounds in the game. She averaged 9.2 points and a career-high 4.5 assists during the regular season.
The Storm's sweep of the Sparks was Wright's first WNBA playoff-series victory. She was drafted in the first round by Seattle in 2005.
Game 1 against Phoenix is Thursday at KeyArena.
"I'm glad that (first) series is gone because it means we advanced, we had a few extra days to prepare for Phoenix and we're ready for this round," said Wright, who had Sunday off. "We know Phoenix is a good team. They run the floor and get shots up and they have great individual players, so it's going to take a lot of playing good one-on-one defense so we don't have to force a lot of rotations.
"In order for us to start off well, we need to come out energized and with another level of intensity. We can't just be satisfied with the fact that we made it here in the second round. It feels good, but nothing has been accomplished right now. Everybody's ultimate goal is winning the championship. Until you do that, you haven't accomplished anything."
Storm forward Le'coe Willingham is a Western Conference championship from joining an elite group — active players who have made more than three trips to the WNBA Finals.
Phoenix reserve Kara Braxton, New York center Taj McWilliams-Franklin and Willingham have played in three WNBA Finals. Four-time champion Tina Thompson is the only active player to appear in more.
Willingham advanced with Connecticut (2004, 2005) and Phoenix (2009).
"I remember playing against her in 2004 and she was a big part of that team," Storm guard Sue Bird said of winning the title against the Sun. "When she was signed, obviously she's a great outside shooter, she brings experience, a low-post presence and I knew that stuff was going to fit.
"But immediately I thought, 'She must be a winner, too.' To have players on your team like that, similar to Swin (Cash), it just really helps."
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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