Storm, already pretty busy, opens exhibition season
Seattle will cap a packed week with a game Friday at Tulsa.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Storm opens exhibition play Friday in Tulsa, although the week already feels like a typical week in an WNBA season.
Seattle held scrimmages with national teams from China (Tuesday) and Canada (Wednesday), essentially playing a back-to-back set to go with this road matchup against the Shock.
Storm guard Tanisha Wright joins the team after taking a physical to be cleared to play. Wright, who had been playing in Israel, was given time to be with family on the East Coast before joining training camp.
"We'll use Tanisha just because we'll be missing a guard," said Storm coach Brian Agler.
Point guard Sue Bird will remain in Seattle to train with USA Basketball for the Olympics this summer in London. Also, Spanish guard Silvia Domiguez, a free agent, hasn't arrived because of visa issues.
The Storm also will be without rookie Shekinna Stricklen, who'll graduate from Tennessee on Friday.
"We're still doing a lot of the same things, so (Tanisha) will pick up things quickly," Agler said. "She's doing well. She was disappointed they lost the championship over there (in Israel). With her mom's passing last year, she had a lot of things she needed to take of family-wise before she returned to the team."
The Storm will continue its routine of mixing new players with veterans to get a flow and evaluate everyone for the final roster spots. Players such as centers Ashley Gayle and Lindsay Taylor, point guard Ashley Corral, and forwards Alysha Clark and Victoria Dunlap should see extended minutes.
For the veterans, gaining chemistry on the road will be important. Seattle was 6-11 away from KeyArena last season, its worst since Agler's first year with the team in 2008.
This season, the WNBA schedule is split with a break for the Olympics from July 14 to Aug. 15. Seattle plays 19 games during the first half of the season — all without three-time MVP Lauren Jackson. Twelve of those games are on the road.
"We look at this first half of the season as probably the most important part because we're not going to have our full roster and we play a lot of road games," Agler said. "Having success on the road is difficult in this league. It's going to be very important we find a way to put this team together, playing well together on the floor early in the season."
• The Shock is led by coach Gary Kloppenburg, a former Storm assistant from the inaugural season. He is in his first season leading Tulsa.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @JaydaEvans.