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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

August 9, 2006 at 1:58 PM

Flying the coop

No one wants to say Storm All-Star Sue Bird would rather play anywhere but KeyArena, especially given the team’s recent sale to Oklahoma City-based investors, but her numbers on the road imply just that.
Bird, the team’s point guard, is averaging an eye-popping 18.4 points on 49.2 percent shooting (30-for-61) from the field away from KeyArena in Seattle’s past five road games. At home, meanwhile, Bird’s numbers haven’t been so pretty, averaging 7.3 points on 20.0 percent shooting (8-for-40, including 2-for-17 from three-point range).
Thankfully for the Storm, Brazilian Iziane Castro Marques picks up her play at home, nullifying Bird’s disappearance. And the Storm (18-14) should benefit from Bird’s play away from home throughout the playoffs.
Currently the team would be the lower seed against every team except Washington (17-15), meaning the bulk of their postseason matchups will be on the road, possibly beginning Thursday in an opening round series against Sacramento (if Seattle remains in third place). Game 1 will be at KeyArena while Game 2 and 3, if necessary, will be played at Arco Arena on Saturday and Monday.
And speaking of the playoffs, new owner Clay Bennett gave coach Anne Donovan a congratulatory call on Wednesday morning. He’s in Seattle for his first visit since the sale on July 18 and said a business trip could prevent him from attending the opening first-round game, but that he does plan to watch the Storm through the postseason.

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