In most cases, WNBA training camps are regulated to restore continuity, to find out as much as possible about newcomers, in a relatively short period of time before the start of the regular season.
This year is no different for reigning league champions Storm, who are returning just seven returns and adding 13 newcomers to an inflated 20-man training camp.
Several other veterans, including star Breana Stewart, have been absent since the first day of Sunday’s training camp and were expected to arrive later this week after meeting the demands of their foreign teams.
“We still have a few who are very familiar with our system,” said Sue Bird, who turns 20.թ: years in the WNBA և 18թ: season “We’re just not everyone here. And this is the first day of completely new faces. So we could not even cover 90% of what we usually have in our defense book.
“But what you saw today was when you had legs, you can do a lot. And one thing we do have is that we have a few young legs in this training camp. They cover a lot of soil. Names that come to mind, N’dea Jones did amazingly today. He was everywhere. And Hayley Goretsky showed signs of activity. “
Coach Dan Hughes, who returned to action after retiring last season for medical reasons, described the first training camp as a day of training that was slower than he liked.
However, he was generally pleased with how the three returning Storm veterans in the camp (Jew Well Lloyd, Jord son Canada և Bird) taught the newcomers the schemes.
“I’m a little slow to jump to conclusions,” said Hughes. “It takes a few days to do that. What starts to point you out is the reality of multiple performances where they do really good things or multiple times when they do really bad things. “I do not want to draw any conclusions today, and I do not want to do much tomorrow.”
Still, the storm needs to make some personnel decisions before reducing the squad to 12 players by the league deadline of May 13.
The Storm held a road show against the Phoenix Mercury on May 8, before the two teams met behind closed doors on May 10 in Seattle.
Seattle opens the regular season on May 15 at the Angel Winds Arena in Everett against Las Vegas Asia, the return leg of last year’s WNBA Finals.
Here are five areas that need to be addressed during the Hurricane Training Camp.
1. Find a role for Candice Dupree
In many ways, bringing out the WNBA All-Star, who won the league title with Phoenix in 2014, makes a lot of sense for the Storm veteran team, which is vying for the second consecutive championship.
However, there is uncertainty as to how the 36,000-year-old striker, who signed a one-year contract worth $ 170,000, will fit in with the Storm.
“For me personally, Day 1 was fun to be there with veteran players, people who can think of a game, play high IQ basketball,” said Dupree, who has spent the past four years in Indiana, who has never won more than 13 games. : his tenure. “I still can not really say how appropriate the fitness is. It’s just the first day և just installing early intrusion kits աշխատ working on our core defense. But so far it feels good. ”
Dupree is incredibly effective offensively; inside it has to make individual-friendly matches with lineups that include four perimeter shooters. In defense, Duprey could be tasked with defending opposing centers such as Britney Greene and Candice Parker, which may be too much to push for 6 feet -2 և 178 pounds.
2. Restore defensive identity
There is no way around, the storm lost two of the best defensive players in the WNBA, Natasha Howard և Alyasha Clark after leaving through a free agency.
Hughes does not think he will need to change Seattle’s defenses, but simply adding new players and expecting such results is unrealistic.
The storm is likely to have a vacancy in the starting lineup, which will go to Katie Lou Samuelson, Kennedy Berk or Mikia ‘Kiki’ Herbert Harrigan.
Unfortunately for Seattle, no player is currently in training, the solution to this little mystery will go a long way in determining how much the storm will take to catch or double the opposing team.
3. Optimize Brianna Stewart
Stewart has two WNBA titles, two MVP Cups and MVP awards, but as Hughes noted last month, it is impossible to know if the 26-year-old star is reaching the peak of his potential, whether he is capable. much more. ,
Hughes realizes that Seattle has one of the best players in the league, he wants to push the ball in his hand to make more decisions.
Theoretically, a versatile 6-foot-4 striker could direct the attack and take on more game responsibility.
4. Develop offensive chemistry կարգ piercing procedure
Last season, Storm had one of the best crimes in the WNBA, scoring second (87.5 points per game), first assist (21.9) and second with three points (39.4%).
Stewart և Loyd believe they will return as top scorers, as they did in 2020 ընթացքում during the 2018 hurricane championship.
After those two, anyone can guess where the ball goes next. Dupree և Bird are viable assessment options that are equally adept at pick-n-roll, which is a major part of Seattle offense.
It remains to be seen where Samuelson, Burke and Herbert Harrigan will find their shots.
At the same time, Canada, which is entering a contract year, կենտրոն prospective sophomore center Ezie Magbegor may also be given extended roles.
5. Kitia or Kiana?
Allegedly, the last place in the list of hurricanes will go to Kitija Laksa or Kiana Williams.
6-foot-tall defender Laksa Laksa, who spent last season abroad, was 11th overall in the 20th WNBA draft. 5-8 Stanford guard Williams was 18 years oldթ: general election in the second round of this year’s draft.
Laxa may have an easier time finding minutes, given that he is considered a perimeter threat behind Lloyd, while Williams claims to play a game against Bird of Canada, veteran Epiphanny Prince.