By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
Opponent: Phoenix Mercury
When: 7 p.m.
Where: US Airways Center (Phoenix)
The Storm picked up a much needed victory at home on Sunday, beating winless Tulsa 62-60, and have a chance to win consecutive games for the first time this season when they face Phoenix on the road.
At 3-1, the Mercury are off to a promising start. With unquestionably one of the most talented rosters in the league, Phoenix poses several potential matchup problems for the Storm.
Second-year pro Brittney Griner poses the biggest challenge for Seattle. At 6-foot-8, Griner is perhaps the most imposing presence in the league. Seattle’s Crystal Langhorne will likely have shoulder the defensive responsibility of slowing down Griner, but at 6-foot-2 Langhorne will likely need the help of her teammates when Griner catches the ball deep in the post.
Griner is yet to live up to the almost absurd expectations that surrounded her when the Mercury picked her with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 WNBA draft, but is averaging a very respectable 14.5 points and seven rebounds per game so far this season.
Griner scored a team-high 19 points in the Mercury’s 81-64 victory over Seattle on May 17 – the only meeting between the two teams so far this season.
The Storm will need an inspired defensive effort from Langhorne, but it is her consistent improvement on the offensive end over the past three games that should have the team excited. Langhorne scored a season-high 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Sunday’s victory over Tulsa. Langhorne’s scoring average is up to a team-leading 13.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.