Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek insisted that her struggling team take a day off and not go to the gym after playing six of its past eight games on the road.
Storm coach Jenny Boucek demanded rest Monday.
Her team had played six of its past eight games on the road, a total of seven cities in 19 days. But when the players landed in Seattle on Sunday, there were mumblings about getting back in the gym to improve.
“I didn’t want them doing anything (Monday) no matter what they wanted to do,” Boucek said. “I wanted them to get away. They needed a day mentally out of the gym.”
vs. Los Angeles, noon, Justice
Seattle reconvened Tuesday. Long after the afternoon session ended, most of the players were still on the court, going through individual workouts with the staff. Boucek oversaw the team as she spoke with media.
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Seattle (3-12) is on a five-game losing streak and hosts Los Angeles (2-10) on Wednesday at KeyArena. The Sparks, who are coached by former Storm coach Brian Agler, are winless in six road games this season.
Tuesday’s scene was similar to days during Storm training camp in May, when Boucek needed to ban players such as rookie Jewell Loyd from the gym in order to manage court time. Loyd, the WNBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick, started the past two games after appearing as a reserve the previous 13.
Loyd is averaging an improved 11.8 points in July on 41.7 percent shooting from the field.
“They like to practice,” Boucek said of her team. “The coaches aren’t asking them to do it. They want to get better, and it says a lot about the group of people we have.”
WNBA All-Star starters announced
WNBA All-Star starters were announced on Tuesday. Storm rookie Ramu Tokashiki was 442 votes from being named a starter for the Western Conference.
Tulsa guard Skylar Diggins led the conference in votes with 15,895. She was joined by Minnesota guard Seimone Augustus (9,599), Minnesota guard Maya Moore (13,706), Phoenix center Brittney Griner (7,138) and Phoenix forward Candice Dupree (5,954) as the fans’ pick for conference starters.
Tokashiki, a four-time MVP in her native Japan league, received 5,512 votes to finish behind Dupree.
Storm veteran Sue Bird was third in voting for Western Conference backcourt players with 8,088 total. The 14-year veteran made her eighth All-Star appearance last year, after being chosen as an injury replacement for Augustus (knee).
For the second straight year, Chicago forward Elena Delle Donne led all vote-getters with 18,034. The Eastern Conference All-Star will be joined in the starting lineup by Indiana forward Tamika Catchings (9,923 votes), Atlanta guard Shoni Schimmel (8,881), Atlanta forward Angel McCoughtry (7,619) and New York center Tina Charles (6,129).
All-Star reserves, who are selected by the league’s coaches, will be announced July 21 during ESPN2’s game telecast of the Phoenix Mercury game against the Los Angeles Sparks. Replacements for players unable to play due to injury will be named by WNBA president Laurel Richie.
The All-Star Game is July 25 at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Arena. It will air at 12:30 p.m. PDT on ABC.