Lauren Jackson is the Shawn Kemp of the Storm
The Seattle Storm are a WNBA-best 14-2, and have won all ten games at KeyArena. Let’s learn a little more about them, shall we?
As a Sonics fan, your pleasures come from the past. Like checking out Shawn Kemp’s 1995-96 game log. Kemp dominated opposition that year, scoring 20 points or more in 41 games and leading the Sonics to a franchise-high 64 wins.
Lauren Jackson is replicating Kemp’s best season with the Storm this year. Like Kemp, Jackson easily posts up slower or smaller defenders. Or she steps back and shoots from outside. Jackson can dominate the boards, as she did last night against San Antonio when she grabbed as many offensive boards as the entire Silver Stars team.
Jackson’s game has a facet that Kemp’s never did–three-point shooting. Left alone 22 feet from the basket against San Antonio, L.J. didn’t hesitate to fire in a three-pointer. She has 29 for the season, tops on the Storm.
In truth, Jackson is more dominating than Kemp ever was. Jackson has won two MVP awards, and looks headed for another this season. She won WNBA player of the week last week for the 17th time in her career, most in WNBA history.
Jackson’s sporting a new look this season. Red hair, for one thing. But she also seems a step faster. Storm broadcaster Dick Fain speculated on last night’s broadcast that this could be because Jackson played in her native Australia during the WNBA offseason, a much less strenuous task than her usual offseason stop, Russia. Hope is that the reduced wear and tear will allow Jackson to play a full season, something she hasn’t been able to do the past two years. Injuries kept Jackson from playing in the playoffs since ’07. Not coincidentally, the Storm have lost in the first round of the playoffs each year.
Jackson finished with 31 points and 15 boards in the Storm’s 86-72 win over San Antonio. The Storm have won five games in a row. They next play Saturday at Los Angeles, a game to be televised on ESPN2.