The Olympic break could be just what the struggling San Antonio Stars need.
The Stars (5-17) have the fewest wins in the WNBA and are on a four-game losing streak, heading into Wednesday's afternoon tip at Seattle.
"What you lack during a WNBA season is repetition," San Antonio assistant coach James Wade told the team's website. "Because of the turnover with the games, you're playing every other the day, you're on the road, so you don't get a lot of chance to practice. And with a young team, they need practice time. They need repetition time. They need to see things get better."
The Stars need to improve in a lot of areas. San Antonio is last in the WNBA in scoring, averaging 72.4 points per game, and saw leading scorer Kayla McBride go down with a season-ending injury in early July. The Stars are 0-4 since McBride's injury. She was averaging a team-high 17.1 points. Moriah Jefferson is the only other player averaging double-figures in points (11.6) for the Stars.
The Storm (8-14) also are in need of a strong finish to the first half of the regular season. Seattle sits in 10th in the overall league standings. The top eight teams, regardless of conference, qualify for the postseason.
Seattle has won only twice in its last seven games, but one of those wins came against the Stars, 78-68, July 8 in San Antonio. Storm rookie star Breanna Stewart, the No. 1 overall draft pick, scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the win over the Stars. Stewart leads the Storm in scoring (19.1) and rebounding (9.5).
Seattle shot 50 percent from the floor against San Antonio, and Stars assistant coach Vickie Johnson believes any second-half turnaround will be built on defense.
"The most important thing is defense," Johnson told the team's website. "Defense wins championship. Offense wins games, so it's important for us to focus on our defensive schemes, rebounding the basketball and then attacking them in transition and making them defend us"
Seattle will wrap up the first half of the regular season Friday on the road against the defending-champion Minnesota Lynx.
Wednesday's game will be San Antonio's final game before the month-long Olympic break