Storm 2019 Season Preview: Crown Jewell

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When the haters are doubting the Storm in 2019

We’re about to see the real Jewell Loyd in 2019.

By any number of metrics, the 2018 season was the best of Loyd’s WNBA career. She was an All-Star for the first time and set personal highs in win shares (4.2), win shares per 40 minutes (.164) and net rating (14.1). She also had a .550 true shooting percentage and .501 effective field-goal percentage, both of which were career highs.

The way in which Loyd adapted her game to suit the Storm’s needs was particularly notable.

Loyd’s 24.4 usage rate was her lowest since her rookie year in 2015, and she attempted the fewest shots (12.6) since then as well. Whereas scoring accounted for a large chunk of Loyd’s contributions through her first three seasons, she focused on helping the Storm in other areas of the game in 2018. She averaged 4.6 rebounds—more than a full rebound better than her previous career high—and her defensive rating fell to 97.6 after hitting 104.7 and 103.3 in 2016 and 2017.

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Forecasting the Storm’s Roster Following the 2019 WNBA Draft

When adding it together with the rest of their offseason, the Seattle Storm couldn’t have been more on-brand on draft night.

Seattle selected 6’4″ Australian forward Ezi Magbegor with the 12th overall pick. The 19-year-old averaged 55.8 percent from the field, with all of her 120 shot attempts coming from inside the arc. She also appeared in four games for Australia at the 2018 FIBA World Cup, averaging 7.6 points and 3.8 boards.

In the Storm’s official press release about the 2019 draft, general manager Alisha Valavanis confirmed Magbegor won’t actually join the Storm until 2020.

The Storm’s roster appears to be set for the most part, so Magbegor being a nonfactor for the moment opens up a spot for somebody who might have otherwise lost out ahead of the 2019 WNBA season.

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