Seattle Storm Game Review(s): Playoff Fever

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When you’re on the drive to a WNBA title

The Seattle Storm wrapped up the second half of a back-to-back Tuesday night, defeating the Indiana Fever, 94-79. The Storm notched a 96-80 win over the New York Liberty to start the week.

Breanna Stewart scored a game-high 32 points against the Liberty, the ninth time she has hit the 30-point mark in her WNBA career. She followed up with 17 points, 12 rebounds and four assists against the Fever.

Natasha Howard was excellent in both outings as well, going for 14 points and 10 rebounds Monday and then 19 points and eight rebounds Tuesday.

Likewise, Sue Bird continued to be a model of consistency, totaling 26 points and 15 assists over the two games.

Here’s a look back at the two victories.

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Seattle Storm Game Review: Bre Mode

Look at ThatAfter laying an egg on offense in their defeat Sunday to the Atlanta Dream, the Seattle Storm exploded for 96 points in a win over the Chicago Sky on Tuesday night.

The Storm erased a 14-point deficit in the second half, the second time this year the Sky blew a 14-point lead over Seattle.

Breanna Stewart had a season-high 30 points to go along with seven rebounds and three blocks. Jewell Loyd and Natasha Howard chipped in with 19 and 15 points, respectively, with Loyd adding five rebounds and five assists to her solid night.

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Seattle Storm Game Review: Let’s Never Speak of This Again

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 10.47.13 AMThe Seattle Storm are now riding a four-game winning streak after defeating the Washington Mystics 81-77 on Tuesday night.

Laboring to a close victory over a full-strength Mystics squad would’ve been a nice result for Seattle. Washington, instead, was without Elena Delle Donne and Natasha Cloud, while Tayler Hill is still recovering from a torn ACL. The Mystics had an opportunity to tie the game in the final seconds and force overtime.

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Seattle Storm Game Review: Scorcher VI

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Here we go again, again

The Seattle Storm opened their 2018 WNBA season with an 87-82 defeat to the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday night in a game that offered reasons for optimism while also serving as a reminder of the team’s flaws.

Breanna Stewart filled up the stat sheet with 22 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks. Jordin Canada had a nice WNBA debut, finishing with nine points, one assist and four steals. Jewell Loyd struggled to get going, though, shooting 3-of-11 from the field to score 10 points.

The Storm had an opportunity to force overtime late in the fourth quarter. They inbounded the ball down 85-82 with 3.2 seconds remaining in regulation, but Stewart stepped out of bounds to give the ball back to Phoenix and extinguish any comeback attempt.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the game.

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What’s the Seattle Storm’s Bar for Success in 2018?

Where do you realistically set expectations for a team coming off back-to-back playoff appearances but still hasn’t had a winning season since 2011?

“It’s time to start winning,” Breanna Stewart said during the Storm’s media day, per the Seattle TimesPercy Allen. “I don’t want to come off as crass or cocky or anything like that, but losing sucks. It does. That’s just how I feel about it. And, no, I won’t ever get used to it. I can’t. That’s not how I’m wired.”

The Storm certainly intimated as much, too, when they hired Dan Hughes. They could’ve opted for a first-year head coach who would need a few seasons to grow into the role. Instead, Seattle chose a 16-year veteran who has the third-most wins (237) of any coach in WNBA history.

It’s not a title-or-bust kind of season for the Storm, but 18-20 wins are probably the minimum requirement to avoid another disappointing campaign.

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Seattle Storm 2018 WNBA Season Preview

Doppler

A little over eight months after their 2017 season ended at the hands of the Phoenix Mercury, the Seattle Storm will open their 2018 campaign at home May 20 against Phoenix.

Before that, the Storm and Mercury will meet twice for a pair of preseason games in May.

To some extent, Seattle’s disappointing first-round playoff exit may benefit the team this year. The Storm could be the biggest post-hype sleeper in the WNBA.

Mechelle Voepel of espnW.com and Brian Martin of WNBA.com both listed Seattle at No. 5 in their preseason power rankings in 2017. Expectations were high, and the Storm got fans even more excited with a 4-1 start to the regular season. Then came a humbling 100-77 defeat to the Minnesota Lynx at KeyArena, and things were never the same for Seattle.

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Selection of Jordin Canada Continues Predictable Yet Productive Offseason for Seattle Storm

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Wait, are you telling me Jordin Canada isn’t actually Canadian?!

It was always going to be Jordin Canada.

The Seattle Storm could’ve overpaid to move up to the second overall pick in the 2018 WNBA draft to take Kelsey Mitchell. They could’ve traded out of the first round for the second year in a row in pursuit of a proven veteran. They could’ve selected Azura Stevens after the Chicago Sky selected Diamond DeShields and Gabby Williams with back-to-back picks.

Instead, Seattle did what pretty much everyone expected and picked Canada fifth overall, and it generally fits with the rest of the Storm’s offseason.

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