Storm

New Storm Starting to Form in Seattle

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The focus for the Seattle Storm this season is developing their young talent while demonstrating their competitiveness.

Through a quarter of the season, the Storm have performed as expected given their roster construction. However, they’ve had individual positives to take away despite a 2-6 record to start the year. While their flaws are evident, they have a very bright future that starts with the stars on this team.

SEATTLE’S MAMBA STRIKES A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY

The leading scorer in the WNBA resides in the Emerald City, and it’s Jewell Loyd.

In the past, that honor would belong to Breanna Stewart. Since her departure, however, Loyd has flourished in her new role as the Storm’s top option. She averages 26.0 points per game and 2.9 made three-pointers which ranks second in the league behind Sabrina Ionescu.

In a 92-85 loss to the LA Sparks, Loyd scored a season-high 37 points while hitting a career-high eight three-pointers. She also earned a personal career milestone, accumulating her 4,000th career point in their historic comeback win against LA. Loyd joined Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson as the only Storm players to reach 4,000 points with the franchise.

Seattle’s head coach Noelle Quinn spoke about Loyd’s leadership which has blossomed with the new opportunity.

“I asked her to lead by example and to see her do that has been great,” Quinn said, “she talks to the rookies…I commend her for showing up and leading.”

She has definitely grown as a leader and that’s what a team like Seattle needs to become a championship contender once again.

Another player in the Pacific Northwest brings her thunderous defense to the league from down under. Averaging a league-leading 2.6 blocks per game, Ezi Magbegor moved to the forward spot and has also averaged 14.0 points per game. She is playing around 10 more minutes per game than she was last season and with that production increase, she’s starting to shoot more.

While her offensive game still needs work, Magbegor’s defensive impact should be enough to plead her case to be in the defensive-player-of-the-year race. Despite being 23 years old, she is another veteran presence to mentor the young talent surrounding her and Loyd.

DARK THUNDERCLOUDS GROW FOR AN IMPENDING STORM

Any good team needs a surrounding cast to compliment their stars, and that’s what the Storm is developing this season. They have leaned more on the young players this year and they have answered the call. Averaging 11.8 points per game in the last four contests, rookie guard Jordan Horston has emerged as a third scoring option for Seattle.

This prompted Coach Quinn to start her along side Loyd going forward, and that’s huge for Horston’s development. In an 83-69 win against Phoenix, she got her first career double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. As she faces the best players in the league, Horston continues to prove why she was a draft-day steal for Seattle.

Another rookie who is emerging into a star is Croatian guard Ivana Dojkic [DOY-KICK].

Over the last four games, she’s averaged 9.3 points per game, including 12 and 14 in the last two. In the Storm’s win against the Mercury, Dojkic made three shots from beyond the three-point arc, shooting 50% while also dishing out four assists. Her impact was felt on both sides of the ball with her two steals, one block and two rebounds.

It was her first start of the season, and by the looks of it, it certainly won’t be her last. Dojkic and Horston are 25 and 21 years old respectively, so the Storm have a young core of guards to develop who have demonstrated their growth and ability to learn behind the veterans on this team.

Even though this season will have growing pains, this team has shown a major storm starting to form in Seattle.

TAKE COVER FOR A MAJOR INCOMING STORM

A disappointing start to the season for the Storm was expected, but as the season progresses, they continue to get better while developing their young talent.

Even with their lackluster defense, fans have every reason to believe this team could succeed unlike years past. Seattle has signified they can compete with anyone, and that’s important for a young group as they develop. The only double-digit loss for the Storm came in the first game against Las Vegas, which shows their competitiveness.

While the upcoming draft might be the only thing holding onto, the Storm are starting to form in the Pacific Northwest well before.

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About Brenden Potts

Brenden is an American writer and Washington State University Sport Management student in Pullman Washington. He has less than a year of writing experience getting started with The Lead. He writes about the Seattle Storm for The Lead.

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