Storm Eyeing Another Championship


With the All-Star break behind them, the Seattle Storm continued to win. Through the first 10 games of the season, the 5-5 Storm had the most COVID cases in the league. Seattle has posted a 12-4 record since the rough start, and they are playing their winning brand of basketball ahead of the postseason.

All Seattle Does Is Win

The Storm is one of the hottest teams in the WNBA winning four games out of their last five. These four wins have been by an average of 21 points. On their current winning streak, Chicago has an average winning margin of 9.6 points. They won against the Sparks with their best shooting percentage in franchise history at 64%, and the league’s fourth most efficient game ever. Heading into the final month of the regular season, Seattle has established itself among the league’s elite. Their record is 17-9, and despite starting slow, they stayed the course and were patient and the results came.

The starting five of the Storm have helped their winning ways the most. The lineup of Sue Bird, Jewell Loyd, Gabby Williams, Breanna Stewart, and Ezi Magbegor is the second most used lineup in the league. This lineup has an offensive efficiency of 105.1 and a defensive efficiency of 89.8.

Their defense leads to their offense, which is typical for this team. They are arguably the best defensive team in the WNBA as well. A unit that has struggled for them though, is their bench.

With the starters off the floor, the bench unit has an offensive efficiency of 74.3 and a defensive efficiency of 116.1. Despite the bench struggling, Seattle’s newest addition has been massive. Tina Charles signed with the Storm improving the team chemistry and the bench. Since the addition, Charles has averaged 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Her impact is needed when Stewart and Magbegor rest or get into foul trouble.

All Hail Queen Stewie!

Stewart has been making her case for her second MVP this season along with helping the Storm win. With 21.2 points per game, the 2018 MVP leads the league, while her 1.8 steals per game rank second. Over the past five games, Stewart has averaged 20.6 points and 5.6 rebounds for Seattle. She has been a victim of the COVID protocols early into the season, and the Storm lost the two games she missed.

According to Kevin Pelton’s Wins Above Replacement Player Metric, Stewie leads the league with a 6.18 rating. This means Stewie is six wins more valuable than an average replacement player in the league. She just finished All-Star weekend captaining her team in their loss to Team Wilson, and she looks to continue to contribute to the Storm’s winning formula.

While Stewie has had an extraneous offensive season, her defense has helped the Storm the most. She leads the league in defensive win shares with a 0.23 rating. Stewie having the best DWS shows she is an effective defender who adds to the team’s overall defensive ability when she’s on the court.

One Last Dance For Seattle’s GOAT

On June 16th Seattle’s point guard Sue Bird announced her retirement after her 21st season with the Storm. Bird is the all-time WNBA assists leader, and the leading scorer in Storm history, as well as recently passing Alana Beard for third in all-time WNBA steals.

As a Storm player, she has won four championships and is beloved by fans throughout the league, especially those in Seattle. With the Storm as one of the top teams in the league, she has a chance to end her career in the best way possible. With Bird announcing she will retire at the end of the season, Seattle is even more determined to win their fifth championship. If that happens this year, Bird would join the same company as Bill Russell, Peyton Manning, and Ray Lewis.

Another key piece for the Storm heading into the playoffs is Magbegor. She has started all 23 games she’s played in, and was another player bothered by COVID protocols. Her 11.3 points and 2.3 blocks per game have been crucial for the Storm’s success this season.

She earned the starting role with fellow teammate Mercedes Russell missing most of the season with a non-basketball-related injury. As Stewart leads the league in defensive win shares, and Magbegor leads the league in blocks, the frontcourt of Seattle has been exactly what this team needed.

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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