Seattle Storm Preview: Week 3

With the win streak over, Seattle looks ahead to two big games this week.

It looked like they might pull it off. The Storm had rallied back on the road against the Wings, down from 17 points at the half. With about 3 minutes to play, Loyd got the Storm within one at 81-80, but the Wings pushed back and Cambage took over. Stewart again got the Storm close with 2 seconds left, but free throws decided the game and the 5 game win streak ended in Dallas 94-90. Seattle had looked like one of the best teams in the WNBA during that 5 game win streak, but like with all win streaks, it had to end sometime. Loyd was not as spectacular as she has been, scoring only 16 points on 5 of 17 shooting. But Stewart was as good as ever, with 28 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Natasha Howard continued to prove she is now the third best player on the team. She continued her impressive play with 19 points and 9 rebounds. 

Alysha Clark continued to struggle with only 6 points on 2 of 5 shooting. She is going to need to get better if she wants this team to have success this season. Mosqueda-Lewis, Sami Whitcomb, Courtney Paris, and Noelle Quinn provided 12 points off the bench. And outside of Sami Whitcomb, this team has to really hope for more from this second rotation. Rookie Mercedes Russell could provide more consistency off the bench as the year goes on, and Mosqueda-Lewis may have more good shooting nights like she did against the Aces on Thursday night with 13 points on 3 of 4 shooting from the 3-point line. But she hasn't been consistent enough on both ends of the floor to often make that big of an impact. 

Seattle made it look easy against the Aces on Thursday though, with Stewart and Loyd dropping 21 and 20 points respectively, and Sue Bird with 11 points and 9 assists. Loyd hit 5 three-pointers along with Mosqueda-Lewis and Bird hitting 3 threes. The Storm not only scored 38 points in the first quarter alone, but they set a new WNBA record for 3 pointers in a game with 17. It was a good team effort against a young team that is struggling so far this season. 

Seattle pulled out the win against the injury-riddled Mystics on Tuesday the 29th as they won 81-77 behind another stellar game from Loyd and Stewart. Loyd put up 27 points while Stewart contributed big again with 25. Howard again contributed well with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Sue Bird had a typical team-high 7 assists, while Jordin Canada led a meager bench with 6 points in 16 minutes of play. 

The team looks to a big test on the road this week as they go to Los Angeles to take on the Sparks. Candace Parker is back and ready to lead her team again with arguably the best starting lineup in the league. Chelsea Gray is playing very well, and Nneka is still averaging 20 points per game despite a less than stellar performance against the Lynx. In a new starting role for Odyssey Sims, she is averaging a career-best 18 points per game. With that in mind, this is going to be a big win for the Storm if they can pull it off. Win or lose though, they will get to see just how they stack up against one of (if not the most) talented and best-playing teams in the WNBA. 

The only other game for the Storm this week is on Sunday at home against the Atlanta Dream. The Dream made some of the best moves during the offseason with the addition of Jessica Breland and Renee Montgomery. They have plenty of former All-Stars and a pretty great looking lineup on paper. The return of Angel McCoughtry is important for a franchise that is still looking for playoff success and a WNBA title. But they have struggled offensively and are ranked 11th in offense between the two worst teams in the league: Indiana and Las Vegas. With their top two scorers McCoughtry and Hayes only averaging 16 points a game, one or both of them will have to step it up and score more. The rest of the starters and bench are going to need to pour in more points as well. Atlanta currently dead last in field goal % and offensive rating. But their defense isn't half bad, and as they sit at 2-3 on the season, they have a chance to turn things around. Seattle is essentially the opposite of the Dream. They are great offensively, but their defense needs work. As they play at home at KeyArena, I expect them to get the win against the Dream on Sunday.  

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