Hold onto your horses, because it looks like the window has opened for the Seattle Storm. The WNBA playoffs begin next week on the 21st, and as seedings work themselves out through the weekend, the Storm are poised to cap off their stellar preseason.
It’s near impossible to predict who’s taking home the crown this year, but I’ll take a stab at it. First, the Storm have near-dominated the WNBA this year:
|Scoring Differential for Each WNBA Team 8/15/2018|
|Atlanta Dream||2.3||Seattle Storm||7.3|
|Washington Mystics||3.5||Los Angeles Sparks||2.2|
|Connecticut Sun||5.7||Phoenix Mercury||2.1|
|Chicago Sky||-6.9||Minnesota Lynx||1.1|
|New York Liberty||-7||Las Vegas Aces||-2.1|
|Indiana Fever||-9.8||Dallas Wings||1.7|
There isn’t a team in the league that the Storm fears, and of the expected playoff teams, only the Atlanta Dream poses problems. Here’s the combined efforts of the Storm against all other playoff teams (as of today):
|Off Rtg||Def Rtg||Net Rtg||REB%||EFG%||TS%||BLK%||TOV%||%PTS 2PT||%PTS 3PT|
Secondly, the Storm have Stewart. This sounds a little crazy, but Stewart’s per game averages this year are arguable better than her per minute averages last year. She’s also playing about a minute less per game this year compared to 2017.
|Per 36 2017||7.4||15.5||1.6||4.4||5.4||6.9||9.5||3||1.3||1.8||2.7||21.7|
|Per game 2018||8.1||15.4||1.7||4.3||4.3||5.1||8.4||2.5||1.4||1.4||1.8||22|
That’s probably all I need to feel that the Storm are taking it all this year. At the beginning of the season, I couldn’t have imagined that Sue Bird would also decide to have a renaissance performance, but the Storm’s offense has really been able to gain traction throughout the second half of the season. Alongside Jewell Lloyd and Natasha Howard, the Storm are close to unbeatable.