Seattle Storm – Getting Over The Speed Bumps

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Seattle’s muggy weather must be getting to the Storm. The team has split its last six games, as it gets ready to face the Indiana Fever this Friday at the Key Arena. Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd have continued to lead a blistering offense, being held under 70 points just once in the past 18 days.

With newly available advanced stats data from basketball-reference.com, the Seattle Storm have three of the top five players in the league by Offensive Rating and Offensive Win Shares.

In regards to Defensive Rating and Defensive Win Shares however, only Breanna Stewart shows up in third and tenth, respectively. Going into the season, it was largely expected that Dan Hughes was going to emphasize the offensive side of the ball. What’s the hold up?

I’d written that fans should expect Jordin Canada to supplant Sue Bird’s role in the lineup. I still think fans should remain confident in Jordin even if the advanced stats don’t favor her production right now.

Canada hasn’t been able to find a three point shot, and she doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable beneath the arc either. What’s most telling however, are her free throws.

She’s taken 34 free throw attempts over 12 games, which given her backup role yields a respectable 5.8 attempts per 36 minutes. It means she’s getting to the paint and getting calls.

Jordin’s only missed seven free throw attempts on the year, so it’s not like her wrist is broken. She’s working through rookie slumps, and needs to focus on slowing down a little bit. Her Offensive Rating is a bit low at 95, especially for a very high powered offensive team.

Sue Bird has taken two games off this year and the Storm lost both, posing significant concern as the year goes on. Can Jordin Canada fill the gaps when needed the most?

Pay close attention to the minutes Canada is going to play on Friday, and watch her get a good game in. Against the Los Angeles Sparks, the Fever gave up 24 bench points and the team just didn’t seem interested in defense elsewhere either.

Other interesting notes include the increase the number of three point shots that Breanna Stewart has taken. This year, about a third of her shots are coming from beyond the arc, surely a calculated change of style from Storm coach Dan Hughes. Stewart has maintained the league’s second best effective field goal percentage on the year. She’s scored an astounding 80 points over the last three games.

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Sebastian Pycior

Sebastian is an industrial professional, having graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science in 2013. He remains largely interested in the effects sports have on greater society. From Las Vegas, he’s moved on from the world of 'odds' and has embraced storylines and aspects surrounding Seattle sports.

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