The Storm are coming off a two game win streak in Seattle, heading to Phoenix tonight, looking to finish the trip to the WNBA Finals. Before the series started, I don’t think anyone had expected for the Storm to struggle offensively. The Phoenix Mercury have two veteran, offensive powerhouses in Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, and really made a push in the second game. Both of them combined for 51 points.
On the Storm’s end, it’s largely been the Breanna Stewart show. She’s scored 55 points in the series thus far, and will definitely eclipse 70 points tonight.
The player making the biggest difference on the court isn’t Stewart or even the beloved Sue Bird. In fact, Jewell Loyd has been the MVP in this series so far.
She struggled from the field in the last game, but she’s shooting 38% from deep and has attempted a series leading 14 free throws. Loyd also has a total +/- of 12.
Tonight, the Storm shouldn’t struggle as much. This matchup has largely been dominated by the Storm during the season, so I expect similar results. While I don’t think Jordin Canada will score 10 points in the second half again, I do expect the likes of Alysha Clark and Natasha Howard to contribute a bit more like they’ve done so much during the season.
Also, could the Storm be getting a little … bored on the court? Take a look at the following lead tracker images from wnba.com scoreboards:
In both games, the Storm have had to fend off comebacks from the Mercury. On one hand, it’s important to never question Taurasi’s abilities to turn on the jets. On the other, I question the mental toughness of the Mercury to be able to mount yet another 15-point comeback a third time in a row.
Given the above, pay attention to the second quarter tonight, as it seems to be when the Storm ramp up the pressure and pull away significantly. Third time’s the charm right? The Storm should be able to hold on this time and win by at least 10 points.