In the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs, the Seattle Storm will take on the Phoenix Mercury, who made it through two single-elimination rounds to get to this point. The Storm, after posting the league’s best record in the regular season, earned a double-bye into the semis which gave them an opportunity to get home, get some rest and prepare as they awaited their opponent.
In this episode of the Locked on Women’s Basketball Podcast, host Howard Megdal is joined by Ben Dull of High Post Hoops to preview the series and talk through some of the key issues that will be at play for both teams, including:
- how well Diana Taurasi is playing and what the Storm will need to emphasize in defending her
- how good Brittney Griner has been, and what Seattle will need to do to limit her effectiveness rolling to the rim and scoring with her back to the basket
- how the Mercury should look to defend MVP-favorite Breanna Stewart
- what the potential matchups may be for Phoenix defensively to also lock in on Sue Bird and Jewell Loyd on the perimeter
- what Natasha Howard has brought to Seattle this year and what her imprint could be on this series
- why DeWanna Bonner makes this year’s Mercury team so tough to guard at this time of year
Also covered at the end of the episode with regard to the Connecticut Sun, the team Phoenix had to defeat in Thursday’s second round matchup in order to advance:
- whether or not the Sun should look to shake up their roster
- what their frontcourt may look like, especially with regard to the trio of Jonquel Jones, Chiney Ogwumike and Alyssa Thomas
The semifinals begin Sunday. The action kicks off with the other series featuring the Washington Mystics at the Atlanta Dream (3 PM ET, ESPN2). Game 1 between the Mercury and Storm in Seattle will follow on ESPN 2 at 5 PM ET.