Despite several Vegas runs, just one game separates the Storm and a WNBA championship
Sue Bird is probably the best almost-40-year old athlete on the planet (no disrespect to Udonis Haslem). The last time someone from her draft class averaged more than 6 points per game was 2012. She just put up a WNBA Finals record 16 assists in one game and followed it up in Game 2 with 10 dimes and 16 points.
In 2019, Natasha Howard won Defensive Player of the Year while averaging the fourth-most points in the league, and she’s probably the fourth or fifth option on this team. If you want the league to expand, all you should have to do is hand WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert a printout of Natasha Howard’s 2019 and 2020 stats. Something about the math of her game does not check out.
Jewell Loyd — well, she needs no explanation. It’s Jewell Loyd.
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Also, let’s talk about Alysha Clark for a minute. She has gone from a forgotten second-round pick to the third-best player on a likely finals contender. It’s largely because she is always so open. Seattle is phenomenal at moving the ball around the perimeter, and Breanna Stewart’s off-ball screens, combined with the attention she receives in the post, is enough to draw a gulf of space for Clark. And she’s always going to hit those.
The Storm have taken two games against Las Vegas. The Aces can still get back in this series, but they’ll need to seriously improve their transition defense, get their mojo back in the post, and potentially go small to combat the Storm’s speed. The series is not over yet.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert reflected on this wubble season, including the league’s fight for social justice, ability to prevent COVID-19, and the level of engagement from fans.
The famous orange hoodie became the highest-selling WNBA merch of all-time this year, and somehow, I still don’t have one. What the hell.
After missing a year while battling breast cancer, Syracuse’s all-time assists leader Tiana Mangakahia is back for the Orange. She’s a pass-first guard who has drawn comparisons to one of the pass-first GOATs, Courtney Vandersloot, so expect big performances this season.