A fitting end to a dominant series by Seattle
The Seattle Storm beat out the Las Vegas Aces 92-59 in an exhibition scrimmage on Tuesday night. Oh wait, I am just receiving word that it was actually game 3 of the WNBA finals, and not the clinic that I thought I was watching.
The Storm were nothing short of dominant on their way to capturing their second title in three years. It is the second championship in the Breanna Stewart era and the fourth overall for Sue Bird and the Seattle franchise.
Stewart was named Finals MVP after pouring in another 26 points on just 14 attempts from the field. It is the second such award for the superstar, whose pedigree is already eclipsing many WNBA legends in just her fourth season in the league (she missed 2019).
The Storm came into the season as title favorites, and their execution in the postseason makes the word favorites seem like an undersell. Sue Bird’s ability to pick apart a defense this late in her career and Jewell Loyd’s prowess at attacking the basket would are simply unfair compliments to Stewart’s game.
The Storm were coached by Gary Kloppenburg after Dan Hughes opted out of the bubble season due to his increased risk factors for contracting the virus. While Hughes still played a role for Seattle from a far, it is a great accomplishment for Kloppenburg who is an alumni of many WNBA coaching staffs.
After the game, Kloppenburg summed up his team quite nicely, saying, “They stayed together through a lot of, umm, really weird stuff here in the wubble.” The 2020 season was far from normal, but the Storm winning the championship is as close to normal as it gets, and might be for many years to come.
As for the Aces, they simply could not make shots. Scoring 59 points in an elimination game while shooting 34% with 18 turnovers is just disappointing from a team who knows they could play better.
The story of A’ja Wilson’s postseason was her lack of help on offense, and this game three proved no different, as none of her teammates seemed able to put the ball in the hoop. As the game started to slip away in the second half, Bill Laimbeer’s squad looked dejected, raising the white flag before the 4th quarter even started.
Laimbeer said of the game, “This was not a brutal beat.” The scoreboard would say otherwise. Nonetheless, Las Vegas has much to look forward to next year with Kelsey Plum and Liz Cambage hopefully rejoining the squad.
The sun has now set on one of the most exciting seasons in league history, and all we can hope for in 2021 is a safe country environment that will allow us to enjoy these fantastic athletes in person.
Once again, congrats to the Seattle Storm on their 2020 WNBA Championship.