Photo Credit: Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times
Since firing head coach Jenny Boucek a couple of weeks ago the Seattle Storm (14-18) have gone 4-2 and clawed back into the eighth seed over the Chicago Sky. With only two games left in the regular season, the Storm can only tie their record from last season but they can still get into the playoffs.
In their next two games, the Storm travel to Washington DC to play the Mystics — currently the No. 5 seed — and then to Chicago to take on the Sky. Both games are crucial to the Storm’s playoff chances. If they lose at Washington on September 1st, then they’ll need the Sky to lose against Minnesota on Friday as well; if Chicago is able to win against the Lynx, then Seattle’s playoff dreams are over because of the Sky’s 94-83 win back in July.
Last time Washington and Seattle met was on May 21st and the Storm picked up an 81-71 win in Key Arena. The Storm were not shooting well from the field or beyond the three point arc the last, but they were able to overcome their inefficiency by getting to the free throw line often and hitting their shots from the charity stripe. If Seattle is going to beat the Mystics, and stay in the playoff race, it’s ridiculously important for the team to be more efficient with their shots and keep the ball out of Washington’s hands…another cold shooting night would spell the end of their playoff hopes.
If Seattle beats the Mystics, they go into Chicago with a showdown for the eighth seed. The last time these two teams met was an absolute disaster for the Storm as their offense shut down after the first quarter while the Sky built up a comfortable lead in the final three frames. This will be another game where it’ll be crucial for interim head coach Gary Kloppenburg’s squad to be selective with their shots and not give Chicago too many rebounding opportunities.
To climb into the playoff race the Storm ripped off four straight wins after Kloppenburg became the interim head coach, starting with the Phoenix Mercury on August 12th. The team hit ten three pointers Phoenix, as Seattle took control of the game throughout the second half to build up a nine point lead. It was a dominating offensive performance that highlighted how effective Seattle’s feast or famine style of offense that’s led to explosive performances, as well as some games where the offense has been ice cold from the floor.