Photo Credit: Swish Appeal
Seattle exited the first round of the WNBA playoffs following a 69-79 loss to the Phoenix Mercury in Arizona. The Storm weren’t able to overcome a big third quarter from Phoenix.
The Mercury took a 56-46 lead by outscoring Seattle 24-15 in the third quarter. Seattle missed its first three shot attempts after halftime and it was only broken up by Breana Stewart when she drained a three pointer to get the Storm back within one point, 34-35. Both teams would swap three pointers for the next couple of minutes before the Me curt would catch on fire from behind the arc while Seattle struggle to hit field goals. It was game set match.
Phoenix had the advantage in every major statistical category, because they were the better team; for example offensive rebound percentage, 23.3% to 20.5%; and defensive boards 79.5% to 76.7%. Because the Mercury pulled down more rebounds, they were able to get more second chance opportunities and deny Seattle them as well. Pretty simiply put, the Mercury were the better team and it showed in the loss.
The loss puts an end to an up and down season for Seattle that saw the franchise fire its head coach after a slow start in the second half, and then sneak back into the playoff picture in the last two weeks of the season. While intern head coach Gary Kloppenberg did a great job of getting the team back into the playoffs, it makes sense for the Storm to go out and get a head coach that’s good at developing young talent; this core is too talented for back-to-back sun-.500 finishes, and they’ll need a fresh face to begin the process of turning into one of the top teams in the WNBA.
The good news is that Sue Bird will be back for the 2018 season, she confirmed it during the post game press conference.
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