The Storm looks ahead to the Western Conference Finals after finishing off the Los Angeles Sparks, while Lauren Jackson and Tanisha Wright are honored for their defense. Here’s what they’re saying.
Storm’s Wright, Jackson named to all-defensive teams – Todd Dybas, seattlepi.com
It’s the second consecutive year Wright was named to the first team. Jackson’s appearance on the All-Defensive Second Team marks the fifth time she’s been either first or second team. She has been named to the first team twice. Jackson was the 2007 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Why Lauren Jackson Deserved at Least One DPOY Vote – Nate Parham, SBN Seattle
Ultimately, it’s not that Jackson or anybody in the Storm locker room will be upset about not getting a DPOY vote – my guess based on hearing her discuss any other recognition she’s gotten is that she really doesn’t care that much one way or the other. But given that two other centers got votes without having quite the defensive seasons as Jackson, the “slight” does illustrate how difficult it is to evaluate a player’s defensive impact even when that impact is a large part of what makes said player a frontrunner for the Most Valuable Player award.
Expect drama from Mercury-Storm – Mechelle Voepel, ESPN.com
So there is some cross-pollination in the Storm-Mercury matchup. Including, of course, with the longtime friendships that exist among various members of the teams, plus their collaboration on overseas squads. There is such a degree of familiarity between the Storm and the Mercury that scouting reports seem practically unnecessary.
What there hasn’t been, surprisingly, between the two franchises this summer is balance in the series, at least in terms of the outcome. Seattle won all five meetings. However, four of them were very close.
Series Preview: Seattle Storm vs. Phoenix Mercury – Frank Della Femina, WNBA.com
Each team has plenty to prove in what is bound to be an exciting best-of-three series. The numbers alone suggest that both teams are fully stocked and prepared to make a run, pitting last year’s MVP against this year’s top candidate and former UConn teammates Taurasi and Bird against one another for just the second time and first since 2007. The Storm’s commanding presence throughout the regular season is one they will look to maintain, particularly on home court where they remain undefeated (17-0 regular season, 1-0 postseason). All season long teams were gunning for the Mercury, a championship team dead set on returning to the postseason for a chance to repeat. Regular season meetings aside, it’s now a clean slate for both teams to work with.
Sparks overwhelmed despite effort – D.J. Foster, ESPNLA.com
Facing elimination, the Sparks came in with the mentality that they were going to throw the kitchen sink at the Storm. They scrambled all over the court, playing a style of defense that can best be described as “trapping and scrapping.” They battled tooth and nail and gave a full 40 minutes of effort, but for the seventh straight time this season, the Storm had no issues solving the puzzle placed before them.
When the Sparks tried to take away Seattle’s inside game, the Storm went outside and starting bombing away en route to a 12-for-22 performance from the perimeter. When the Sparks started hitting jumpers of their own, the Storm tightened and locked up on the wings. When the Sparks tried to speed up the game, the Storm slowed it right back down.
Why Fans Are Probably Far More Excited Then the Players About the Storm Overcoming the First Round Barrier – Nate Parham, SBNation Seattle
After the Seattle Storm’s 81-66 win over the Los Angeles Sparks, forward Swin Cash and center Ashley Robinson celebrated winning their first playoff series since 2004 in perfect fashion: they went to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.