Even though the Storm had the evening off, the results elsewhere around the WNBA mean that the Storm is now locked into the second seed in the Western Conference.
First, San Antonio hung on to beat Connecticut at the AT&T Center, sweeping the home-and-home set between the teams over the last week and guaranteeing the Silver Stars both the top seed in the West and home-court advantage throughout the WNBA postseason.
Later, in a game I watched with some co-workers, the Atlanta Dream stunned the Los Angeles Sparks 83-72 at the STAPLES Center to ensure the Storm the second seed and home-court advantage in the first round. Former Storm players Iziane Castro Marques (23) and Betty Lennox (21) led the upset win, and while it would have been nice to earn home court with a win, I’m glad the Storm’s fortunes aren’t dependent on beating the Dream and those motivated players returning to KeyArena tomorrow night (7:00 p.m., 1150 AM KKNW, TIX).
While the Storm is set in second in the West, there is still something to play for over the final two games – home-court advantage in a potential WNBA Finals matchup with Detroit or Connecticut. The Storm needs two wins or one win and a Shock loss to clinch a better record than Detroit, while one win or one Sun loss will do the trick against Connecticut.
The other thing still up in the air is the Storm’s opening-round opponent. Sacramento suddenly is very much alive to finish third, though the Monarchs will need to sweep a Texas two-step to San Antonio and Houston that got very strange when the game against the Comets, scheduled for tomorrow, was postponed until Monday because of fast-advancing Hurricane Ike. Sacramento would also need the Storm to defeat the Sparks in Sunday’s season finale (1:30 p.m., ESPN2, 1150 AM KKNW). We won’t know the Storm’s opponent until Saturday at the earliest, and it’s possible it could be delayed pending the outcome of Monday’s postponed game. Crazy.
As for the second seed … as Sue Bird noted this morning on KUOW, it’s been good to the Storm in the past. The Storm won the championship from the second seed in 2004.