The preseason finale is over and the Seattle Storm took bragging rights home from it. Although it was a narrow margin, they beat the Phoenix Mercury with a score of 76 to 70 at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Sunday. The big scorer of the night was Ashley Clark, who put 20 points up on the board with 8-of-11 shooting for the team, tying them with Phoenix for games won during the preseason after losing to the Mercury the week before.
If this is any indication, it looks like Seattle Storm Head Coach Jenny Boucek and her team is really fine tuning the team after spring training. They have been making cuts and adjusting the team carefully after seeing how well the women performed with many of the veteran members away on international contracts. While it sounds like they are vulnerable without the veteran women, aside from Bird, it was actually a clever way to assess the strongest new players and really see who has what the team needs for the season. It is sad and unfortunate to see people put on waivers, but it’s not always an indication of who has the most talent. On the contrary, sometimes it’s just about who fits best with the team—or who the team needs most in terms of skills.
Clark was obviously on a roll during the preseason finale, scoring eight points in the first quarter of the game and another seven in the second alone. Many of the assists for the night were made by none other than Sue Bird, and the two vets shined together on the court. Jewell Loyd, however, took on most of the point guard tasks, making six assists, and Abby Bishop put 10 points on the board, making this game mostly in the hands of the Storm veterans overall. There were some great moves from the newbies on the team, however, including rookie guard Blake Dietrick, who racked up her first career shots during the game.
As much as fans would have loved to have seen Breanna Stewart in the game, she was not available, as she was at her college graduation instead. Crystal Langhorne and Monica Wright sat out of the game while several veteran players were still overseas playing internationally, including Jenna O’Hea, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Quanitra Hollingsworth. The Storm will be at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles this Sunday for the Los Angeles Sparks season opener this Sunday. Will you be watching?
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia