Storm officially eliminated from playoffs with frustrating loss to Sky 

Seattle, WA – Some predicted that this news was coming before the season even began, and although it was coming, it’s a bit disappointing to see it come to fruition. The Seattle Storm have been eliminated from playoff contention, the first time for the franchise since 2015, as the team fell apart offensively in the fourth quarter. Chicago took advantage, completing their comeback attempt and handing Seattle their 25th loss of the season. With today’s result, the Storm are well on pace to suffer the most losses in a single season in franchise history, surpassing the mark of 26 back in the very first year of the team’s existence. 

After a frustrating road trip that included a loss to this same Chicago Sky team, the Storm came out of the tipoff looking to make their mark and correct the mistakes that left them on the wrong side of the result. Seattle has statistically been one of the WNBA’s best shooting teams from beyond the arch, and that showed early into the first quarter as Jewell Loyd and Sami Whitcomb found their shot to kickstart the Storm offense. With the danger from the perimeter being displayed from Seattle’s backcourt, Mercedes Russell came off the bench and brought immediate impact in the paint as she tallied eleven points in that first frame.   

“In the first half I thought Mercedes gave us a boost. I thought we had a lot of possessions; Sami had a couple of threes. Our energy level in general was high. Ezi wasn’t scoring in that first half, but she found a way to score in the second half and that was the difference…A stall out of our offense, we stopped moving the ball, stopped getting to next actions and a lot of missed layups and buckets in the paint,” Noelle Quinn, Seattle Storm head coach, on what went well in the first half.  

The first three quarters were strong for Seattle, building a lead as they shot well from the field and were getting contributions throughout most of their lineup. Ezi Magbegor had begun to find her scoring production, and the Storm were still able to get on the board a decent amount in the third frame to avoid a lull, something that has happened often for this team throughout the year typically in that frame. Yet, Seattle wasn’t fully in the clear towards a victory yet as the offense stalled out in the fourth and final quarter. The Storm only managed a measly ten points in the final ten minutes of the game, as Chicago took full advantage and took the lead with a little over two minutes to play. 

“The ability to get into the paint and finish. They went small and we stayed with our lineup and just couldn’t find ways to get buckets or get to the free throw line,” Noelle Quinn, Seattle Storm head coach, on what went wrong in the fourth quarter.  

Following today’s loss, the Storm only have five games remaining in the 2023 season and only one of them is at home. Their next contest following this defeat is on Thursday, August 31st when Seattle heads down to California for a battle against the Los Angeles Sparks. The Storm will be looking to play spoiler when the two teams go head-to-head with a 7PM PST tipoff at Arena, as the Sparks remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.