Seattle, WA – The contest between the Seattle Storm and Dallas Wings was a gritty, hard-fought matchup. Several calls did not go Seattle’s way, and the whistles got into the Storm’s head. Several times it looked like Seattle may be mounting a comeback, but time and time again Dallas would answer. The Storm record would drop to 5-4 overall, and 2-3 in commissioners cup play.
To start the season, the Storm bench played a critical role in the team’s success. Players such as Epiphanny Prince and Steph Talbot had provided a spark off the bench, on both ends of the court. In this loss to Dallas, Seattle’s bench as a collective scored two points. Those came from Mercedes Russell, who was playing her first minutes of the season. The offense as a whole has not fully hit their stride, and that was apparent in this game. Head coach Noelle Quinn spoke on what she needed to see from the bench going forward.
“Think about what we’ve done defensively to get that group going, that is where it starts… Pip is a consummate professional, but we need more from her. Steph is coming back; she needs to get into rhythm. We have players that have the ability to influence the energy, that group needs to work a little extra to get better shots,” Quinn said.
The Dallas Wings responded to Seattle’s comeback attempts, time and time again. There were multiple instances where the Storm would begin to claw their way back, but the Wings would answer back.
Whether it was a three pointer to answer back, or Dallas scoring off of Seattle turnovers, the Wings had all the answers. It was clear that the Storm never really felt comfortable, but it is still relatively early in the season. Seattle has still yet to play with all 12 players on their roster healthy. Head coach Noelle Quinn would discuss the mindset in the locker room following the loss.
“I made sure that we touched on the fact that no matter what lineup is on the floor, no matter who we have available to play, our competitiveness and fight cannot waiver. I don’t think that we had that consistently tonight. By no means do we panic, but we cannot rely on getting people back. Not everything will be okay. We have to consistently show up on both sides of the court, and consistently be pros,” Quinn would remark.
This matchup sat near the top of the list when it came to toughest games that the Storm could play in their homestand. Dallas is a young team that has plenty of offensive firepower, and loads of potential with all but two players on their roster aged 25 or younger. Last season, the two teams played three times. Those three games were decided by a collective seven points. This game will certainly be a learning opportunity and a chance for the Storm to look at themselves in the mirror.
Seattle will not have a lot of time to reflect, as their next game is on Sunday, June 5th as they welcome the Connecticut Sun to town. The Sun boast an 8-3 record to this point in the season, and while Jonquel Jones has not played up to her MVP level, Alyssa Thomas has picked up the slack. A rebound opportunity for the Storm, but a difficult test at that. Tipoff is at 3PM PST.