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WNBA Team Preview: Seattle Storm (#8)

Seattle was the eighth seed entering the 2017 WNBA Playoffs. What will it take for the Storm to have a more successful regular season and better playoff possibilities?

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Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd throws ceremonial first pitch at Seattle Mariners game at Safeco Field on April 17, 2015 in Seattle, WA.
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

With living legend Sue Bird on the roster fostering the development of younger talent, the Seattle Storm is heading in the right direction. But the team made the 2017 Playoffs just three games ahead of the Chicago Sky — finishing the season an upside-down 15-19 in the wins-losses column.

An onslaught of new talent at the point guard position offers promising signs that the franchise not only is going after wins this season, but building for the post-Bird era as well. But do the pieces stack up against some of the most dominant players in the league?

What to expect

Familiar faces

Fifteen-year WNBA veteran Bird is in it to win it. But perhaps her energy these day would be better spent developing Jewell Loyd to quarterback the team in the near and distant future. In the short-term, Loyd could be primed to take over games in the event of a slump or injury. Long-term, her development could determine the future of the franchise. With Breanna Stewart starring in the front court, the middling team of 2017 has potential (though not yet promise).

Notable newbies

The 2018 season marks a real changing of the guard — or start of the process, at least, with rookies Jordin Canada and Brittany McPhee poised to learn from one of the best. Rookie center Khaalia Hillsman and forward Aleksandra Crvendakic should make strong contributions in the paint and front court, respectively.

Biggest obstacles

  1. An aging Sue Bird
  2. Perhaps too much pressure on Jordin Canada
  3. Stormy weather

Game zone

Preseason opener

Phoenix Mercury vs. Seattle Storm

Tuesday May 8 at 3 p.m. EST

KeyArena in Seattle, WA — Tickets

National TV: none listed

Season home opener

Seattle Storm vs. Phoenix Mercury

Sunday May 20 at 9:00 p.m. EST

KeyArena in Seattle, WA — Tickets

National TV: Twitter