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4 things we learned from the Storm-Sparks preseason matchup

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Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike could form an intimidating duo for Los Angeles. Meanwhile, reserves like Jordin Canada and Maria Vadeeva showed their growth with strong performances.

Nneka (pictured) and Chiney Ogwumike combined for 30 points in the Sparks’ 92-85 win over the Storm on Friday, May 17.
Courtesy of Los Angeles Sparks via Twitter

The Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Seattle Storm, 92-85, on Friday night in Pasadena, Calif. The win helped the Sparks finish the preseason 1-1, while the Storm fell to 0-2.

Both teams decided to sit out some of their starters. Los Angeles sat out Candace Parker due to a hamstring injury while Seattle sat Sue Bird out. The game, therefore, allowed others to shine before final roster cuts are made.

Here are four takeaways from this game:


Seattle needs to take better care of the ball

The Storm dished 18 total assists but committed 13 turnovers in Friday’s loss, while the Sparks had 21 assists and 15 turnovers. In the Storm’s first preseason game against the Mercury on May 15, they dished 19 assists and turned the ball over just 9 times. Seattle’s rotations stayed relatively similar in the two games, which indicates that they have to improve their consistency.

Jordin Canada continues to show she is Seattle’s point guard of the future

On Friday, Canada scored 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting and dished 6 assists in 28 minutes. This is a strong follow-up to her 13-point performance against the Mercury last Wednesday. Sue Bird will remain the Storm’s starting point guard until she retires. But Canada is also ready to take a more significant role when her number is called.

Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike could form one of the WNBA’s dominant low post duos

The Ogwumike sisters played together at Stanford during their college days, where they formed one of college basketball’s biggest post threats. Now that they both play for the same WNBA team, Sparks fans should be very pleased to see that the two didn’t miss a beat. The Ogwumikes scored a combined 30 points while playing under 20 minutes each. Since Parker will miss about a third of the 2019 season, expect Nneka to have a significant scoring role, while Chiney could be a very strong complement to L.A.’s already deep lineup.

Maria Vadeeva can have a more prominent role for L.A. with Parker out

Sparks head coach Derek Fisher was pleased about Vadeeva’s growth while playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg during the offseason. She played 25 minutes on Friday, scoring 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting off the bench. The four turnovers she committed aren’t ideal, but Vadeeva is still very young, and her scoring consistency can help her become a regular part of L.A.’s rotation this season.