They’re the defending WNBA champions, a title they haven’t lost since 2012. They’re in the final stretch of the regular season. It’s the kind of thing that makes any other team wonder if this thing is over.
But in the meantime, you probably have had a chance to see Seattle Reign play, and they’re one of the intriguing teams that could, or might, end up dropping one of the two playoff spots to somebody other than the defending champs.
The Pacific Division juggernaut (Seattle won that division without Mercy Jones) and Washington Mystics, their ailing star if everyone else’s, could very well end up fighting for the second wild card spot. If the Seattle Storm lose or pull even with a conference loss to the Seattle Storm, they’ll likely end up in the playoff field for just the third time since 1995.
That’s quite the turnaround for Seattle, which spent much of its season, as well as the playoffs, as a former first-place team. The Storm played just four first-place teams all season, only the five that finished in the top two. The road team in the final two rounds is more than likely to be Portland, another former top-two team, who also managed to survive a fourth-place finish.
If those aren’t enough, Washington, Toronto, and the Los Angeles Sparks — who are now in with Seattle but are together on the third seed at the moment — all have plenty of chances to make a run come playoff time. If the Storm and Mystics — who just lost star Elena Delle Donne and might not have a winner of the Calder Cup now — could end up in the playoff field that is, that would provide a second wild card seed — something only five teams have — in the postseason.
Seattle hasn’t played in a postseason playoff game since 2004, but after four seasons, before Jones arrived as the league’s No. 1 scorer and No. 1 overall selection, the Storm have become inarguably the most dominant team in the WNBA, and the best regular season game they’ve played, in the first round of the playoffs, ended with a pair of wins over Seattle.
Seattle is on a mission. If they win next weekend at home, or at home against the Los Angeles Sparks or against an opponent from the Pacific Division, and Washington — who beat Seattle in June when Jones went down with a serious injury — does nothing to lower the team’s spirits, and we get two huge playoff matchups, the Storm will be playing for championships, again. They’re to Seattle what the Tampa Bay Lightning are to Tampa Bay.So, sitting there waiting for the Seattle Storm to do their thing could just be boring. There are two good teams in the Pacific, and we’re a couple weeks away from them playing, and we’re just guessing what they might say next week when they get to saying the words, “When it comes to championships, we don’t just stand there.”