Seattle Storm coach Brian Agler has maintained throughout the playoffs that there isn’t much distance between this team that has gone undefeated during the playoffs and everyone else.
But what makes this team great is simple to anyone who has watched the entire season: it’s hard to remember a team with such a strong expectation to win every single time they hit the court, no matter what the circumstances, no matter who the opponent. It’s hard to remember a team in any sport for whom anything short of winning was a disappointment on almost every single occasion, slow starts or late deficits notwithstanding.
So it’s fitting that the Seattle Storm won their second championship tonight by ending the fourth quarter on a 14-1 run to sweep the Dream in Game Three of the WNBA Finals 87-84.
And as usual, the third quarter was by no means perfect – the Dream started off the third playing as well as they had played all season, forcing the Storm out of their sets and into rushed decision making and a rash of turnovers. They were playing the passing lanes and getting out in transition.
But then Storm forward Swin Cash hit a three with the Storm down six and the flood gates opened, led by their All-Star trio: she got hot, Bird got hot, and Lauren Jackson started finding looks after being held to four points in the first half.
Heading into the fourth quarter down by seven points, the fought valiantly, never quite showing signs of giving up. But ultimately the Storm overwhelmed them as they have done everyone in the league all year.
Although few people would have found reason to doubt the Storm taking one of two games in Atlanta to win the championship, it was difficult to predict a sweep because you had to figure at home that the gutsy Dream weren’t simply going to fold and the first two games.
Then again, imagining ways to beat this team and actually bringing that about have been two clearly distinct tasks this season.
That’s why they’re coming back to Seattle with hardware.
The Seattle Storm organization will host a postgame 2010 WNBA Championship Rally tonight and are encouraged to join Doppler, Matt Pitman and in-arena host Shellie Hart on KeyArena’s West Plaza located on the Seattle Center Campus.