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Breakdown Of Sue Bird's Western-Conference-Finals-Winning Shot

A brief breakdown of the game-winning play by Sue Bird and Tanisha Wright that gave the Seattle Storm a 91-88 lead over the Phoneix Mercury with 2.8 seconds left:

  • Tanisha Wright gets the ball off the inbounds play with 23.7 left and holds it at the top of the key setting up for a last shot.
  • Bird starts in the left corner and jogs along the baseline to the right corner to overload the right side of the court.
  • DeWanna Bonner is guarding Bird but shading way off her standing at the right block while Bird is standing still in the corner with her hands on her knees. Bonner is presumably standing in help position in case Wright drives.
  • Camille Little sets an on ball screen for Wright at about seven seconds left.
  • Wright dribbles toward right wing off the screen as Lauren Jackson sets a down screen on Bonner who is way out of position to get around it cleanly to find Bird.on the right wing.
  • Instead of switching on the screen, Tangela Smith follows Jackson while Bonner fights around it to stick with Bird.
  • Bonner did get out to contest the shot, but only after Bird had already set her feet.
  • Bird hits a contested three — and considering 6'4" Bonner’s length flying at her, by no means an easy one — and the Storm are headed to the WNBA Finals.