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How Was Sue Bird Left Open For Her Game Winning Shot? (Detailed Breakdown With Pictures)

The legend of Sue Bird’s game-winning 3-point shot that sent the Seattle Storm to the WNBA Finals this afternoon has already started to grow.

“Sue Bird” was a trending topic on Twitter shortly after the game. Someone asked if it’s the biggest shot in WNBA history, given the increased media attention to the game and hype around the Storm and the series (although New York Liberty fans would likely object to any suggestion of something like that). Seth Kolloen of the SunBreak wondered on Twitter where the comeback that the shot capped fits among Seattle’s all-time great professional sports comebacks.

Last, but certainly not least: Are Storm fans ready to call this “The Shot” on par with, not a replacement for, “The Play” from last year’s playoffs?

Perhaps some of those things will be sorted out with time, but for now the question on the minds of Mercury fans is, “How did Sue Bird get open for that shot?”

Drawing upon the brief breakdown posted here earlier, Seth Pollack of SB Nation Arizona and Swish Appeal provided a detailed frame-by-frame breakdown of Bird’s shot with screenshots and the following description of what happened from the Mercury point of view:

The fact that Bonner can close that much distance and still alter the shot says a lot about DeWanna’s ability as a defensive player. The fact the Sue Bird hit the shot says a lot about what a cold-blooded assassin she is.

“We were in an all-out switch which we’ve been doing all year. I have no clue how she got open. Obviously, we didn’t switch and she’s probably the last person you want to leave open. She hit a big shot,” Taurasi said about the play after the game.

To relive the shot (proper noun or not) moment-by-moment, check out the full breakdown on Swish Appeal.