After sweeping the Washington Mystics in the Finals last season, the Seattle Storm looked poised to running the WNBA all season. That all changed when the news broke that 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart suffered an injury to her Achilles. Before the start of the 2019-20 season, future Hall of Famer Sue Bird announced that she would need surgery on her knee, which would keep both out this season. On top of that, the Storm would be without with their other All-Star guard Jewell Loyd for seven games with an ankle injury.
However, defensive player of the year candidate Natasha Howard and second-year guard Jordin Canada stepped in and helped steer the ship this season. Howard averaged 18.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, and Canada 9.8 points, and 5.2 assists per game.
Canada recently shared some of the things she has been able to learn this season, while Sue Bird has been out.
“How to control and managed a team. I mean this is my second year, but everyone else on the team are veterans. I’m just trying to fit into the new rule that I have by trying to be aggressive and communicate with my teammates, said Canada.
And putting them in position to be successful and try to create as much as, I can. Bring that spark on the defensive end of the floor because my teammates look for from me. So, just a couple of those things.”
Canada earned the respect of her teammates’ veterans Jewell Loyd, and Alysha Clark this season. The two spoke very highly of the second-year point guard out of UCLA before their season finale in Dallas.
“Jordin has done a fabulous job and what she is really great at is her ability to facilitate, she is a great leader, and defensive player. So, to see her be able to have the role as starting point guard to be able to blossom into herself. I think has been really awesome away and has been crucial for our team this season and I am so proud of her to see how she blossomed over the year,” said Clark.
“It’s hard to come in the league and be a point guard and try to do what Sue does, but I think she has done a pretty good job staying true to who she is. At time I’m sure she feels the pressure to help lead this team. She has done a great job putting the extra work in and then trying to do the best she do,” said Loyd.
The Seattle Storm despite the numerous injuries this season were able to clinch a playoff spot. Seattle will have to run the gauntlet since they weren’t able to land either the first or second seed this season.
However, they will be able to play their first-round game in front of their fans in Everett, Washington at the Angel of The Winds Arena against the Minnesota Lynx. The two teams will face each other on Wednesday, September 11. The Storm took the regular-season series with the Lynx 3-1, but in the playoffs, the slate is even as both teams are looking to win this one game elimination match-up. The Storm will rely on their defense to lead to their offense since they are one of the best defensive teams in the league.
“I think for us it is just focusing on us. The little things and the fundamentals and getting ourselves together. We know who we are going to play. Whether it is home or away is what we are going to find out today, but for us, it is about keeping it fun, light, and staying true to who we are,” said Loyd.