Storm Roundup: Seattle clinches ninth consecutive playoff birth

Storm To Play Minnesota or LA in Round 1

With wins in both legs of a home-and-home series against the Tulsa Shock combined with a Phoenix Mercury loss, the Seattle Storm have secured their WNBA-record ninth consecutive playoff appearance.

With five games remaining on the schedule, the fourth-seeded Storm can only move up one spot in the Western Conference standings, and even that seems a little far-fetched at this point.

Lauren Jackson

Lauren Jackson’s return from injury will pay huge dividends for the Storm as they approach the WNBA playoffs.

However, the Storm do have two head-to-head matchups with the third-seeded San Antonio Silver Stars remaining this season, so catching San Antonio is still a possibility.

No matter where the team is seeded, one thing we know is that the team will have to win on the road against either the L.A. Sparks (who defeated the Storm in all five previous meetings this season) or the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx (who have beaten the Storm three out of their four meetings).

The Storm are finishing up a road trip, having started by splitting a pair of games – beating Tulsa and losing to Atlanta.

Seattle will return for one final three-game homestand. They will face Chicago, Connecticut and San Antonio before traveling to Phoenix for the last of five matchups with the Mercury on ESPN2 to wrap up the 2012 regular season.

While the Storm are yet to get above the .500 mark, the team isjust beginning to play at full strength for the first time.

The return of Lauren Jackson to the lineup (after missing the first half of the year) as well as Tina Thompson and Ann Wauters coming back from injuries has given the Storm much needed size that they lacked at times earlier in the season.

The Storm are sure to be considered a sleeper team as the playoffs approach.

While their record is still two games below .500 at 13-15, the Storm have the depth and veteran players to beat anybody on any given night.

The team will be an underdog against either Minnesota or L.A., but the two-time WNBA champions will not be overlooked by any opponent.

Stay tuned later this month for complete Storm Basketball playoff updates as the team begins its quest for a third WNBA title.


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About Ben Tole

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