Seattle Storm rocks KeyArena with WNBA championship rally
The Seattle Strom are presented with the 2010 championship trophy.
After losing in the first round of the playoffs five straight years following their first title, Bird, Jackson and the Storm are champions again. Sue Bird jumped into Lauren Jackson‘s arms to celebrate the Seattle Storm’s second WNBA championship and admitted that, after six years of waiting, this title was sweeter than the first.
by Denise J. Saul–
The Seattle Storm won their first WNBA title since 2004 on the heels of a perfect 7-0 playoff run. The Atlanta Dream made every game interesting, but the Storm were poised from start to finish, sweeping their way to perfection. Seattle center Lauren Jackson was named the finals MVP (Sue Bird deserved SERIOUS consideration) with her strong, steady play. Sue Bird and Swin Cash provided the veteran leadership to a team destined to bring home the title.
In the end, Atlanta’s lack of experience hurt them in all three games. But the Dream showed they will be a force to contend with in the eastern conference.
Check out the top 10 plays of the 2010 WNBA finals!
photo courtesy of WNBA.com
For the Atlanta Dream to win game 3 tonight, Angel McCoughtry must play HER game. McCoughtry, who, at times, look like she is forcing the action, needs to exhale and let the game come to her. In only her second year in the WNBA and her first finals appearance one can understand McCoughtry’s increased energy. McCoughtry could also take some of the pressure off herself by relying more on her teammates especially since they’ve shown they are very capable of helping her carry this load. Being at home will certainly help the Dream relax and allow them to play at a level that the Storm must match.
For Seattle, they can just play their game and be themselves as the pressure is squarely on the shoulders of the home team. But Lauren Jackson realizes the Dream are going to be dangerous at home. Jackson, the league MVP, said she was worried about playing in Atlanta after the Storm won two games in Seattle by a combined margin of five points.
“At this point in time I don’t feel overly confident in going to Atlanta,” Jackson said after Tuesday night’s game. “I think that home-court advantage obviously plays a huge part in the series, and especially going back to Atlanta with the way they are playing it’s going to be really difficult for us to get the win.”
photo: Angel McCoughtry #35 of the Atlanta Dream fights for position against Swin Cash #2 of the Seattle Storm. (Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE/Getty Images)
WNBA FINALS: GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS & POSTGAME
WNBA FINALS: ALL-ACCESS GAME 2
by Denise J. Saul
Just how tough have these WNBA finals games been? Take a look at the scratches on Lauren Jackson, the league MVP dropped 26 points on the Dream and Swin Cash added 19points to seal the deal for Seattle who now lead the best-of-five series. The Storm pulled out an 87-84 victory over the Dream in game 2 and are one step closer to another WNBA championship.
Seattle improved to 21-0 at home this season and are hoping it won’t need another game at Key Arena. The series resumes Thursday night in Atlanta, where the Storm can wrap up their first title since 2004.
“We pulled it off, thank God. So I’m happy,” Jackson said.
For Atlanta, Iziane Castro Marques, who kept Atlanta close with 21 points Tuesday night, might have broken her nose for the second time in two months after a first-quarter collision kept her on the bench for a chunk of the second quarter with an ice bag on her nose. Angel McCoughtry, the Dream’s leading scorer, wore a Band-Aid over her left eye, the result of a collision in Game 1 that required stitches.
McCoughtry was off in Game 2, making just seven of 23 shots on her way to 21 points. She tried to salvage the shaky performance, scoring five quick points in the final 30 seconds to help Atlanta get within 3. But it was not enough for the visiting team.
You can expect another ruckus crowd in Key Arena for game 2 tonight, as the Storm look to take a commanding 2-0 lead over the Eastern Conference champs. But Atlanta, a team which plays very well in hostile environments (see Washington, NY) will look to even the series before heading back to the friendly confines of Phillips Arena.
The Atlanta Dream overcame foul trouble by their star forward Angel McCoughtry to play a stellar game against the #1 seed Seattle Storm. Atlanta’s continued to do what got them to the finasl: run, rebound & defend, but the Storm, cool as cucumber, also played their game, get the ball in the hands of Sue Bird and she will make things happen. Bird, with 2.6 seconds remaining, hit the winning shot for Seattle, again, as the home team won by 2, 79-77. MVP Lauren Jackson had 26 points in the win. Angel MCoughtry & Iziane Castro Marques added 19 points apiece for Atlanta.
Do not be fooled by Atlanta #4 seed status, this Dream Team is for real. The Seattle Storm? Well, their play and record speak to the greatness of this team. This should be an outstanding WNBA final series between the youth of Atlanta (players & franchise) against the veteran(s) savvy of the Seattle Storm.