The Seattle Storm were a force of nature.
They had the best player in the league in 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart. They had the legend that is Sue Bird. They had another All-Star in the backcourt with Jewell Loyd. Those three were surrounded by quality role players who bought into the system. The Storm had the best record in the WNBA this season, 26-8.
Then they owned the playoffs, Wednesday night capping off a three-game sweep in the Finals of the Washington Mystics 98-82 to pick up the third title in Seattle Storm history. Despite Game 3 being on the road, this felt like a coronation of a great team. More than just a collection of talent, they played strong team basketball — Seattle had 26 assists on 36 made baskets, plus drained 13 threes (shooting 50 percent) in Game 3 — and that would overwhelm any opponent.
Stewart was named the Finals MVP, capping her run off with 30 points and 8 rebounds in the clinching game. She just proved to be too good and too strong inside all series long.
Stewart’s list of accomplishments is impressive.
Then again, so is Sue Bird’s — Two-time NCAA champion at UConn, the top pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft, three WNBA titles, four Olympic gold medals, four EuroLeague titles (during the WNBA’s off-season), and we could go on and on, but you get the point. She will be in the Hall of Fame soon enough.
Bird and Natasha Howard showed great pick-and-roll chemistry all Finals long — the Mystics just had no answer for it — and Howard finished Game 3 with 29 points and 14 rebounds.
For Washington, this was the franchise’s best season ever, reaching the Finals for the first time behind Elena Delle Donne (23 points in the final game) and Kristi Toliver (22 points). The Mystics were a good team, but they lacked the depth of talent Seattle could just keep rolling out there.