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Seattle Storm Has 'Best Chance' For Third WNBA Championship

Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
Seattle Storm's Sami Whitcomb, Sue Bird, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Courtney Paris and Mercedes Russell, from left, huddle with teammates after the Storm defeated the Connecticut Sun 103-92 in a WNBA basketball game Friday, June 15, 2018, in Seattle.

The Seattle Storm will play the Phoenix Mercury in the semi-final round of the WNBA playoffs. The first game is Sunday at 2 p.m. at KeyArena.

KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel talked to Morning Edition Host Kirsten Kendrick about how the Storm has stood out this season.

'Major Upset' If Storm Doesn't Go All The Way

"If they don't win their third championship, this is going to be a major upset because they've done everything they needed to do to have success this year," Thiel said.

"They had the best regular-season record in the WNBA this year at 26-8. That's the second-best record they've had in their 19 seasons in Seattle. So that gave them the No. 1 seed."

Format Change

"In 2016, the WNBA changed its playoff format to allow the top eight teams regardless of conference to be seeded in the playoffs. The Storm were No. 1. That also meant that they didn't have to play in the two first-round games, which are always knock-out rounds. It's one and done."

"And in the last two seasons when the Storm did make the playoffs they were in the knock-out round and got knocked out. So, this bypasses that."

"The great virtue of the Storm's regular season is that they will have, if they need them, three home games out of the five."

"So, if they can't make it with this advantage, I don't know. I would be looking for curses."

Never miss an episode again. Subscribe to Sports With Art Thiel on iTunes or Google Play. You can find Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest and Crosscut.

Kirsten Kendrick has been hosting Morning Edition on KNKX/KPLU since 2006. She has worked in news radio for more than 30 years. Kirsten is also a sports lover. She handles most sports coverage at the station, including helping produce a two-part series on the 50th anniversary of Title IX and the ongoing series "Going Deep."
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.
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