Seattle Storm win 2020 WNBA Finals

Abdul Al-Arshani, Staff Writer

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) playoffs ended on October 6 with the Seattle Storm sweeping the Las Vegas Aces in a three-game series at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Finals MVP Brianna Stewart led the way for the Storm throughout the series and playoffs.

The WNBA finals this year were different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic caused a delay to the start of the WNBA season from May to late July. The WNBA also played their games in a confined space known as “The Bubble”, similar to the National Basketball Association (NBA). The arena used was IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

The regular season was shortened to 22 games, and no fans were allowed to attend. This trend continued into the playoffs and Finals. During the regular season, the Las Vegas Aces finished as the one seed in the playoffs with a record of 18 wins and four losses. The two seeded Seattle Storm also finished with an 18 win and four loss record but lost both regular-season games against Las Vegas. Unlike the Seattle Storm who didn’t lose a game throughout the playoffs, The Aces had a rougher path to get to the finals. The Aces took on the Connecticut Sun in the semi-finals edging into the finals by winning the fifth game in the five game series.

The Aces, while led by league Most Valuable Player (MVP) A’ja Wilson, fell short of a title. Wilson was only able to record 18 points, six rebounds, and four assists which typically are great statistics, but for the league’s MVP in the finals is a disappointment.

The Ace’s future is bright on the other hand. Due to injury the team was missing previous starters Liz Cambridge and Kelsey Plum. With Plum and Cambridge hopefully returning next season along with Wilson, The Ace’s are a team to keep on the radar.

The Storm came away victorious in this years finals, which was not a surprise to many WNBA fans.

Leading the way for the Storm, was star forward Brianna Stewart. Stewart recorded 37 points and 15 rebounds in game one of the finals, becoming the first player ever with a 35-point, 15-rebound game in the Finals. Stewart finished the series with an average of 28.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 62.8 percent from the field, and 65 percent from three-point range.

For her efforts, Stewart was named Finals MVP. This was Stewart’s second Finals MVP in three years, she won it unanimously this year. Stewart was drafted to the Storm with the first overall pick out of the University of Connecticut in 2016. She has already proven why she was the number one pick in the draft, bringing Seattle two championships in three years.

Alongside Stewart, WNBA veteran Sue Bird assisted in setting the pace and momentum throughout the series. The veteran point guard dished out 16 assists in game one. That’s a career-high for Bird and a WNBA playoff record. Bird has been with the Storm for all 4 of the teams titles and is arguably the best player in Seattle Storm and WNBA history. Bird is also the first player to win a title in three different decades. Since losing the opener for her first title in 2004, Bird and the Storm have won 11 straight finals games.

Despite a solid showing across the league and a consistent showing from the Las Vegas Aces, the Seattle Storm are the 2020 WNBA champions.