The Seattle Storm will quickly find out just how far they must go to compete with the WNBA’s elite teams. On Saturday the Storm will open the 2023 season against the WNBA defending champions Las Vegas Aces. Granted one game does not a season. What Saturdays match up against the star-studded Aces will be a barometer to measure the team’s tactical formations and a real look at life in WNBA
A TOUGH DEFENSIVE MATCH
Storm head coach Noelle Quinn is a defensive-minded coach who believes in basic hard-nosed basketball. Quinn believes a good defense is the basis of a good defense. Defensive rebounds are the catalyst to a transition game. With three turning players the Storm roster has undergone a major change. All-Star forward Jewell Loyd, budding forward Ezi Magbegor, and center Mercedes Russell are proven and experienced.
The question marks will be how well Kia Nurse, Yvonne Turner, Sami Whitcomb, and rookie Jordan Horston respond. Nurse, Turner, and Whitcomb have experience and if they are able to play smart and consistent basketball on both ends the Storm could surprise.
ROOKIES ON PRIME TIME
Saturday’s game will be nationally televised and provide an opportunity for rookies Horston, Jade Melbourne, Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu, and Ivana Dojkic to see how they measure up against the talented Aces. Arella Guirantes and Kaila Charles have limited WNBA experience which can be a positive. Guirantes has played for two years and Charles has three years. The positive is that they are young and could help build a winning nucleus.
VEGAS IS A TOUGH ASK
That winning nucleus is not going to happen against the defending WNBA Champions who got better during the season. The Aces picked up two-time league MVP Candace Parker and former Storm star Alysha Clark. Add the two to an Aces roster that already has WNBA MVP and Defensive Player of the Year A’Ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, and Chelsea Gray one can see why tomorrow’s game will be a measuring stick for the young Storm. The key to the Storm’s season will be about patience and consistent effort. Why not start that journey against the best in the WNBA?
After Friday’s practice, the team held a graduation ceremony for rookie Jordan Horston who missed her commencement at the University of Tennessee.
The WNBA handed Aces head coach Becky Hammon a two-game suspension without pay and the team lost its 2025 first-round draft pick for violating league rules in its treatment of former player Dearica Hamby.