January 14, 2022 

Seattle Storm season in review: Jewell Loyd

The Storm reviews move onto their youngest superstar

Position: 2-guard (98%), point guard (2%)

Age: 27

Base stats: 31 GP (31 GS), 31.0 min, 17.9 pts, 43.9% fg%, 33.6% 3p% on 3.8 3pa, 5.6 fta, 4.0 reb, 3.8 ast, 1.5 stl, 2.3 tov

Key advanced stats: +7.6 on-court plus/minus, +8.0 net plus/minus, 54.4% true-shooting (67th %ile), 27.8 usage (95th %ile), 21.7% ast% (83rd %ile), 12.2% tov% (76th %ile), 2.4% stl% (85th %ile)

Shooting splits: 13.3% of attempts at rim (33rd %ile), 17.9% “long twos” (80th %ile); 40.2% fg% on “long twos” (75th %ile); 17.9% of threes from the corner (69th %ile), 45.2% fg% on corner threes (68th %ile)

Pre-/post-Olympic splits: Pre — 44.4% fg%, 56.5% true-shooting; post — 38.3% fg%, 51.1% true-shooting

Play-type stats: 1.095 points per spot-up (58.1% eFG, 84th %ile), 1.323 points per cut (81st %ile), 1.053 points per iso (85th %ile); 0.659 points defending PnRs (86th %ile), 0.5 points defending off screens (93rd %ile), 0.636 points defending post-ups (90th %ile)

Key quotes:

I’m putting a lot of work and time into my craft. I’m fully buying into the player that I want to become, the person I want to become, and that’s all just an evolution of growth and patience on my part and understanding the process and just being patient, right? And understanding ‘what’s the best way to be my best self every single day?’ And understanding that played a big role in my development in this offseason and where I’m at right now in my career.

Loyd

Jewell hits shots that I couldn’t even hit if I was just in a gym by myself. Like, she hits shots in games where I’m just like, ‘How?! How did you do that? How is that — how?’ And I think that is just a testament to her work, and her professionalism. She is constantly working on her craft. She’s constantly trying to be a sponge. She brings in trainers to work extra before practice, after practice, on the road, at home. She’s a true professional, and she loves this game. She loves this game. She continues to work. She never settles. I think she continues to get better. And she takes pride in her defense… As great of a player as she is offensively, she’s got some dog in her, and she’s not afraid to match up against the other team’s best player and to guard them night-in and-night out — while she’s playing 30, 35, 40 minutes and doing damage on the offensive end. You don’t always have two-way players like that; you’ve got a lot of players that are interested in one end of the floor. And she’s a competitor man, she’s a dog. And you gotta love going to war with someone like her.

Cierra Burdick

Best game: Sep. 17, v. Phoenix — career-high 37 points — including WNBA-record-tying 22 points in a quarter — 12-for-23 FG, 4-for-7 3pt., 9-for-9 FT, four assists, two steals, 30 min


What is there to say about Jewell Loyd that hasn’t already been said?

The seventh-year pro yet again reached new heights in proving Muffet McGraw wrong, earning her first All-WNBA First-Team selection while solidifying herself as a consensus top-10 player. Behind playmaking on both ends that has continuously improved, the combo guard set career-highs nearly across the board. She ran the second-highest usage, highest assist, and second-lowest turnover rates of her career, all while continuing to stifle opponents’ best guards on a nightly basis.

As with the other members of Seattle’s big three, Loyd’s shooting hit a downturn after her Olympic campaign; a couple historic offensive explosions against New York and Phoenix down the stretch buoyed some poor performances in crucial games. Still, her game expanded as she stepped into a focal role for the Storm, entrusted as both a primary and secondary playmaker while running a heavy diet of off-ball sets. And in a league where guard play lags behind the post-game and the makeup of shooting is just starting to come into the modern era, Loyd is an exceptionally transformative combination of pull-up and movement shooting.

After the Wubble, Loyd was a star in Seattle and a popular name on lists of underappreciated players. After 2021, the list of two-way backcourt superstars is only a few names long, and there’s no doubting Loyd’s place on it.


Random highlight:


Current contract: Unrestricted free agent

Offseason Outlook: Likely to return

Well, I was in the middle of writing this section, and then we got wind of Seattle coring Loyd. So yeah, she’s going to be playing in green and yellow next year.

Position data per WNBA Advanced Stats, shooting splits per Basketball Reference, play-type data per Synergy

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the Seattle Storm and college basketball for The Next, while also writing for The Chronicle, Duke's independent student paper

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