September 1, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Playoff streaks snapped for Phoenix and Seattle, what’s next?

Jackie and Rowan discuss what lies ahead for the Storm and Mercury

In the latest episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball, host Jackie Powell is joined by Seattle Storm beat reporter Rowan Schaberg to discuss how both the Storm and Phoenix Mercury missed the playoffs this year and why it’s significant. The pair also chat about what missing the playoffs this season means for franchise players, what possible changes are ahead for the Phoenix and Seattle coaching staffs and more. 

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Jackie and Rowan talked about how the Storm and the Mercury were eliminated from playoff contention, including Seattle’s path leading up to elimination on Aug. 27.

“There was still a glimmer of hope, I think, with the last 10-ish games,” Rowan said. “When you were looking at the schedule, they’re playing these teams like Minnesota, Phoenix, Indiana, that are kind of also trying to get a playoff spot. And so I think those last 10 games were really key for them to really start figuring out what’s going on. Because if they were to win those games, they actually probably would have had a chance of getting to the playoffs. … And losing those games against those teams that are also floating around in the bottom or the middle of the standings would have been really, really helpful for their playoff prospects, and it just didn’t go that way.”

The pair also discuss what’s next for key players on both teams, including Diana Taurasi and Jewell Loyd, and how the draft may impact the future of the teams.

“It just feels like there are so many unknowns, like you said, Diana, and retiring, who knows what’s going to happen with that,” Rowan said. “And I think that that is also a key part. Same thing with what I was saying with Jewell, it’s going to be important to know what Diana is doing before, they get to the draft and to free agency, because if he doesn’t, then he won’t be able to figure out what shoes he needs to fill there.”

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