Saturday, May 29, 2021

On the Beat With the Seattle Storm 05/27/2021

The defending champion Seattle Storm are 4-1 in first place in the Western Conference. Their recent victory over the previously undefeated Connecticut Sun extended their winning streak to three games.

On Thursday, the Storm held a media session featuring Head Coach Dan Hughes and players Candice Dupree and Mercedes Russell. I especially like practice day media sessions because they tend to be be focused on less game-specific topics.

Coach Hughes started by discussing his recent absence to be with his family for his son's graduation. A coaching veteran of more than 20 years, Hughes expressed his changing values. Without regretting previous decisions, Hughes admitted his priorities have changed a bit. More accurately, his ability to balance family and coaching has improved. Both sides of his life are obviously important, but there is room for both.

That conversation morphed into a discussion on Assistant Coach Noelle Quinn, who tok the reigns in his absence. Hughes was quick to point out this wasn't a snub of assistant coach Gary Kloppenburg, who as interim coach last season led the team to the WNBA title. The situation was more of each coach handling specific elements of the job. Hughes praised all of his staff.

Candice Dupree was next, starting her session with talk of her moving up to fourth on the WNBA all-time points list. In her 16th season, Dupree is 83 points behind Cappie Pondexter. While it is an accomplishment that brings her pride, she doesn't really think about it right now.

The 7x All-Star also talked about her changing role. After signing with the Storm in the offseason, Dupree has seen her game minutes drop to below 20 for the first time. It is still early in the season and the team is still finding the right combinations, but obviously she would like to play more. I don't think it is a point of controversy at this point, but it is a situation worth watching.

Lastly, Russell took her turn on the hot seat. Russell spent most of her session answering questions about defense aqnd setting screens on offense. It was an interesting peak into the min of a player on both sides of the ball.

The Storm returns to the court tonight when they host the Minnesota Lynx. The Lynx, who already lost once to the Storm this season, and the Los Angeles Sparks are the only teams without a win. I don't see the Lynx breaking into the win column tonight.

That media session can be found at On the Beat With the Seattle Storm 05/27/2021. Check back here for my recurring coverage of the WNBA.

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