On Thursday night time, the WNBA returned from its Olympic hiatus with the championship recreation of the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup — the in-season competitors that debuted this season. Because of a dominant third quarter, the Seattle Storm pulled away from the Connecticut Solar for a 79-57 win to elevate the trophy.
Breanna Stewart led the way in which with 17 factors, 4 rebounds, three assists and 4 steals, whereas Jewell Loyd added 16 factors and Sue Hen chipped in 10 factors and 5 assists. After taking an 11-point lead into the break, the Storm put the sport out of attain by outscoring the Solar 22-5 within the third quarter.
For her effort, Stewart was named MVP of the sport, which got here with a $5,000 bonus.
Listed below are some key takeaways from the sport:
Right here comes the cash
One of many massive attracts of the Commissioner’s Cup — at the least in idea — was that $500,000 can be on the road within the championship recreation. In a league the place max salaries are nonetheless within the low six figures and plenty of younger gamers are making between $60-70,000, that was anticipated to be a big incentive.
In follow, the gamers did not put additional emphasis on Commissioner’s Cup video games. “To be trustworthy with you, I do not assume we go into the sport fascinated with that,” Dallas Wings ahead Kayla Thornton stated earlier this season. “I believe within the aftermath, as soon as we sit down and discuss stuff, it is like, ‘Oh, dang, that was a Commissioner’s Cup recreation.'”
As soon as the championship recreation arrived, nonetheless, the cash was immediately very actual. For profitable this recreation, each participant on the Storm will obtain $30,000, whereas each participant on the Solar will get $10,000. Stewart will get a further $5,000 for profitable MVP.
Storm’s Crew USA trio picks up the place it left off
5 days in the past, the USA girls’s basketball workforce received a historic seventh straight gold medal on the Tokyo Olympics. That workforce featured three members of the Storm: Breanna Stewart, Jewell Loyd and Sue Hen. Coming into the sport, one of many massive questions was how that trio would fare with such a fast turnaround.
Whereas all that journey could meet up with them sooner or later down the stretch, they did not appear to be bothered by it on this recreation. They picked up proper the place they left off in Japan, and have been in a a lot better rhythm than the Solar proper from the opening tip. These three have been the one Storm gamers in double-figures and mixed for 43 of the Storm’s 79 factors on 16 of 25 from the sector.
It is price noting that as a result of it was such an enormous blowout none of them even performed within the fourth quarter. The truth is, after they checked out of the sport late within the third, they have been outscoring the Solar by themselves at that time, 43-40.
Solar look rusty
Whereas the Storm could have been coping with some fatigue, the Solar have been clearly coping with the alternative challenge. None of their gamers went abroad to the Olympics, so that they hadn’t performed in an actual recreation since July 11 when the league went on hiatus. Whereas they may follow and scrimmage in that point, there isn’t any approach to simulate an precise aggressive recreation.
That rust was apparent all night time lengthy, because the Solar have been sloppy with the ball and missed far too many simple photographs. They turned it over a whopping 20 occasions, which is tied for his or her second-most turnovers in a recreation this season. Whereas turnovers have been a difficulty for them at occasions previous to the break, this was worse than regular, particularly since numerous them have been shot clock violations. Whereas the Storm deserve credit score for his or her protection, quite a few shot clock violations in a single recreation is an indication of an out of sync workforce.
Furthermore, the Solar shot 9 of 30 within the paint by the primary three quarters, together with an 0 of 9 mark within the disastrous third quarter. Once more, a few of that’s the Storm’s stout protection, however there have been a bunch of photographs that bigs like Jonquel Jones and Brionna Jones would usually make that they simply did not on this recreation.
On the brilliant facet for the Solar, this recreation did not depend in direction of the common season standings, so that they have been capable of shake a few of that rust off earlier than it actually issues.
https://www.cbssports.com/wnba/information/wnba-2021-commissioners-cup-championship-storm-pull-away-from-sun-to-claim-trophy-bonus-checks/ | WNBA 2021 Commissioner’s Cup championship: Storm draw back from Solar to say trophy, bonus checks