WNBA Preseason week one recap

Week 1: April 23-24th, 2022

Ah, the preseason when everything is still possible… Last year’s events are history and hopes and dreams for a championship run are still alive.

Rookies have gotten through the draft and are now in training camp, where everyone is feeling pretty good about themselves. Sweat drips and sneakers squeak around the gym as players, while happy to be there, work their butts off to prove that they belong and GMs/coaches take a look at how their puzzle pieces are going to fit together this season.

There’s no doubt that tensions are high though, with limited roster space for the year (the league has a max of 12 players per team, but as per Her Hoop Stats some teams will only have 11, due to salary caps) making the pre-season games oh so important to prove your stuff.

For most players that is, a few of the legends can rest,

while others are put to the test.

Games

There were two pre-season games over the weekend, the first was Seattle making easy work of LA on Saturday, April 23rd in the Storm’s brand spanking new Climate Pledge Arena.

*Fun Facts on the Climate Pledge Arena:

  1. It’s named after the Climate Pledge (not a corporation).
  2. The goal is to be the first zero-carbon arena in the world.
  3. It’s powered 100% by renewable energy.
  4. It turns rainwater from the roof (which there is lots of) into NHL ice and has a pretty cool living wall…
Photo by Athletic Business

Read more about it HERE and please don’t eat the plants. Now onto the game…

Sparks caught in a storm

Seattle came out strong and never looked back with their star players Breanna Stewart and Jewel Lloyd combining for 38 points and proving too much for the Sparks.

Lloyd felt the spark in the storm and was lightning quick to get 15 of her 18 points in the first quarter. Leading the team to finish the period 31-15.

Stewart scored 20 points in only 22 minutes played, due to a minutes restriction from her Achilles injury and resulting surgery done last October. Amazing to see (considering) and exciting to see this 2018 MVP back on the court and in rhythm.

While the vets took charge for Seattle, it was the rookie Olivia Nelson-Ododa that stood out for the Sparks. Coming out of UConn and drafted #19 overall only a couple weeks ago, she turned some heads with a double-double 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists. Sadly, it’s rare for a second-round pick to make it onto a WNBA roster and with the Sparks’ being pretty full, it’ll be tough for Nelson-Ododa. But, mad respect as she’s not going away quietly.

Game 2: Washington Mystics vs Atlanta Dream

If a mystic dreams, does it appear in a crystal ball?

The Washington Mystics were snoozing with 32% from the field and lackluster performance against Atlanta. It’s hard to tell what these teams really look like in the pre-season games as they’re not meant to showcase top talent but rather the next-gen; plus help GMs and coaches with final roster spot decisions.

As a result, two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne and two-time WNBA Champ Alysha Clark sat out for Washington, both easing their way back into this season after injuries.

Speaking of next-gen talent though, it was great to see the Dream start their #1 draft pick Rhyne Howard who happily skipped along, picking up 15 points in the game.

Atlanta Dream is resting those winning legs and won’t play again until May 1st, while Washinton Mystics are up against Minnesota on Wednesday and NY on Saturday, April 30th. It seems this was the only pre-season game for the Sparks, which makes it even harder for Nelson-Ododa, but the Storm plays again Thursday, so those rooks have another chance to shine.

Here are the rest of the pre-season games for this coming week:

DATETEAMS
Mon April 25th @ 12:30 pm ESTDallas Wings at Chicago Sky
Wed April 27th @ 11:30 am ESTMinnesota Lynx at Washington Mystics
Thurs April 28th @ 10:00 pm ESTSeattle Storm at Phoenix Mercury
Sat April 30th @ 3:00 pm ESTWashington Mystics at NY Liberty
Sat April 30th @ 3:00 pm ESTChicago Sky at Indiana Fever
Sun May 1st @ 1:00 pm ESTAtlanta Dream at Connecticut Sun
Sun May 1st @ 2:00 pm ESTLas Vegas at Minnesota Lynx

Hope you enjoyed the recap of WNBA preseason weekend games. Follow us on Twitter to get notified of the next post. @jamsreport

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