Seattle Storm to Begin Postseason Play in WNBA Semifinals

The Seattle Storm Playoffs presented by Symetra begin Sept. 20

After staying on top of the league for the entire 2020 WNBA season, the Seattle Storm will begin postseason play in the WNBA semifinals, receiving a double-bye as the No. 2 seed. The Seattle Storm Playoffs presented by Symetra commence on Sept. 20, bypassing both single-elimination rounds and beginning the playoffs with a five-game series.

Despite a non-traditional regular season format comprised of a schedule reduced to only 22 games, the WNBA will play a traditional playoff format, where the top-eight teams in the league make the playoffs regardless of conference. This is the second time Seattle has secured a top-two seed in the current playoff format, which has existed since 2016. The only other time was in the 2018 championship-winning season.

“Symetra is excited to be a presenting sponsor of the Storm’s 2020 WNBA playoffs appearance. The team has been incredibly inspiring this season, on and off the court. In an unprecedented year for sports, they’ve remained fiercely competitive and provided countless virtual thrills for Storm fans. And, in an unprecedented year for our country, they’ve been fiercely vocal advocates for social justice. We could not be prouder to support them as they begin their playoff run,” said Trinity Parker, SVP, Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs at Symetra.

The Storm holds an all-time playoff record of 26-25, with a 7-5 record in the current playoff format. The last time Seattle began postseason play in the semifinals, in 2018, they posted a 6-2 record to win the WNBA Championship.

The 2020 WNBA season saw the return of Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart for the Seattle Storm. With its stars back in the lineup, Seattle dominated the WNBA, finishing with a .818 record. The Storm posted a 10-1 record to kick off the season for the best start in franchise history. The season was also highlighted by a nine-game win streak, second only to 2010’s 13-game win streak in franchise history.

Breanna Stewart re-established herself as one of the top players in the game in another MVP caliber season following her return from an Achilles injury. She averaged 19.7 points per game, good for No. 4 in the league, while also stepping up her game with career-high averages in assists and steals. Stewart was also named Western Conference Player of the Week twice.

The Storm assisted 68.8 percent of baskets and averaged a league-high 21.9 assists per game, led by Jordin Canada and the return of Bird. Canada finished No. 3 in the league in assists with 5.5 per game. Seattle was also an excellent three-point shooting team, finishing No. 2 in the league with a 39.4 three-point field goal percentage. Alysha Clark led the league in three-point shooting for the second consecutive year, shooting 52.2 percent for the fourth-best three-point shooting performance in a season in WNBA history. She also surpassed her 2019 three-point shooting record of 48.1 percent, already the best three-point shooting season in Storm history.

In addition to being one of the league’s top offenses, the Storm had the WNBA’s top defense. Seattle led the league in steals with 10.0 per game, and held opponents to an average of 76.0 and shooting 40.1 percent, both the lowest in the league. They were bolstered by Defensive Player of the Year candidate Alysha Clark and reigning DPOY Natasha Howard.