Atlanta thought so, too.
The Storm is still without 6-foot-6 three-time league MVP Lauren Jackson, 6-4 Ann Wauters and 6-2 Tina Thompson. Atlanta took full advantage by dominating the rebounding and earning second-chance buckets on its way to a 70-59 WNBA victory at KeyArena.
Jackson has missed all 18 games this season while training with the Australian Olympic team and will return after the league-wide break for thhe Olympics, July 14-Aug. 16. The time off should also give Wauters and Thompson time to come back from a couple of injuries that are listed as day-to-day.
But their presence was missed Wednesday. Seattle (8-10) was outscored in the paint 40-26 and whiffed on its chance to win and improve to .500 for the first time this season.
“If you add the fact that (Camille Little) had three fouls in the first quarter, that is tough on any team,” said Storm guard Sue Bird, who was held to five points after scoring a season-high 31 on Sunday. That essentially makes four players out.
“That was rough this game,” Bird said. “But the break, it is coming at a good time in terms of our injuries. People can get healthy and we can start to make a push in the second half.”
The Storm didn’t get much going early and found itself in an 8-2 hole. Seattle was outrebounded 13-5 and shot 29 percent from the floor in the first quarter.
Just after Katie Smith made a 3-pointer, Bird found Tanisha Wright open for one of her game-high eight assists. The basket tied the game at 27-all in the second quarter.
But every time Seattle made a push, the Dream countered – including an 8-0 run to start the third quarter. Atlanta pushed its lead to 46-34 at the 4:58 mark when Lindsey Harding scored two of her 15 points. The Storm never again threatened.
Reserve Shekinna Stricklen, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 WNBA draft out of Tennessee, led Seattle with season-highs in points (16) and rebounds (nine).
Her efforts weren’t enough to help the Storm extend its win streak, but Seattle’s outlook looks much brighter than when it started the season 1-7.