2004 Record
20-14, .588
(2nd in West)

Points Scored
2437 (2nd overall, 2nd in West)
Points Allowed
2264 (7th overall, 5th in West)
Scoring Differential
+5.1 (1st overall, 1st in West)

Award Winners & Honorees
Olympians
Sue Bird
Lauren Jackson
All-WNBA
Sue Bird, First Team
Lauren Jackson, First Team

2004 Draft Recap
Rd. 2 - 19, Trina Frierson

Playoff History
Two out of five years
Last Appearance
2004, Won WNBA Title

2004 In Review:
What Went Right?

When this question was posed to Anne Donovan, coach of the 2004 WNBA Champions, she backtracked all the way back to this time last year, when the team made two moves that were critical to their success a year ago.

Lennox
The first was the acquisition of Betty Lennox in the 2004 Dispersal Draft. Weeks later, the Storm traded the sixth overall pick in the WNBA Draft to Minnesota, receiving forward Sheri Sam and center Janell Burse in return.

In Lennox and Sam, the Storm landed two former All-Stars who could step right into the starting lineup to fortify the wing positions. In Burse, the Storm got a 6-5 prospect to back up center Kamila Vodichkova and provide much-needed depth in the middle.

With an improved supporting cast to complement All-WNBA First Teamers Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird, the Storm finished with the second-best record in the league, 20-14.

After sweeping Minnesota and outlasting Sacramento to win the West, the Storm beat Connecticut in the Finals to give Seattle its first championship of any kind since 1979. Donovan became the first female coach to win a WNBA title, leading the Storm to a 74-60 win in Game Three in front of a packed house of more than 17,000 in Seattle's Key Arena. The Storm finished 19-3 at home, including 5-0 in the playoffs.

Lennox, only the sixth pick in Dispersal Draft months earlier, averaged 22.3 ppg against Connecticut, earning Finals MVP honors.

What Went Wrong?

Six new players suited up for Seattle last season. Naturally, Donovan's biggest concern was how the chemistry would develop. Lennox and Sam alleviated many of her concerns with their willingness to accept lesser roles than they enjoyed as All-Stars elsewhere.

Lennox and Sam were also critical components in the transition of the team's image from "one of the nicest teams" in the WNBA, says Donovan, to an edgier group that played with a sense of urgency.

Donovan said the urgency was a necessary ingredient from day one, because she knew the post-Olympic stretch of the schedule might prove difficult for her two best players, Olympians Bird and Jackson. Sure enough, Seattle's 17-8 stretch prior to the break enabled them to endure a 3-6 finish without dropping out of the race.

Head Coach
Anne Donovan
2004 Starting Lineup
G- Sue Bird
G- Betty Lennox
F- Sheri Sam
F- Lauren Jackson
C- Kamila Vodichkova
Key 2004 Reserves
Tully Bevilaqua
Janell Burse
Key Additions
Suzy Batkovic
Jessica Bibby
Key Losses
Tully Bevilaqua
Kamila Vodichkova
Sheri Sam

Looking Ahead To 2005:
Key Questions

Jackson
Seattle's success has made its players attractive on the free agent market. Vodichkova (Phoenix), Sam (Charlotte) and reserve guard Tully Bevilaqua (Indiana) have all moved on. With three of the team's top seven players gone, the obvious question is who steps up in Seattle?

Enter Suzy Batkovic, Seattle's second round pick in 2003. A 6-4 center, Jackson's teammate on the Australian National Team, Batkovic signed on March 15 to offset the loss of Vodichkova. Donovan calls her "one of the most dominant centers in the world." She is averaging 11.5 points and 7.1 rebounds in the Euroleague this season.

Another Australian import, guard Jessica Bibby, averaged 13.9 ppg for the WNBL champion Dandenong Rangers in 2004-05. She and veteran guard Adrienne Johnson, who last played in the WNBA in 2003 with Connecticut, were signed as free agents on March 3. Can either player make a big impact? Can the 12th pick in the draft net a difference-maker?

As the Detroit Shock found out in 2004, the league champion wears a target on its back every night. Will the Storm suffer a similar setback? With a tandem of Bird, 24, and Jackson, 23, in the lineup every night, it's hard to imagine the Storm not being back in contention for the next several years.