Seattle Storm forward Gabby Williams is available for Game 3 of the semifinals against the Las Vegas Aces after clearing the concussion protocols. Williams will not have any minutes restriction, but how much she’ll play is unclear given this will be her first action in two weeks.
Williams suffered the injury in Game 2 of the Storm’s first-round series with the Washington Mystics on Aug. 21. Early in the third quarter of that game, Williams crashed the offensive glass and took an inadvertent elbow from Mystics forward Shakira Austin. Though it seemed rather innocuous at the time, Williams ran down the floor holding her head and checked out a minute later. She did not return to the game and has remained in the concussion protocol ever since.
“Just to know that we have another big, athletic guard to defend multiple positions [will help],” Storm head coach Noelle Quinn said. “The other aspect that Gabby brings is her ability to initiate, to get downhill, to facilitate. Though we’ve been talking about our defense, I think that’s going to help our offense as well.”
Williams often flies under the radar on a Storm team with four former No. 1 overall picks, but she has been vital to their success since arriving in an offseason trade. She’s a potential All-Defensive honoree, and her ability on that side of the ball figured to be crucial in this series against the most electric offense in the league. But as Quinn noted, it’s not just Williams’ defense that the Storm need. Williams is a terrific athlete and secondary playmaker who can exploit the attention other teams are forced to pay to the likes of Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd.