Mohegan - The sample size, barely enough for an appetizer, cannot render much insight into what will become of the Connecticut Sun's 2012 season. Four games in, the Sun have a 3-1 record, surely more palatable than the reverse.
The Sun enter today's game with Washington (3 p.m., Mohegan Sun Arena) a bit ornery nonetheless. Their "measuring stick" game against defending champion Minnesota revealed a few more warts than perhaps expected.
And yet while the Sun players critiqued their 85-72 loss to Minnesota with some frustration, the voices in the other locker room suggested that Friday night was a mere hiccup.
Minnesota's Seimone Augustus: "It is a really big win for us. Connecticut is a tough place to play. The fans here are amazing. They get behind their team and it becomes very hard to play here. The intensity that their team plays with is like none other. We expect that of a playoff team, and this year they are going to be fighting for a playoff spot and possibly playing in the Finals. For our motivation and for our confidence moving forward, this was a very good win."
Minnesota's Taj McWilliams-Franklin: "It feels great for me because I used to play here, but it was important for us because we came back against a superior foe."
McWilliams-Franklin, a former Sun forward, called Tina Charles "unstoppable" and suggested that Charles' failure to get the ball in the fourth period was "80 percent Connecticut and 20 percent us." She said that if the Sun are patient and smart enough, their offense would be deadly.
Kara Lawson and Sun coach Mike Thibault both discussed the concept of patience, or lack thereof, after Friday's game. And after a quick workout Saturday, they are home again today with a conference game.
Washington, picked to finish last, rallied from a 24-point deficit against Minnesota last week before losing at the final horn. The Mystics lost a two-pointer in Chicago on Friday night when Sylvia Fowles made a layup with 1.8 seconds left.
Plus, as Thibault said last week, his players shouldn't forget that the Mystics dusted them in the preseason.
Washington (1-3) has difficult matchups in Crystal Langhorne and Monique Currie, among others.
And the Mystics, with two consecutive two-point losses, won't be in a mood to sing showtunes today, either.
"Coming close (Friday) did nothing for confidence as far as anything," Sun guard Renee Montgomery said. "If you get confidence off that, that would be like a moral victory and we're not here for that. They did win (the title) last year but we're looking to win this year and when you do play one of the top teams you obviously want to beat them. We looked to win and when you lose it's a disappointment, but you can't hang on it long."