Mohegan — A member of The Optimists’ Club would shrug at the Connecticut Sun’s two losses this season. They’re still unbeaten in the Eastern Conference, home of all playoff seeding tiebreakers.
Hence, since both Sun slayers hail from the Western Conference, the losses bear no long-term effects.
Then there’s a gloomier outlook, pointing to the 0-2 record the Sun have posted thus far against Minnesota (9-0) and Los Angeles (7-1), the two best teams they’ve played.
So, coach Thibault?
“I’d look at it this way,” Thibault said Thursday, after preparing the Sun for tonight’s game against New York at Mohegan Sun Arena.
“They’re the two best teams and we had a lead in the fourth quarter of both games and didn’t hang on. The good news is that we know we can play with the two best teams. I’d put Chicago in there, too, but we haven’t played them yet.”
The Sun played an entertaining game Wednesday with Los Angeles, losing 87-81. The Sparks needed Candace Parker to score 33 points and for Nneka Ogwumike to shoot 7-for-7 from the field.
“It was a good game. Both teams competed like crazy,” Thibault said. “My disappointment is we had opportunities at the end that we didn’t finish. We did a lot of good things. But in both games we lost, we shot a poor percentage in the second half. (Wednesday) we missed point blank shots.
“Those games don’t make or break you,” Thibault said. “The good part is that you can learn from games like that.”
The Sun can apply the lessons tonight against the Liberty (3-6). Connecticut defeated New York last month in back-to-back games, playing well in the final period both times. This game begins a stretch of five straight against the Eastern Conference. The Sun are 5-0 in the conference this far.
“New York’s lineup has changed,” Thibault said. “(Kia) Vaughn and (Essence) Carson are in as opposed to (Kara) Braxton and (Nicole) Powell. As a team, they’re shooting the ball better. They’ve changed some of their plays to make sure (leading scorer) Cappie (Pondexter) gets the ball more 1-on-1. They’re as dangerous as can be.”