Cold-shooting Sun host Mystics
The Connecticut Sun have been of the most exciting and best offensive teams in the WNBA the previous two seasons.
A mere six games into this season, Connecticut’s shooting has been way off the mark.
The Sun have been winning despite being one of the worst shooting teams in the league. They host the Washington Mystics on Tuesday night, who happen to lead the league in shooting percentage.
The game tips off at Mohegan Sun Arena at 7 (NESN Plus, CBSSN).
Connecticut (5-1) shot a mind-numbing 28.4 percent as it ground out a 65-59 win over the Atlanta Dream on Sunday. It was the third time this season it shot less than 34 percent in a game. The Sun are shooting 37.9 over six games, second-worst in the WNBA.
The Sun never shot worse than 35 percent in a game last year. They finished the regular season second in field goal percentage, two tenths of a point behind the world champion Seattle Storm (46.8 to 46.6). They were near the top in other offensive categories, and fifth in field goal percentage in 2017.
Defense has kept Connecticut afloat thus far. Its opponents have the fourth-lowest field goal percentage (40.8). The Sun also lead in defensive points per possession.
(Strangely enough, Connecticut is fourth in offensive points per possession).
Curt Miller challenged his team to find ways to win this season when things weren’t going well, something they’ve struggled with the previous three seasons. They’ve won twice shooting under 34 percent.
Starters Jonquel Jones (17 ppg, 13 rpg), Alyssa Thomas (11.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg) and Courtney Williams (13.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg) are only Sun players shooting over 40 percent.
Jones earned her second Eastern Conference Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor on Monday.
None of Connecticut’s other nine players are shooting over 37 percent.
Washington has won four straight since its season-opening loss at Connecticut (84-69). It leads the league in scoring (89.6) and field goal percentage (46.7).
The Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne missed the Sun loss due to injury. The 2015 WNBA MVP leads her team in both scoring (14.3 ppg) and rebounding (7.8 rpg).
Kristi Toliver also missed most of the second half of that Sun game due to injury. She’s one of the greatest 3-point shooters in league history and is Washington’s second-leading scorer (13.4 ppg).
The Mystics are without starting post Emma Meesseman, their third-leading scorer. The Belgian is with her national team preparing for the EuroBasket Championships.