Sun need to start fast vs. Wings
The Connecticut Sun need to start throwing the first punch.
The Sun have been struggling offensively of late and slow starts have played a part in it. They’ll try to change that pattern on Tuesday night when they play at the Dallas Wings (8, College Park Center, NESN Plus) in their final game before this weekend’s All-Star break.
Connecticut (14-7) is third in the overall WNBA standings but 2-3 in its previous five games. It’s trailed after the first quarter in four of those games by an average of 10.3 points. It’s last in the league in both field goal percentage (38.2) and points (17.6) in the first quarter from June 19-July 3.
“We’ve got to get back to throwing the first punch and finding a way to have more successful first quarters and then not being reactive to being down,” Sun head coach Curt Miller said after Sunday’s 74-72 overtime win over the Washington Mystics.
The Sun, oddly enough, played well offensively in the first quarter of Sunday’s win over the Washington Mystics and shot 50-percent.
The problem Connecticut had in that game was stopping the Mystics in the first half. The latter shot 56.2 percent that half and led, 49-34. They led by as much as 55-38 with 5 minutes, 36 seconds left in the third quarter.
“I think it’s our energy and our effort,” Sun Courtney Williams said about the team’s slow starts. “It’s been talked about that we have to have better starts. So that’s on us and we have to make that adjustment because if we keep putting ourselves in those positions it might not turn out like how it turned out tonight.”
Defensively, Connecticut has been solid over its last five games. It’s fifth in defensive field goal percentage (43.1) since June 19 and allowed the fewest points (75.2 ppg).
Dallas (9-12) has been a skid of late as its lost seven of its last 10 games, including its last three.
The Wings' offense goes through Arike Ogunbowale as she’s averaged a league-high 16.6 shot attempts a game. She’s shot 40.8 percent and averaged 19.5 points (third best in the league).
Dallas has four other players averaging double figures — Allisha Gray (14.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg), Marina Mabrey (12.8 ppg), Satou Sabally (11.1 ppg, 5 rpg) and Isabelle Harrison (10 ppg, 5.5 rpg).