The Connecticut Sun are on the road to the postseason. But it won’t be a smooth ride to get there.
The Sun went 2-1 in the fourth week of WNBA action, with their only loss of the week coming against a dominant Las Vegas Aces squad. Connecticut now owns second place in the Eastern Conference and sits just two games below .500.
The Sun have won six of their last nine games, a big turnaround considering their 0-5 start. Connecticut further improved its postseason chances Tuesday with an 82-64 victory over the Indiana Fever, another team battling for a spot in the playoffs.
There are just eight games left on the Sun’s regular-season slate, most of which (if not all) are winnable games. Connecticut has just two games left against teams with a winning record, including Friday’s contest against the Los Angeles Sparks.
There’s still plenty of room for the Sun to improve ahead of the postseason, however.
Sure, they’re shooting much better now than they were a couple of weeks ago. But Connecticut still has some growing to do on the whether it’s on the defensive side of the ball or limiting turnovers and avoiding foul trouble.
“It’s just a matter of us cleaning up those things and minimizing those unforced errors, and all of that stuff is well within our control, which is promising,” Briann January said after the Sun’s loss to the Aces, via The Hartford Courant’s Alexa Philippou. “I don’t think this game shook our confidence because we knew that we were the cause of a lot of the mistakes that we made tonight.”
The Sun had some defensive troubles in the latter portion of their win over the Fever, too, though most of the problems came in the second half.
“As good as our defense was in the first half, they made some individual plays late in shot clocks, just tremendous one-on-one plays, and eventually got the ball in the paint and in the basket,” Miller said, per Philippou. “It takes so much energy to make those one-on-one plays throughout the course of a game, and if we’re guarding their sets and we’re making them make those type of plays late in the shot clock, eventually they’re not going to be able to. So that was the defensive approach: stick to the game plan, stick to it and then really, really battle late in the shot clock when they have to go make individual plays.”
There isn’t much time left for the Sun to correct their mistakes if they want to find success in the postseason. Connecticut plays its final game of the regular season in just two weeks on Sept. 11, and they won’t be the only team clawing at the opportunity to make the playoffs, either.
The clock is ticking, and the Sun have little time to waste.
Here are some more notes from this week in Sun basketball:
— The Sun waived Jacki Gemelos on Monday. Gemelos played just five games with Connecticut and posted 11 points.
— Connecticut picked up Essence Carson off waivers Monday, as well. Carson has eight points and seven rebounds in her first three games with the Sun.
— DeWanna Bonner continued her climb up the WNBA’s all-time scoring chart. She now is is in sole possession of 20th place.
— Brionna Jones set a personal record Saturday, scoring her 400th career point in the Sun’s victory over the Liberty.
— The Sun play three games this week after a much-needed four-day break.
Connecticut kicks things off Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET with its first matchup against the Phoenix Mercury since Bonner and January joined the Sun in February. They return to the court Friday for an 8 p.m. game against the Los Angeles Sparks before wrapping up the week Sunday at 8 p.m. against the Washington Mystics.