It’s hard to imagine the Connecticut Sun getting any better defensively.
They lead the WNBA in defensive rating and honestly could make a case that their entire starting five should be named to the All-Defensive First Team. The Sun have been so dominant this season it’s almost scary to wonder what they’d look like had Alyssa Thomas not torn her achilles in January.
But based on her progress, that nightmare could become reality for Connecticut’s competition.
“We’re excited about AT’s continued progress with her rehab,” Connecticut coach Curt Miller on Tuesday told reporters ahead of the Sun’s win over the Dallas Wings, via The Hartford Courant’s Alexa Philippou. “I think it’s fair to say that she is ahead of schedule. Ultimately what that schedule is is still a day-to-day observation and evaluation.”
The Sun re-signed Thomas to a multi-year deal after her surgery, showing their loyalty for the 2020 WNBA All-Defensive First Team selection and two-time All-Star.
So naturally, the team won’t be pressuring her to come back before she’s ready.
“Best case for me is for her to be confident, to feel good with her recovery that when she decides that she’s ready to play, if that’s Nov. 1 in the Czech Republic, or if it’s somewhere down the line here in the remaining part of our season, that she is perfectly mentally and physically in a good place to return,” Miller said. “Obviously a major injury is not just the physical rehab, along with that it’s so much mental. The best-case scenario is that AT in her mind is in the place she wants to be upon return to basketball.”
Thomas has been vocal about her excitement in her progress, despite concerns about coming back from a major injury. And with Connecticut’s WNBA Finals chances looking as good as ever, you could imagine Thomas would want to be a part of this run after coming so close the last two seasons.
It doesn’t seem likely, but the possibility of her return also is fun to dream about.