August 17, 2020
Connecticut Sun look ahead to the second half of the season
After resting the final quarter against the Seattle Storm the Sun are ready to take on the Indiana Fever
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PALMETTO, FL – AUGUST 16: Jasmine Thomas #5 of the Connecticut Sun shoots the ball against the Seattle Storm on August 16, 2020, at Feld Entertainment Center in Palmetto, Florida. Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
While the Connecticut Sun have appeared to have risen from the ashes, going from 0-5 to 4-7 in a week and a half, the team can’t rest easy yet.
“The locker room knows. It’s not do or die but the locker room knows the Indiana series is going to be a big series when it’s all said and done,” said head coach Curt Miller.
After Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Wings Miller spoke about the importance of tiebreakers this season, and the Indiana Fever are currently in seventh place, just one spot above the Sun.
Already holding a tiebreaker above the ninth place Wings, Jasmine Thomas noted how important tiebreakers are, “Right now we’re hungry for wins so every game is important, but it’s also our first time playing them in our two-game matchup so anytime you have an opportunity to jump up on a tiebreaker and get that first win, it’s good,” said Thomas.
After playing the Seattle Storm close for two and a half quarters on Sunday the Sun were unable to close the gap and made a quick decision to play for future games.
“We made the conscious decision that Tuesday is a huge game for us as it started to get into double figures in that third quarter, that we needed to get some rest with some players so we shut it down, you know, earlier than normal but Tuesday’s a big game for us,” Miller said.
For the first time this season, all 12 Sun players checked into the game and no one played more than 26 minutes. This added rest should benefit DeWanna Bonner, Alyssa Thomas, and Jasmine Thomas who lead the team in both points and minutes per game.
The team struggled with fatigue in the fourth quarter of the season in games 1-5 but was able to close out close games against the Wings and title-contenders Chicago Sky, bringing a reason for optimism heading into the second half of the season.
“It’s weird that you wake up one morning and you’re halfway through and you realize this bubble’s flying by and it’s not so bad after all,” Theresa Plaisance said.
Thomas had similar feelings about it already being the midway point of the season, saying, “It does feel weird because it’s not a lot of games but I think your body definitely feels it. My body feels about the same as it would halfway through a regular season.”
The Sun know they are in a position to make a run in the second half of the season, being healthier than when the season started.
Miller pointed out that eight of the team’s 11 games in the second half of the season are against teams that are ranked sixth or lower in the standings and said the team “feels okay” about winning four of its last six games.
Plaisance noted the team is just looking to make a run, “We have some pretty serious games coming up to make a push for the playoff spot, and hopefully maybe get some ground and in the playoffs as well. And you know, these next, you know, half of the season is going to be very important for us to get a good seeding for the playoffs.”
The Sun return to the court Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. EST against the Fever.