June 5, 2020
2020 Season Simulation: Connecticut Sun begin season at the top of the standings
The Sun led the league with a 6-1 record as the calendar changed to June
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We are proud to announce a collaboration with Pivot Analysis to bring you a simulated 2020 WNBA season, based on the schedule as originally written. We’ll be reporting on it, and speaking to league figures out the sim season, as we await the return to play. See the full results, box scores and standings, continually updated, here.
Jasmine Thomas, Jonquel Jones and Curt Miller. Photo by Chris Poss.
The Connecticut Sun entered June atop the WNBA standings with a 6-1 record in the Pivot Analysis’ 2020 WNBA season simulation. By June 14, they were comfortably in the mix for a top overall seed.
Though the team started the season strong Sun head coach Curt Miller knows not to get comfortable.
“We are pleased with our quick start but realize there are things we can continue to improve. We will continue to take the approach of one game at a time,” he said.
Connecticut averaged 83 points per game in May, led by Jonquel Jones and newcomer DeWanna Bonner. (All stats that follow are through June 1.)
Jones started the season with a hot shooting hand, averaging 17.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks, 7.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Bonner is making an impact on her new team immediately, averaging 16.3 points per game.
Miller noted the team’s goal is to always play an attacking and up-tempo system and that the team is at their best when they can get out in transition.
Briann January is also adjusting to playing in Connecticut well, going 11-for-17 from behind the arc to start the season.
With Connecticut averaging nearly seven steals per game, Miller has been impressed with his team’s defensive effort.
“You have to credit our players for their effort and desire at the defensive end. They understand that our defense fuels our offense and can help grind out a win when we don’t have our A-game,” he said.
Alyssa Thomas is continuing her defensive dominance by averaging a team-high 1.4 steals per game.
The Sun averaged 14.2 turnovers per game last season and are averaging just 8.6 so far this season, something Miller believes is a key part of the team’s success.
“Valuing the basketball is a huge key for us,” he said. “It not only allows us to get shots on goal but it helps keep teams out of transition off of our turnovers.”
Next week, the Sun host the Liberty, then travel to Atlanta to face former Sun assistant Nicki Collen and the Dream.
Written by Jenn Hatfield
Jenn Hatfield has been a contributor to The Next since December 2018 and is currently the site's managing editor, Washington Mystics beat reporter and Ivy League beat reporter. (She also writes the "Family Rivalries" series for The Next.) Her work has also appeared at FiveThirtyEight, Her Hoop Stats and FanSided.