September 6, 2020 

Sun looking to find rhythm as Alyssa Thomas returns to court

Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited, and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives, and projections about the game we love. Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media…

Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited, and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives, and projections about the game we love.

Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues, and grows. Subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.


Teaira McCowan #15 of the Indiana Fever plays defense against Brionna Jones #42 of the Connecticut Sun on September 5, 2020 at Feld Entertainment Center in Palmetto, Florida. Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAEvia Getty Images)

Before the Connecticut Sun played the Indiana Fever head coach Curt Miller said that he didn’t know if his team could score 100 points. 

About three hours later his team had scored 96 points en route to a nearly 20 point victory to improve to 9-10. 

The 96 points was a season-high for the Sun who have struggled at times on the offensive end of the court.

“Part of it is we didn’t turn the ball over so we got more shots on goal. We were able to get to foul line early in the game and we shot tremendously for the foul line. So we needed a game like that to shoot over 50 percent. We know that we’ve been chunky, a little bit inconsistent to say the least offensively,” said Miller. 

He added, “But tonight we did a lot of little things. We took care of the ball, we had good screening angles, there’s a commitment to get touches in the paint. So we’re capable, we have talented offensive players, we just haven’t been very consistent and it’s hard to practice. It’s hard to clean that up. So a confidence boost for sure at the offensive end and our defense continues to carry us.”

DeWanna Bonner believes that the team’s defense drives the offense, but acknowledged both need to be up to par before the playoffs start. 

“We stepped up and knocked down a couple shots today, everything was just clicking, today. We knew we wanted to come out after that Vegas game with everybody back on the court. Like I said, we just try to find the rhythm before playoffs so that’s a good feeling that we can put up 96 points and play the same defense,” said Bonner. 

Alyssa Thomas knows the confidence that an offensive performance like this can create, “[The] playoffs are right around the corner, that makes us a dangerous team. So, I’m happy where we are, hopefully we can continue, keep growing and I think we can shock a lot of people.” 

Thomas missed the last game with a hand injury, but returned against the Fever and had 20 points, five rebounds, four assists, five steals and a block. 

After the game Miller commended her strength and will saying, “her hand is a mess, but her legs are not, her motor is not a mess. Her competitiveness is as big as anyone’s in this league.”

The team plans to look for ways to mitigate the discomfort in her hand as the regular season wraps up. 

Thomas downplayed her injury saying she was “pushing through some pain” and said, “I try not to think about it when I’m out there and just continue to play my game.”

However, she later added, “Every time I catch the ball it just feels like my bones are hitting together so it’s pretty painful but it is what it is.”

Thomas, who has played the last couple seasons with two torn labrum, has proven she can play through pain. The Sun are better with Thomas on the court and as long as she can play, she will continue numbers across the box score and be a difference maker for her team. 

The Sun return to the court on Sept. 7 to take on the Phoenix Mercury at 7 p.m. ET. 

Written by Natalie Heavren

Natalie Heavren has been covering women’s basketball since February 2019 and currently covers both the Atlantic 10 and the WNBA.

Leave a Comment