May 31, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Checking in on the 2–5 Los Angeles Sparks

Sparks struggle with early injuries, but rookies show promise

On today’s episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, The Next’s Los Angeles Sparks beat writer Cameron Ruby joins host Natalie Heavren to check in on the team and how they’ve performed after seven games. The Sparks are 2–5 and sit at tenth in the league as the WNBA’s first month of play comes to a close.

Continue reading with a subscription to The Next

Get unlimited access to women’s basketball coverage and help support our hardworking staff of writers, editors, and photographers by subscribing today.

Join today

Despite their losses, Ruby spoke about the aspects of the team that have been trending upward and what has made the Sparks a fun team to watch even as they’ve had a slow star.

“The good thing about having a young team is that your ceiling is really high. I think they’re the only team starting two rookies right now with Rickea Jackson recently entering the starting lineup for them. So I think they’re still finding identity a little bit,” Ruby explained.

Get 24/7 soccer coverage with The Equalizer

The Next is partnering with The Equalizer to bring more women’s sports stories to your inbox. Subscribers to The Next receive 50% off their subscription to The Equalizer for 24/7 coverage of women’s soccer.

“The average WNBA tenure on the team is four years … that’s really low. And then you’ve got players like [Stephanie Talbot] coming off knee surgeries last year. And [Dearica Hamby] is doing an amazing job kind of like being the veteran leadership on and off the court, it sounds like. But I think the amazing thing about the WNBA this year that maybe hasn’t always been true is that I think most teams can beat most teams on any given night. And it’s just going to be a really challenging road for every single team with the ebbs and flows,” she continued.

The two also discussed the areas where the Los Angeles Sparks are looking to improve, especially as they deal with a host of early season injuries.

“They’re turning the ball over 18 times a game right now, their opponents are only turning it over 13 times. Like, that’s just not sustainable if you want to win games, and it’s something that [head coach Curt Miller] has talked a lot about in his conversations with media pre and post game. It’s just taking care of the ball.”

Add Locked On Women’s Basketball to your daily routine

Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

“We can’t attribute all the turnovers to the rookies, although that is definitely definitely happening,” Ruby continued. “I think in general, the point guard spot is something that needs to be figured out right now, in particular for the Sparks, you know, Layshia Clarendon is out with a concussion … when you have that much kind of adjustment that you have to make at the point guard spot, it really throws off the rhythm of your offense. And people are having to play different positions through rotations, or just take on a little bit different roles. And I think that can be an adjustment that can result in missed opportunities, missed cuts. Last night, there were a few times [Hamby] would cut to the basket and people saw her a little too late. Just little things like that that happen when people are having to make major adjustments in terms of positioning.”

Tune in to hear more about how the Sparks’ rookies are adapting to their new roles, especially Cameron Brink and Rickea Jackson, who are carving out roles for themselves in the starting five. Make sure to subscribe to the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the WNBA, women’s college basketball, basketball history and much more!

Written by The Next

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.