WNBA Recap – Los Angeles Sparks Off to Hot Start

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Teams in the WNBA have played either 3 or 4 games so far this season and two teams, the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks, remain undefeated on the campaign. The wins from the Lynx are not surprising – most thought that they were a contender for the title entering this season. However, the Sparks are a pleasantly-surprising team so far with the Phoenix Mercury currently underachieving.

At 3-0, the Lynx have benefited from stellar play by Maya Moore, a guard who is averaging 22 points per game. Center Sylvia Fowles has also been effective as she is averaging a double-double with 18.7 points per game and 11.7 boards per game.

In their most recent game on Sunday, the Lynx defeated the Seattle Storm by 7, a game that Seattle hosted from Key Arena. Next, Minnesota will travel down to Phoenix to play the Mercury – a match-up that pits a surging team against a struggling one.

Earlier this month all the talk was about Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner forming a dynamic duo in Phoenix. Both players have been effective as individuals so far as Taurasi is leading the league in points per game at 24.3. Griner is averaging 15 per game and she’s near the top ten for rebounds, averaging 6.7 per game. However, thus far the Taurasi/Griner combination has not lead to wins as the Mercury are 0-3 on the season.

The problems may have to do with the players coming off the bench for Phoenix, many of which have logged some big minutes without contributing significantly thus far. If there’s an over-reliance on Taurasi one would expect a low shooting percentage from her. On that note, she’s currently 33rd in the league in FG% at 41.8%. There’s definitely some lost possessions there and the Mercury need to develop some more options on offense to get some wins.

Where the Mercury are struggling, the 3-0 Los Angeles Sparks have to have happy fans. With two wins by 30 points, and another road win by a much lesser margin, the Sparks are certainly head turning. Candace Parker is the brightest light so far, however the Sparks are a deep team overall. Eleven of twelve players have played in all three games and the bench players are contributing regularly as part of a very solid offensive attack. The next game for Los Angeles is on May 24th, one that will take place on the road against the Chicago Sky.

Shane Lambert