5 Stats That Have Defined the Sun’s Season
That’s the Sun’s motto this season, and they’ve proven it night in and night out.
With the team’s 86-76 victory in Washington on August 29, the Sun secured a top-4 seed in the WNBA postseason and will play at home in the second round of the playoffs on September 10.
Side note: How cool is that sentence?! Top-4 seed AND a home playoff game?!
But I digress.
To get to this monumental point required months of preparation, hard work and consistency. That is to say, these five impressive stats below are directly correlated with the team’s unparalleled success in 2017.
12.3 Turnovers Per Game (Second-Best in the WNBA)
In many ways, this is the most impressive number regarding this year’s Sun team. For a squad so young to average the second-fewest turnovers in the league is remarkable. Digging deeper, though, this number represents a team that is disciplined, smart and focused – and you don’t win 20+ games in this league without those qualities.
Additionally, it’s a major reason why they average the most points in the WNBA at 87.1. In the 2017 WNBA Playoffs, taking care of the ball will become even more vital.
Opponent Net Rating of -7.0
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that winning teams force their opponents into a negative net rating (the difference in team points scored and allowed per 100 possessions).
But you might be surprised that only five teams in the league force their opponents into such a number (Minnesota, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Connecticut).
It’s a figure that signifies a team’s collective strength. Minnesota (-13.6), Los Angeles (-9.8) and Connecticut (-7.0) have the three best records in the league, respectively.
Jonquel Jones’ 12.0 Rebounds Per Game
Jonquel Jones is ridiculous – and I mean that in the absolute best way possible. Her skillset is unmatched in WNBA history, and she’s just getting started.
Her league-leading 12.0 rebounds give the Sun a fall-back, meaning that even if she isn’t hitting from outside (which is rare) she’ll at least contribute 10-20 (yes, even 20) rebounds each game. With 22 rebounds against the Mystics, Jones joined the Liberty’s Tina Charles as the only WNBA players to tally three or more 20+ rebound games in a single season.
In the WNBA Playoffs, controlling the glass could be the deciding factor between a win or loss.
12-5 Record at Home
It cannot be overstated how huge it is to not only play on your home floor in the postseason, but have a legitimate track record of success there.
With a 12-5 record at the Mohegan Sun Arena, the Sun can feel confident their home crowd will give them a lift.
But they’ll need you there. <LINK TO TICKETS??>
Alyssa Thomas’ 4.7 Assists Per Game
There are two players in the WNBA who average over 14 points, four assists and six rebounds: Candace Parker (17.1, 4.3, 8.4) and the Sun’s Alyssa Thomas (14.9, 4.7, 6.8).
In fact, Thomas is the only forward in the top five assist leaders.
Thomas’ emergence as a post distributor has changed the entire philosophy of what the Sun can do from an offensive standpoint. It opens up shots along the perimeter, and makes double-teaming a huge risk for Sun opponents.