Before the 2017 season began, Curt Miller knew this Sun team could be special.
“I think we’re going to surprise some people,” he said during training camp in April. “We’re cautiously optimistic, and we are the youngest team in the league, but I’ve been really happy with our progress and how hard we’ve been working.
“More than anything, we’re working very, very hard as a staff and as a team, and I think if we continue that it will pay off in the long run.”
So far, so good.
Actually… so far, really good.
Like, franchise-record good.
As the Sun begin the second half of the season, they are currently averaging 86.2 points per game – a franchise high. In fact, the Sun have only averaged 80 or more points as a team five times, and Curt Miller has been the coach for two of those seasons.
The Sun’s 45.7 percent from the field in 2017 is also a franchise high. Even more impressive, they’re also taking care of the ball. Their 12.4 turnovers per game would be the lowest in franchise history, if it stands, and would be just the second time the Sun has ever averaged under 13 turnovers per game.
Not surprisingly, the Sun lead the league in assist to turnover ratio at 1.43 – a franchise record.
The Sun’s true shooting percentage (a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account two-pointers, three-pointers and free throws) is 53.8 –a franchise record.
And their current offensive rating of 107.7?
Yep, you guessed it; also a franchise best.
But, wait; there’s more.
Connecticut is shooting a remarkable 41.3 percent from beyond the arc in 2017. Not only does this lead the WNBA by a wide margin (the next closest is 37.8 by the Minnesota Lynx), it would be a league record if it stands. The Sun has never shot above 40 percent as a team from the three-point line in their 15-year history.
Until 2017, that is.
For Curt Miller and his squad, the stats and accolades are nice, sure, but all that matters to them is the number of Ws in the win column.
And at 12-9 (tied for third-best record in the WNBA) with nine of their final 14 games at home, that’s certainly not a bad spot to be in.